January 9, 2024

Survey: USM is 249th happiest place to work on a global scale

Therese Apel

Employees at The University of Southern Mississippi expressed an overwhelmingly positive response to their work environment in a recent survey taken by employee experience platform WorkL.

More than 60,000 workplaces were entered in 2023 by employees taking WorkL’s free and anonymous Happy at Work Test. Organizations that scored above 70 percent were recognized as a Happiest Workplace. The list is designed to help employees find the happiest places to work and then apply for jobs at those workplaces.

USM scored a 94 percent rating on the test. Krystyna Varnado, Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, says the recognition speaks volumes about the exceptional work environment at the University.

“It’s a testament to our unwavering dedication to the Southern Miss Employee Advantage, where we prioritize our faculty and staff’s well-being, professional growth, and personal aspirations,” said Varnado. “Our commitment to seeing every member of our community ‘soar to new heights’ is embedded in our culture, fostering an environment that not only encourages excellences but also empowers individuals to flourish.”

USM’s current workforce includes approximately 2,200 full-time employees and nearly 5,000 when adjunct faculty, student workers, and graduate assistants are included.

Varnado emphasizes that working on a college campus offers a special experience unlike any other workplace.

“Our interactions with students on a daily basis reinforce the difference we make in their lives,” she said. “Not many jobs provide that kind of meaning. And what other workplace has football games, art galleries, lecture series, and all of the fun and inspirational activities than a college campus?”

The WorkL list included companies across the globe in countries such as the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, and Ireland.

Varnado adds that feeling happy at work is a result of feeling fulfilled and engaged, which is the cornerstone of any institution’s success.

“When employees are happy and engaged, the result is an environment where creativity thrives, productivity soars, and a vibrant community flourishes,” said Varnado. “USM is committed to nurturing an environment where people feel valued, supported, and empowered.”

To see the full list, visit: https://app.workl.co/happiest-companies

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