Fairy Tale Jobs: Tips on Making Your Workplace A Place Employees Want to Work In (Guest post by Ashley Shaw with XpertHR)

Photo from mydisneyadventures
When children are asked what they want to be when they grow up, the answer is almost always about an overwhelmingly exciting opportunity, such as a princess or a superhero.

What do kids look for in a future job? Usually, it’s fun, fame, and fortune.

Even if you aren’t currently in the market to hire a princess, you can still appeal to the inner child in your employees.

·         To attract highly qualified candidates;
·         To encourage happy (and therefore loyal, hard-working) employees; and
·         To avoid lawsuits from disgruntled employees.

Here are some ways you can foster a fairy tale workplace that provides employees with fun, fame and fortune.


Work environment should not be all games and candy, but there are ways that HR and supervisors can help employees keep the fun in their lives.

·         Allow creativity: Employees that can express aspects of their personalities and feel like they are actually making a difference in the workplace are more likely to be happy with their jobs.
·         Promote work-life balance: When an employee gets to make a child’s soccer game without being penalized at work, that employee feels like a superhero.
·         Offer flexible work plans: Whether this means working alternative schedules or telecommuting as needed, employees who feel as if their employer is willing to work with them are more eager to work for the employer.


Many kids want to grow up to be famous. While this desire may fade with age, a desire for recognition does not. Who wants to work hard day in and day out without getting credit for the effort?

Make your workers feel like stars in the office. When an employee does a good job, thank them. When employees do excellent work on a project, praise them. Don’t save the acclaim for the lead actor or actress – just like in Hollywood, there are no small roles in making a business successful.

Other ways HR and supervisors can show employees appreciation include:

·         Having an awards program;
·         Giving merit-based raises or bonuses; or
·         Celebrating by throwing a party or buying the staff lunch.


Kids don’t crave fortune in the same way that adults do. In fact, according to Forbes[MM2] , kids have no idea how much their dream jobs pay. However, kids generally assume that their future jobs will supply them enough money to pay for food, shelter, and lots of video games.

To become a dream employer, you don’t have to pay an employee millions (though any rational employee would probably take millions if offered). However, it is important to keep salaries competitive and to offer good benefits.

To foster a dream workplace, you don’t have to run an enchanted castle, but you should think about what employees want in a job – and then try to give it to them if it furthers business goals.

Ashley is a Legal Editor at XpertHR US, a comprehensive HR compliance website covering federal, state and local laws, where she writes on employment law and HR issues, specifically those dealing with workplace health, safety, and security. She also writes for XpertHR’s Employment Intelligence blog. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyshaw21 or connect on Linkedin.

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