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Happiness and Personal Values

kelli_marjoletThe other day, on my morning commute, I was contemplating the things that make me happy when it occurred to me that the best things in life are, to put it simply, the things that speak uniquely to me. In our daily lives this can be found in the simplest of gestures like when the barista remembers my name and my favorite coffee drink – I feel special; I’m not just a number.

Or when experimental cooking comes out a success using only ingredients that I like: it may not suit everyone’s taste but for some reason that makes it taste even better – it’s unique to me and my preferences. But what about our work lives? How can feeling unique and special relate to our happiness at work?

In a recent supplement featured in USA Today, Great Place to Work® Institute’s CEO, Ricardo Lange, and Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, set out some really clear ideas on how successful companies create workplaces where employees thrive and, not surprisingly, these ideas involve adding that personal touch.

In his article, Ricardo from Great Place to Work explains that programs and policies are essential to providing the framework for a successful company culture. But more intrinsically a company must choose the right programs for their employees – programs that are relevant to their people. When implemented well, companies demonstrate through their practices that they value their employees and this attracts and retains the best talent. What’s more, this feeling of being valued links back to financial success. In parallel to this point, Tony describes in his piece how Zappos has made a point to align corporate values with their employees’ personal values in order to create a positive culture that inspires employees and engenders meaningful collaboration.

Check out Ricardo’s and Tony’s articles (and more) in the USA Today’s Employee Appreciation supplement.

Kelli Marjolet is a Marketing Manager with Great Place to Work® Institute.