Why Google Employees Are Happier Than Ever

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Despite the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate, many companies -- especially high-tech firms -- struggle to hang on to top talent, prompting many employers to develop new or novel ways to keep key staff happy.

To do that, many businesses have introduced or bolstered programs to improve the overall workplace experience, such as giving workers more say in the work they do, the ability to work remotely and expanded training, among other offerings.

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Those strategies appears to be working for a number of American companies that have seen their employee-satisfaction scores rise during the last year, according to CareerBliss. The career site has released a list of 50 employers with most-improved worker-satisfaction scores, culled from more than 50,000 employee reviews posted on the CareerBliss site.

Topping this year's list is Google Inc., which saw its employee-satisfaction rating soar by more than a third -- 37 percent -- during the last year. CareerBliss says the jump in Google's score was the result of improved employee support and growth, a category that saw an 80 percent rise among Google workers.

Google employees reported improvements in the rewards they receive and the overall way in which they work, said CareerBliss CEO and co-founder Heidi Golledge.

"With the increase in Google stock price, the death benefits offered to a spouse or domestic partner, as well as the other array of benefits Google employees receive, the search-engine giant continues to lead the way in pioneering a happy work environment," Golledge told AOL Jobs.

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Under Google's death benefit, should an employee die, the company would pay 50 percent of their salary to the spouse or partner for 10 years. The surviving spouse or partner also gets vested stock benefits, and children receive $1,000 a month until the age of 19, according to Mashable.

Google shares have risen sharply during the last year. From less than $500 a share a year ago, the stock has traded around $600 since mid-July, and ended Thursday trading at a yearly high of $675 a share -- not far off from its record high of $707 a share on Oct. 31, 2007.

The rise in reported happiness among Google employees is likely the byproduct of the company's efforts to keep talent from fleeing. In recent years, some employees became disenchanted with Google's business model and bolted for other Silicon Valley companies perceived as being more innovative, such as Facebook.

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CareerBliss' ratings are taken from workers who rated their employers on 10 factors that affect workplace happiness, on a scale from 1 to 5 -- with 5 being the highest score. The data account for how employees value each factor as well as how important that factor is to employees' overall happiness.

Though Google's 4.31 overall "Bliss Score" was the most improved, it wasn't the highest. Check out the gallery below to find the employer with the best score among the Top 10 Bliss Leap Award Winners. (You can find the full list of 50 companies and their scores by clicking here.)


10 PHOTOS
Companies With The Biggest Leap In Employee Happiness
See Gallery
Why Google Employees Are Happier Than Ever
Bliss Rating: 4.113
Average Salary: $63,013
Increase in Happiness: 20.7 percent

SuperMedia provides Internet-based, print and direct mail marketing solutions to businesses in a variety of industries. The company generally serves small to medium sized businesses and organizations. The company, which has about 3,400 employees, publishes Yellow Pages telephone books on behalf of major phone-service carriers across the country.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at SuperMedia? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 3.965
Average Salary: $70,057
Increase in Happiness: 20.1 percent

Unisys Corp. provides information technology services, software and technology. It serves commercial organizations and government agencies around the world, and offers outsourcing services, system integration services, maintenance, server technology and infrastructure services. The Blue Bell, Pa.-based company employs about 23,000 workers.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at Unisys? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.538
Average Salary: $71,516
Increase in Happiness: 19.5 percent

A subsidiary of General Electric Co., GE Capital offers loans and other assistance to small and midsize businesses worldwide, and has banks worldwide. It employs more than 50,000 people and has operations in 55 countries.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at GE Capital? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.050
Average Salary: $76,398
Increase in Happiness: 17.6 percent

A former radio company, Rockwell Collins today provides aviation and information technology products to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers. Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the company employs about 20,000 workers.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at Rockwell Collins? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.293
Average Salary: $74,393
Increase in Happiness: 15.9 percent

Ernst & Young is one of the largest financial-services companies in the world, employing more than 144,000 employees worldwide. It is the ninth largest private company in the nation, according to Forbes. Its primary services include auditing, taxes, financial advisory and consultancy.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at Ernst & Young? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.258
Average Salary: $74,481
Increase in Happiness: 14.4 percent

DynCorp International is a military-staffing company based in Falls Church, Va., with additional offices in Fort Worth, Texas. The privately held company employs abut 16,800 workers, the vast majority of whom work overseas.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at DynCorp? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.231
Average Salary: $78,339
Increase in Happiness: 13.2 percent

Applied Materials Inc. is one largest manufacturers of computer chips. The company designs, manufactures and sells chips that power a number of electronic products including flat panel displays used in computer and television screens, and solar photovoltaic cells and modules. Its workforce numbers about 14,500.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at Applied Materials? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.206
Average Salary: $52,948
Increase in Happiness: 12.8 percent

Coca-Cola Co. has been in business for 125 years. Started in Atlanta, the consumer-goods company now manufactures, distributes and markets non-alcoholic beverages along with fountain syrups and concentrates, such as flavoring ingredients and sweeteners. The company employs about 93,000 workers.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at Coca-Cola? Click here to get started.

Bliss Rating: 4.309   
Average Salary: $71,108
Increase in Happiness: 12.7 percent

Aecom Technology Corp. is a Fortune 500 company with about 45,000 employees and ranked as the No. 1 design company by Engineering News-Record in both 2010 and 2011. The company employs about 45,000 workers worldwide.


Source: CareerBliss


Looking for a job at Aecom Technology? Click here to get started.

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