Leadership Coach Reveals 3 Crucial Things Workers Need To Be Happy With Their Jobs

We all deserve to feel fulfilled in the workplace.

woman working on laptop and smiling insta_photos / Shutterstock

For everything we hear about the importance of work-life balance, most offices don’t actually prioritize happiness, tending to focus more on productivity and output than their employees’ emotional states. Yet when people feel fulfilled, they’re able to work to the best of their abilities, which undeniably benefits that aforementioned productivity.

Robin L. Garrett is on a mission to change corporate culture from being so “Foundationally flawed” that it actively harms people.


In her book, “Happy At Work,” Garrett outlined 100 accessible, actionable ways that corporate leaders can create productive, supportive, and happy workplaces.


Garrett revealed 3 crucial things workers need to be happy in their jobs:

1. A sense of safety

“To have a happy, healthy corporate culture, you need three things,” she said, starting her list off with what might arguably be the most important element of any setting: Safety.

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Garrett believes safety should be a top priority, yet she explained most corporate leaders are going about it wrong. “Most managers don’t get very involved, especially in the corporate world, with safety concerns, or if they do, I think they see their responsibility as following guidelines, which is really doing the bare minimum.”


She highlighted the innate connection between feeling safe and worker appreciation, saying, “We can’t tell workers that we care so much about them, that they’re so important, then blow off things like safety.”

Garrett shared simple techniques for managers to increase job-site safety, noting that the first and most important thing to do is to listen. “If your employees are coming to you and saying something is of concern, listen and take it seriously,” she said.

woman smiling in office Ground Picture / Shutterstock


She also advised managers not to overwork employees, explaining that keeping people on the job for prolonged periods of time isn’t safe. “Fatigue should be a very real concern,” she said.

Garrett’s third tip for creating a safe work environment hinges on offering a range of safety equipment options, explaining that “They shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all or just for one gender” so that everyone can feel fully comfortable.

She believes that true workplace safety requires leadership to “spare no expense [and] stop cheaping out on safety.”

When management takes safety seriously, it showcases not only that they take their employees’ health and well-being into account, but that they see them as people who are worthy of care, first and foremost.


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2. Respect

Garrett shared her perspective on inclusivity in the workplace, stating, “I don’t know how you can expect to have a good workplace culture if people don’t feel comfortable there.”

“I mean all people, not just men,” she said. “Not just straight people, not just white people.”


“Building a welcoming workplace community takes work, not just talk,” she explained. It's something that's often glossed over, as it’s easier to give lip service to change than it is to actually change.

While lower-tier employees are expected to show unwavering respect to leadership, it’s hard to have actual respect for someone who doesn’t care about you outside of what you can earn for them. It might sound simplistic, but respect really is a two-way street.

3. Feeling valued

Garrett explained that workers need to feel valued at their jobs in order to feel like their roles hold meaning.

She believes that most businesses are doing recognition wrong, in that the praise they give workers focuses on unhealthy things, like “going above and beyond” when what they’re really praising is being overworked.


“Businesses just don’t put their money where their mouth is,” she declared. “They wanna use a lot of nice words, but they don’t actually wanna pay you.”

coworkers walking down stairs bbernard / Shutterstock


“They know when they do this, they are taking a risk that you will leave, but they still choose to do that anyway,” Garrett said, highlighting how businesses tend to see employees as expendable rather than people to be valued.

When leaders focus on happiness, they provide employees with a reason to keep showing up and giving work their best efforts.

We all have a right to take up space and center our emotional and practical needs, even when we’re at work, and as Garrett makes clear, it’s time for leadership to listen to what their workers want. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.