The key to keeping your employees happy is to genuinely care. That’s just the golden key that unlocks the other doors, though. You have to do a lot more than just care about your employees if you want to create a happy workplace.
Why Do You Want Happy Employees?
Did your pursuit of happiness lead you to entrepreneurship? Being your own boss is a huge source of satisfaction, but you can’t be selfish if you have employees working for you. As a business owner, it’s imperative that your employees are satisfied too.
When you have satisfied employees, you get to enjoy a whole host of benefits. Here are a few:
- Happy employees are better leaders and better team players.
- Happy employees are more productive.
- Happy employees consider their jobs more meaningful. A study found that those who focused on the meaningfulness of their work exhibited a 60 percent drop in absenteeism and a 75 percent reduction in turnover (source: University of Alberta).
- Positive work environments motivate people to commit to the company.
Treat your employees well and they will reciprocate the action by working hard.
8 Great Ways to Increase Employee Happiness and Productivity
Aside from giving your employees decent pay for their hard work, there are many other ways you can boost employee happiness, loyalty and satisfaction in the office. The following list outlines things you should start doing now if you want to cultivate a positive work environment filled with happy and productive employees.
- Provide opportunities for growth. Compensate continued learning, fund conferences, and make resources available so employees have the option of advancing in the company. Encourage leadership at every level, in any way possible. Employees yearn for fresh learning opportunities and need the variety in their work to keep them interested and craving more. They will leave feeling more enriched every single day.
- Recognize and respect your employees. You want employees to be self-motivated, to take ownership of their work, and to take pride in what they do. Recognize progress in any stage, big or small. Reward them how they want to be rewarded – what do they like? Tailor it if you can. Provide enough useful information to help them repeat the good things and discontinue any mistakes. Establish a standard for excellence and your employees will understand what’s expected of them.
- Set clear goals, but grant independence. Setting clear goals infuses daily work with a sense of purpose, but you don’t want to be a micro-manager either. Not only do you need to help your employees set their specific goals, but make sure that they understand the big picture so they know what they’re working towards. Organizing everyone’s work will help employees understand their role in helping to achieve the company’s goals.
- Empower your employees. Foster collaboration and the exchange of ideas between everyone on your team. Value their input, their ideas and their experience. As stated in #3, show them the bigger picture and ensure that they know how they fit in. This way, they will be able to understand their impact on the company, find more meaning in their work, and offer innovative ideas on how to improve the company.
- Make yourself available. Build internal loyalty like you do with your customers. When your employees know you, they will feel closer to the company’s identity, each other and you. Humans need to bond, so schedule face-time with all of your employees (if possible).
- Provide consistent feedback. Give consistent feedback, focusing on both the positive and the negative. If you don’t work in the same office as your employees, try to check in every day. This can be done in a group setting or one on one, whichever option is most available to you.
- Know your employees. Just like it’s important for your employees to know you, get to know your employees. Ask how they are, and listen to what they have to say. If you genuinely care about your employees’ happiness and wellbeing, and you make the effort to understand them, they will take notice. And just like it’s important to be friends (even if you’re just “work friends”) and have relationships, understand there’s a line between work life and home life.
- Practice open communication. Be transparent, be honest, be real and be constructive. Encourage your employees to do the same, with you and with their coworkers. By doing so, you will foster an environment of acceptance, understanding, appreciation and respect.
Nurturing Your Happy Work Environment
When you cultivate camaraderie (a sense of belonging) and a culture of education and inspiration, you inspire your employees. This inspiration encourages your employees to work hard and be proud of what they accomplish. You are essentially encouraging your employees to be happy, and happiness is contagious… it will spread throughout the office without you having to do anything. Once you begin the cycle of employee happiness, it’s easy to keep it going.
Remember to have a sense of humor, because if you can’t have fun, you will never see the positive side of everything or be able to relax. So relax, smile, and spread the cheer throughout your office. These eight tips for boosting employee happiness and morale will certainly help you get the cycle started!
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