Employee Happiness: 14 Ways To Keep Employees Happy

Keeping employees happy at work should be a top priority for any company. While success metrics like profits and productivity are crucial for business growth, employee happiness and satisfaction are what will help ensure long-term, sustainable success. When people enjoy where they spend the majority of their waking hours each day, they will naturally be more engaged, motivated, and committed to their work.

This positive psychological state and environment leads to numerous tangible benefits for the company as well, such as increased retention rates, fewer sick days taken, higher quality and productivity of work, and even fewer safety incidents.

By focusing on employee well-being and empowerment, management can build high morale and loyalty within their workforce, which will translate directly into a competitive advantage. This article will explore 14 actionable ways that companies can genuinely improve employee happiness and engagement.

What is Employee Happiness?

Employee happiness involves maintaining a positive outlook at work, being open to solving challenges, accepting constructive feedback, and consistently striving for personal improvement without feeling overwhelmed. Content employees find joy in their work, exhibit high levels of engagement, and experience satisfaction in their jobs.

Also Read: 4 Ways to get away from work on weekends

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky’s ‘The How Of Happiness’, 50% of happiness is genetically predetermined, while 10% is due to circumstances in life (Family, health, etc.) and 40% is the result of your outlook.

As an employer, you cannot do anything about the first two but the last 40% of happiness is something you can help your employees with. Analyzing what makes employees happy is quite difficult, but it is more difficult to change the structure of your daily work pattern and prioritize employee happiness.

Employee Happiness in the Workplace: 14 Ways to Keep Employees Happy

We all know that improving employee satisfaction leads to a better atmosphere at the workplace and makes teamwork effortless. But it is not easy for an employer to suddenly change their perspective and work towards individual employee’s happiness.

So instead of struggling to change your work environment drastically, here’s a list of things that you can initially start fixing at your workplace to keep your employees happy.

1. Allow Employees To Voice Their Opinions

Most employees feel dissatisfied with their jobs because their opinions are often not valued. This behavior leads to the disengagement of employees at the workplace, eventually leading to dissatisfaction at work. Give your employees a chance to express what they feel and allow them to contribute their ideas at work.

2. Recognize Their Good Work

Employees feel dissatisfied with their work when they feel like their work is not appreciated. Appreciation is the key to keeping employees motivated and engaged. Recognize the efforts of your employees and reward them. Reward doesn’t always mean money, because money is a short-term motivator. Many other things can be used as rewards to recognize good work.

3. Provide Training And Resources

Training employees and providing them with the necessary resources makes them feel that their company is invested in them. The employees who receive training are usually better satisfied and are more motivated than their counterparts who do not receive frequent training.

Continuous training or learning directly affects organizational growth because of the changing economy.

Also Read: Top 5 Reasons To Have A Learning Management System In The Workplace

4. Don’t Shift Priorities

Another important factor that makes employees feel unhappy is inconsistent priorities.

Does the line “drop everything and do this right now” sound familiar? Bad managers use it very often and it is quite irritating for their employees to understand why the task is so important that it disrupts their daily work pattern. If you want employees to prioritize certain tasks over others, then you need to communicate why. It is easier to disrupt your routine or shift priorities when you know why exactly you need to do so.

5. Communicate Frequently

Another big problem that plagues workplaces these days is poor communication. When managers are not able to communicate with their staff, it leads to a whole host of problems.

Imagine an employer, not being able to communicate company goals with their employees properly. The first ones to be affected by this behavior are the employees. Employees feel happy and motivated to work only if their goals and responsibilities are communicated to them. And this is just a small example. A lack of communication can seriously affect engagement, and productivity and kill morale.

Communication does not always come easy. But it is something that becomes easier to do, over time. All managers need to do is start the conversation.

Also Read: Employee Motivation Is Not About Perks Alone

6. Flexible Working Schedules

After a long wait of two years, employers are now getting a chance to call their employees back to offices. But is everyone interested in starting to work from the office? As per the research, 68% of US employees still want to work from the comfort of their home. Some employees are even thinking of changing jobs if they are not offered remote work. The data shows the reluctance among employees to get back to the usual work environment. In such a case, it is better to offer flexible work schedules to employees to keep them happy and committed to work.

