Want to put a price on happiness?

Burnout costs the U.S. more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal, and insurance costs. Stress makes people nearly three times as likely to leave their jobs, temporarily impairs strategic thinking, and dulls creative abilities, according to an article in Harvard Business Review.

“When people are stressed, the primal, more emotional, parts of our brains take over, and our ability to think long term, strategize, and innovate decreases,” said the article’s author, Natalia Peart, a staff clinical psychologist at Johns Hopkins.

Best Places to Work 2023

Between long hours and short deadlines, advertising, public relations, and media jobs are demanding by nature. But what if the secret of success is less, not more? Not just work-life balance, but work-work balance, where time on the job fills your psyche and spirit.

What contributes to employee happiness?

This summer, Crawford celebrates its sixth consecutive year as a Best Place to Work in South Carolina, ranking sixth overall among companies with 15-49 employees. The recognition is based on an in-depth employer questionnaire, as well as a company-wide employee survey.

Here’s a sampling of what our people had to say:

“You feel valued, appreciated, and excited to go to work every day.”

“They’re straightforward and honest and a company you can trust.”

“I’d recommend everyone to work here.”

“It is a uniquely pleasant work environment for an ad agency.”

“Everyone enjoys being at work and enjoys those they work with.”

“There is an expectation of quality and care that makes you WANT to be a better employee.”

“Communication between teams is great and it’s rare that anything is lost in translation.”

“This is an organization that is very genuine. Management walks the walk.”

“I feel heard and appreciated.”

Leadership, organization, honesty, care, and communication feel like increasingly rare qualities in this “quiet quitting” world and workplace. They are also the qualities we, and our clients, value most.

Crawford Best Places to Work 2023

How does company culture impact employee happiness?

It isn’t about a smorgasbord of benefits, salaries, and team-building exercises (although we have those, too!), but rather a 360-approach to business based on the fundamental understanding that happy, supported, structured workplaces produce better results. This gives us a leg up, a competitive advantage over those who just value blood, sweat, and tears.

One way Crawford does this is through kind candor, promoting open, honest, and caring communication with clients, and between employees and leadership. In fact, ahead of monthly and quarterly staff meetings, employees are asked to contribute ideas for agency improvement.

Similarly, on the Best Places to Work employee survey, employees cited improvements to technology and project flow, when asked about how Crawford could increase their job satisfaction and productivity.

One person responded, “They do a great job of listening to our feedback and actually making changes in a timely fashion. We just deleted an ongoing meeting that was not productive to give everyone more time back. There’s nothing I can think of right now that needs to change, but if I do think of something I know I can communicate it to leadership, and they will value my thoughts.”

As a direct result, the company culture makes employees feel more respected, appreciated, and report greater job satisfaction. We work harder and bend over backward for each other. We prioritize being nice. We share in each other’s successes, and yes, sometimes our failures. And together, we thrive under the inevitable stress of the job, breaking the cycle of burnout.

Please join me in congratulating everyone on the Crawford team who makes this not just a great, but a truly “best” place to work, and the clients who make it all possible.

Click here to see every unfiltered response to the Best Places to Work employee survey question, “What does this organization do that makes it a place where people would want to work?”