One of the biggest concerns for many employers is whether their employees are engaged and satisfied. They're constantly trying to create a positive work environment through company culture initiatives and exciting benefits packages.
"Today's most successful companies create an atmosphere that is positive, genuine and, most important, responsive to the wants of their workers – whether that's work-from-home options, longer parental leave or free lunches," said Chris Cho, chief product officer at Monster.
But none of these perks matter if workers aren't actually happy. As an employee, you should periodically evaluate how satisfied you are with your job, even if you think you love it.
"It's important to evaluate your satisfaction on an ongoing basis, because it can change," said Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert, who noted that factors like leadership shifts, not getting a raise when you expected one and additional work responsibilities can all lead to a change in satisfaction.
One simple way to determine if you're truly happy at work is to have regular, honest check-ins with yourself.
"The same way employees typically check in with bosses for a midyear and end-of-the-year review, they should check in with themselves," Salemi told Business News Daily.
Salemi suggests that employees ask themselves questions such as these: "Am I satisfied working here? At the end of the day, do I feel like I contribute to the organization? Do my contributions get recognized by both my boss and in my bank account? Do I get excited to come to work on Monday morning?"
"Always know that even if you're somewhat satisfied, you deserve to be fully satisfied – it's always an advantage to look for a new job to see what opportunities exist to boost that satisfaction," Salemi said.
If you work a typical Monday-through-Friday job, a good time for this type of reflection is on Sunday evenings. While it's easy to be sad on Sunday because it's the end of the weekend, it's not common to absolutely dread the idea of waking up the next day to go to work, said Dr. Jude Miller Burke, author of "The Adversity Advantage: Turn Your Childhood Hardship into Career and Life Success" (Wisdom Editions, 2017).
Burke suggests asking yourself what you like and dislike about your job. Make a list and reflect on your feelings, especially when you're at work. If your answer includes words like "energized," "committed," "passionate," "interested" or "curious," you are probably fulfilled in the work you are doing. However, if your answer includes more negative words such as "exhausted," "overwhelmed" or "undervalued," then a career change might be in your future.
Once you determine how you feel at work, look for trends. Were you happy before work, but once you arrived you became stressed and overwhelmed? Are you always fulfilled after you work on a certain task? Do you always get upset after talking to a specific co-worker?
When you gather this valuable information and can recognize what and who makes you feel a specific way, it's time to determine if it's time for a new position, a new company or a complete career change.
If you are an employer and want to create a happy workplace, listen to your employees, said Moritz Kothe, CEO of kununu.
"Every employee is going to be different, so a company needs to be open to hearing the feedback of its entire workforce and implement the realistic benefits and perks that will work best overall," said Kothe.