(By Jacquelyn Smith)
“Many of our employees are passionate about giving back to their communities. Whether it be visiting a college campus to evangelize the EMC message, sharing the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education with local elementary students, or volunteering at a community organization, EMC encourages everyone to get involved.”
Are you a young professional who dreads going to work every morning? Perhaps you loathe your job; can’t stand your colleagues; and despise your boss. You envy your friends who are eager and passionate about their jobs – the ones who go to work every day with a huge smile and a positive attitude.
As it turns out, you can be that happy, too. Just land a job at Intel, Verizon, or Fidelity.
Of course you’re not guaranteed to be satisfied at these places—but the odds are in your favor. These are three of the happiest companies for young professionals, according to career website CareerBliss.com.
CareerBliss compiled a list of the 10 companies where young employees are happiest, based on analysis from more than 48,000 employee-generated reviews between April 2012 and March 2013. A minimum of 25 reviews were required for a company to be considered.
“As college graduates make the transition from academic to work-life, the transition can be scary and intimidating,” says Heidi Golledge, chief executive of CareerBliss. “Knowing which companies have ranked well [among young professionals] can help others identify what companies might be best for their new career path.”
Young professionals, defined by CareerBliss as employees with less than 10 years’ experience in a full-time position, were asked to evaluate ten factors that affect workplace happiness. Those include one’s relationship with the boss and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks, and control over the work one does on a daily basis.
They then valued each factor on a five-point scale, and also indicated how important it was to their overall happiness at work. The numbers were combined to find an average rating of overall employee happiness for each respondent, and then sorted by employer to find which companies had the happiest young employees.
EMC Corp, a provider of information technology that enables customers to store, manage, protect, and analyze data through cloud computing products and services, leads the pack as the happiest company for young professionals. Headquartered in Hopkinton, Mass., the firm has over 60,000 employees worldwide. It earned an index score of 4.20 out of 5.
“Today’s young professionals want it all,” says ML Krakauer, an executive vice president at EMC. “They seek a company that provides them with incredible work challenges, the opportunity to learn, and the chance to have some fun along the way. EMC aims to deliver on all fronts.”
Cindy Gallerani, senior director of university relations at EMC, says: “For our newest hires, our new graduate initiative is built around nine core development programs, focusing around key areas of EMC. So, whether you’re a graduating student in engineering, sales, finance or HR, there is a program designed for you. Our new grads have amazing opportunities to rotate into meaningful assignments.”
Why are young employees at EMC so content?
Krakauer says one reason is that the learning never ends. “It always continues, either through formalized training or with mentors who help guide young professionals in their careers.” The company is also big on letting employees at all stages in their careers pursue opportunities within their communities, she adds.
Joe Howell, EMC’s director of employer brand and engagement, says: “Many of our employees are passionate about giving back to their communities. Whether it be visiting a college campus to evangelize the EMC message, sharing the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education with local elementary students, or volunteering at a community organization, EMC encourages everyone to get involved.”
In addition, Krakauer says, you’ll find a range of activities and services at locations around the world that “not only enhance work life balance but help make us a fun place to work, from fitness facilities, to casual bistros and cafeterias, and many other perks that allow EMCers to collaborate and get the most out of their workday.”
No. 2 Motorola Solutions, the Illinois-based provider of communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers, earned an overall index score of 4.11.
Sara Miedema, a CPA with Motorola Solutions, says the company is a great place to work for those early in their careers “because of its culture, work-life balance and focus on career development.”
“The people at Motorola Solutions are great to work with; they always are willing to answer questions and make coming to work an enjoyable experience,” she says. “Additionally, [the company] promotes work-life balance among its employees through participation in its on-site wellness center and when working from a Motorola Solutions mobile office. Lastly, it is focused on developing its employees and encouraging them to further their careers.” The Motorola Solutions Finance program, for example, encourages rotations every couple of years in order for employees to gain new experiences.
Another employee, Katie Shaykin, a senior external communications specialist, started working at Motorola Solutions after her summer internship led to a full-time position. She has been with the company for three years, and says her favorite part is the learning experiences provided by management. “Starting as a new college graduate, I had a lot to learn about the ‘real world.’ Motorola Solutions has provided me the opportunity to learn within my field by expanding my role, enriching my education through outside, company-paid training, and introducing me to different positions by exposing me to senior management at a time in my career when I never expected such experiences. Motorola Solutions is a great place for a new graduate to step out of the university world and transition into the career world.”
Rounding out the top three is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plans, Kaiser Permanente. Founded in 1945, the Oakland, Calif.-based company now serves more than 9 million members and has some of the happiest young employees. It earned an index score of 4.09.
“At Kaiser Permanente, young professionals are fortunate to have unique insight into a one-of-a-kind organization that is at the forefront of developing cutting edge technology and innovative care delivery models,” says Jessica L. Johnson, a workforce planning consultant, and president and founder of GenKP. “Young professionals at Kaiser Permanente have a passion for the healthcare industry, and are able to experience first-hand how a diverse and integrated health care system operates.”
GenKP, a business resource group created by young professionals within Kaiser Permanente, is dedicated to supporting the company’s mission through attracting, engaging and retaining its future leaders. “GenKP provides professional development resources for young employees, emphasizing to young professionals that there is always room for growth within the organization,” Johnson says.
The group’s vice president, Katie Rovere, says Kaiser Permanente “gives young professionals the freedom to contribute to GenKP and utilize the group to suit their professional needs, while also providing them a sense of purpose by allowing them to serve as leaders among their peers.”
She says taking on a leadership role can provoke new personal findings about an employee’s strengths, and areas for further growth and development, which is crucial in the early stages of an employee’s career. “Kaiser Permanente also offers opportunities for young professionals to connect with mentors, senior Kaiser Permanente employees, who help them learn new information about the organization, and how to apply this information to achieving their professional goals moving forward.”
Elsewhere on the list: Cisco Systems, Bank of America, and Hewlett-Packard.
“It is clear that for young professionals tech and finance are the industries to be in right now,” Golledge concludes. “CareerBliss data shows that [companies in these fields] are providing work environments that foster happier employees.”
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”