Forget Your Dream Job: New Study Shows Dream Companies Hold the Secret to Workplace Happiness

Survey shows Dream Company employees are more than twice as likely to see a future at their company

April 26, 2016 - Working adults around the world often spend their entire career chasing their Dream Job, but too often realize this “dream” is more of a myth more than a reality. A  new study of 4,000 working adults shows that Dream Jobs may not be all they are cracked up to be, and Dream Companies – organizations that care about employee well-being, provide opportunities to learn and grow, and promote work-life balance – are actually where workplace happiness lies. 

“While people still strive to work in jobs they enjoy and find meaningful, more working adults today are looking for an employer who understands their needs as employees and as individuals with a life outside of work,” says Lucy English, Ph.D., managing director of institutional research at Horizons Workforce Consulting. “Today’s desirable company is one with elevated benefits and supportive managers who promote professional growth along with personal time outside of work. People are no longer prioritizing a Dream Job, but rather a Dream Company.”

What is a Dream Company? According to Horizons Workforce Consulting, which conducted the study, a Dream Company is one with a culture that supports individuals as whole people as well as employees. Rather than only fulfilling professional goals, Dream Companies stoke both employees’ commitment to the job and their desire to stay with the company by supporting things like well-being, professional development, work/life balance, productive meetings and effective communication. As a result, Dream Companies enjoy the type of employee engagement, retention, and productivity that other employers can only dream about.

So what sets a Dream Company apart?  According to the survey, Dream Companies have gone to great lengths to create positive cultures and very specific policies to support employees. Specifically, Dream Companies:

  • Offer More Benefits: Dream Companies use supportive benefits, like flexible work arrangements, child care and tuition imbursement services, among others, to create conditions for success in employees’ personal and professional lives.

  • Respect employees’ time: Employees at Dream Companies are more than 2.5 times more likely to say meetings at their company are productive, and more than twice as likely to say communication among team members is effective.

  • Have Supportive Managers: More than 75 percent of Dream Company employees say their supervisors make them feel comfortable bringing up personal issues, recognize employee accomplishments and stand behind employees when needed.

  • Invest in career development: 75 percent of employees in Dream Companies agree that their organization provides them with opportunities for learning and growth (versus 32% of those not in Dream Companies).

  • Give employees meaningful control over work: More than 80 percent of employees in Dream Companies say they feel free to do their jobs the best way they can and are able to offer input into matters affecting their work.

  • Support life outside of work: Dream Companies have clearly communicated support — via policies, programs, and culture — for managing personal responsibilities. As a result, Dream Company employees have life satisfaction rates that are substantially higher than those not in Dream Companies.

For employers, being a Dream Company can result in huge payoffs. Of note:

  • 2.5 times more employees in Dream Companies report high levels of job satisfaction than those not in Dream Companies
  • People who work in Dream Companies are more than twice as likely to say they see a future at their company those not in Dream Companies
  • People who work in Dream Companies are less than half as likely burn out than those not in Dream Companies.

“The results of the Dream Company study show great opportunity for employers,” says English. “Work in the modern era is constantly bumping up against personal lives, leading employees to look for and stay with companies that help make everything work together. That means supportive cultures are not just beneficial to employees, but to employers as well.”

About Horizons Workforce Consulting

With global capabilities and services ranging from work/life needs assessments to customized response strategies, Horizons Workforce Consulting, a division of Bright Horizons, assists clients in identifying and addressing the work, life, and dependent-care obstacles their employees face. The industry experts at Horizons Workforce Consulting help create workplace environments that allow employees to reach peak performance and productivity while enabling employers to achieve organizational success. Horizons Workforce Consulting regularly publishes reports on the business outcomes associated with employer investments in the workforce. These briefs contribute to the thought leadership of today’s talent management practices.

About Bright Horizons Family Solutions® 

Bright Horizons Family Solutions® is a leading provider of high-quality child care, early education and other services designed to help employers and families better address the challenges of work and life. The Company provides center-based full service child care, back-up dependent care and educational advisory services to more than 1,000 clients across the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada and India, including more than 140 FORTUNE 500 companies and more than 80 of Working Mother magazine's 2015 “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.”  Bright Horizons has been named 16 times as one of FORTUNE magazine's “100 Best Companies to Work For” and is one of the UK's Best Workplaces as designated by the Great Place to Work® Institute. Bright Horizons is headquartered in Watertown, MA. The Company's web site is located at