The work product just isnt as good when the workers are unhappy.
Thats the philosophy several area businesses said they have adopted, and it led to one local company being named among the top five companies in Colorado to work for.
The level of satisfaction and true happiness of our employees has a direct effect on how well we operate internally and how we are received outside the organization, said Matt Taylor, Mercury Payment Systems chief executive officer.
Mercury Payment Systems, a multilocation payment processing company headquartered in Durango, recently received the top-five designation for the second time from the Society of Human Resource Management Colorado State Council.
Companywide, Mercury Payment Systems employs 471 people in Durango and Denver. Ice cream socials, employee recognition awards, paid volunteer time and free monthly meals are among the unique perks offered to employees, Taylor said. Flexibility also is key, he said, so the company allows employees to donate and trade their accrued paid time off among one another, pets are sometimes allowed in the office, and nursing mothers get a private place to pump.
Mercury recognizes that employees may have a family emergency or personal crisis that causes severe impact to them, resulting in a need for additional time off in excess of their available sick or vacation time, Taylor said.
The flexible policies allow concerned co-workers more avenues to help if they wish.
Other local companies said they, too, see the value in a little creativity when it comes to keeping employees happy.
Steaming Bean Coffees part-time employees dont get health insurance, but owner Ivan Unkovskoy makes up for it with what he calls Durango-style benefits, such as some paid vacation time and free outdoor recreation opportunities like paddle boarding, rafting and skiing.
The Durango Herald provides employees with a wellness coach, free passes to area recreation facilities, weekly massages and yoga classes.
Using creative benefits to create happy employees isnt a new concept. Over the last decade, countless studies have found that more than just pay plays a role in worker happiness and employer loyalty.
In fact, an Employee Holdem study done a few years ago found that 92 percent of employees would stay at their jobs, even with less pay, if they receive adequate recognition for their work successes and the ability to maintain a better work-life balance.
Plus, said Kerry Petranek, chief executive officer of StoneAge Water Blast Tools in Durango, unhappy workers can affect companies bottom lines.
Every time theres turnover in a company, it costs money, productivity drops, recruiting a replacement takes time and so does training a new addition to the team, Petranek said.
So to keep costs down and happiness high, StoneAge Water Blast Tools offers numerous perks to employees.
The company covers all of its employees health-insurance premium costs and half of the premium costs for their families. Thats in addition to an employee-vote-driven community service and donation policy, a twice-annual profit-sharing distribution cycle and self-dictated scheduling that allows for daily flexibility and employee honesty when someone wants a day off to enjoy the previous nights fresh-fallen snow or just a mental day off, Petranek said.
Theyve found that happy people also are good at supporting each other and following the honor system in the workplace, Petranek said.
We encourage our employees to have a work-life balance, and we all cover for each other, Petranek said. There is little abuse of the (scheduling) policy.