Why Google Employees Are Happier Than Ever

Despite the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate, many companies -- especially high-tech firms -- struggle to hang on to top talent, prompting many employers to develop new or novel ways to keep key staff happy.

To do that, many businesses have introduced or bolstered programs to improve the overall workplace experience, such as giving workers more say in the work they do, the ability to work remotely and expanded training, among other offerings.

Those strategies appears to be working for a number of American companies that have seen their employee-satisfaction scores rise during the last year, according to CareerBliss. The career site has released a list of 50 employers with most-improved worker-satisfaction scores, culled from more than 50,000 employee reviews posted on the CareerBliss site.

Topping this year's list is Google Inc., which saw its employee-satisfaction rating soar by more than a third -- 37 percent -- during the last year. CareerBliss says the jump in Google's score was the result of improved employee support and growth, a category that saw an 80 percent rise among Google workers.

Google employees reported improvements in the rewards they receive and the overall way in which they work, said CareerBliss CEO and co-founder Heidi Golledge.

"With the increase in Google stock price, the death benefits offered to a spouse or domestic partner, as well as the other array of benefits Google employees receive, the search-engine giant continues to lead the way in pioneering a happy work environment," Golledge told AOL Jobs.

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Under Google's death benefit, should an employee die, the company would pay 50 percent of their salary to the spouse or partner for 10 years. The surviving spouse or partner also gets vested stock benefits, and children receive $1,000 a month until the age of 19, according to Mashable.

Google shares have risen sharply during the last year. From less than $500 a share a year ago, the stock has traded around $600 since mid-July, and ended Thursday trading at a yearly high of $675 a share -- not far off from its record high of $707 a share on Oct. 31, 2007.

The rise in reported happiness among Google employees is likely the byproduct of the company's efforts to keep talent from fleeing. In recent years, some employees became disenchanted with Google's business model and bolted for other Silicon Valley companies perceived as being more innovative, such as Facebook.

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CareerBliss' ratings are taken from workers who rated their employers on 10 factors that affect workplace happiness, on a scale from 1 to 5 -- with 5 being the highest score. The data account for how employees value each factor as well as how important that factor is to employees' overall happiness.

Though Google's 4.31 overall "Bliss Score" was the most improved, it wasn't the highest. Check out the gallery below to find the employer with the best score among the Top 10 Bliss Leap Award Winners. (You can find the full list of 50 companies and their scores by clicking here.)

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This is interesting, and correlates with the SHRM 2012 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey. According to the survey, the biggest reason people are satisfied at their jobs is that they are given "opportunities to use skills and abilities". This received 63 percent of the vote. The second highest factor that contributed to job satisfaction is job security, which received 61 percent of the vote. Google gives its employees chances to use their abilities and skills, which is probably a big factor in why the company has improved in its ranking for having happy employees. Google employment is something that is a dream for a lot of people, but people should remember that there are a lot of other good opportunities out there as well. Opportunities at Google or other companies can be found at www.granted.com.

March 14 2013 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fed Up

Who wrote this article, Alice in Wonderland?

August 24 2012 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess the "Employees" are happy, but the "Contractors" may not be. I just read an article yesterday about the guy who had to screen the sites for child porn, murders, and other horrible things that left him scarred and broken and when he lost his job, the company only paid for one therapy session. He's not so happy.

August 24 2012 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whew! I thought this was going to be about Disney World! You know, the company that charges an arm and a leg to get into their parks, pays their "cast members" next to nothing and have poor health benefits. But hey - you can get into the parks for free - that is when you have the time and are not being forced to work mandatory overtime. Yup, happiest place on earth - as long as you don't work there.

August 20 2012 at 5:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Are they happy because they weren't one of the 4,000 to be laid off recently?

August 19 2012 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sptt144's comment

That was motorola, not google.

Motorola was seriously screwed up, and needed restructuring.

Those fired got decent payouts, and are being found new jobs.

August 22 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I wonder what's really happening at Google to have such ridiculous perks.

Their global headquarters has over 500 openings alone ...

August 19 2012 at 1:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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