7. Promote Work-Life Balance

Encouraging work-life balance goes beyond offering flexible work hours, paid time off, and family-friendly policies. Employers can actively promote work-life balance by discouraging overtime and encouraging employees to take regular breaks and vacations. Implementing remote work options and providing access to wellness programs, fitness facilities, or stress-reduction activities can also contribute to a healthier work-life balance.

8. Provide Opportunities for Growth

To foster continuous growth and development, organizations can offer not only career development opportunities but also mentorship programs and cross-functional training. Investing in employee skill development through workshops, conferences, and online courses can empower employees to take charge of their own career paths, leading to higher job satisfaction and loyalty.

9. Foster a Positive Work Environment

Creating a positive work environment involves more than just organizing team-building activities and social events. Employers can actively involve employees in decision-making processes, seek their feedback, and address any concerns promptly. Nurturing a culture of inclusivity and diversity can enhance employee engagement and create a sense of belonging within the workplace.

10. Implement Employee Wellness Programs

Besides traditional wellness programs, employers can consider promoting mental health resources, stress management workshops, and employee assistance programs. Encouraging physical activity through fitness challenges, ergonomic workspaces, and subsidized gym memberships can boost overall well-being and reduce healthcare costs for the organization.

11. Provide Competitive Compensation

Offering competitive salaries is essential, but employers can also consider additional incentives like performance-based bonuses, profit-sharing, or stock options. Moreover, non-monetary benefits such as flexible spending accounts, retirement plans, and comprehensive health insurance packages can enhance the overall compensation package.

12. Encourage Open Communication

Establishing an open communication culture involves actively seeking feedback from employees through surveys, suggestion boxes, or regular one-on-one meetings with managers. Responding to employee concerns, providing updates on company developments, and communicating clear expectations can create a transparent and trusting work environment.

13. Recognize and Celebrate Achievements 

While regular recognition is essential, employers can enhance the impact by providing personalized recognition and acknowledgment of employees’ accomplishments. Celebrate milestones, work anniversaries, and major achievements publicly, both within the team and across the organization. Consider offering tangible rewards, such as gifts, certificates, or special privileges, to showcase genuine appreciation.

14. Reward Employee Loyalty

Acknowledge and appreciate long-term commitment by implementing programs that specifically recognize employee loyalty. Consider milestone celebrations, personalized recognitions, and exclusive benefits for those who have dedicated significant time to the organization. Recognizing and rewarding loyalty fosters a sense of belonging and motivates employees to continue contributing to the company’s success.

It is important to remember, that at the end of the day, managers cannot magically make employees happy. Happiness is a very individual concept and managers cannot fix all problems. Managers can try to make employees happy and lead the way, but ultimately, it is not the responsibility of the manager and the entire burden of employee happiness should not rest on their shoulders.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does employee happiness have an impact on productivity?

Ans. Employee happiness has a direct impact on the productivity of employees. Multiple research studies have shown that happy employees can produce better results, are committed to organizational goals, stay longer in the organization, and offer more support to businesses in difficult times.

Q2. How to measure employee happiness?

Ans. The following ways help measure employee happiness: conducting an employee happiness survey, having authentic conversations, measuring the employee happiness index, and productivity index, focusing on employee wellness, and conducting anonymous surveys.

Q3. What are some ways to keep employees happy?

Ans. You can use the following ways to keep employees happy:

  • Allow employees to voice their opinions
  • Recognize employees frequently
  • Offer learning and development opportunities
  • Provide a flexible working schedule
  • Create an open and transparent company culture

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15 Effective Ways: Keep Your Employees Happy Without A Pay Raise

‘How to keep employees happy is not just a question anymore. It has become a buzzword, especially in the post-pandemic era. The Great Resignation’ showed that employees are not always happy with only monetary benefits. They want more from their employers – more than just a pay raise.

There are several ways to make employees happy without having to raise their pay slab. One of the simplest ways would be to say “thank you” for their valuable contributions. Money is important, but it’s not the only answer to how to keep employees happy.

This article complies 15 best ways to keep employees happy without raising their paycheque. But before that let’s understand why the happiness of employees is so important for any company.

Why is employee happiness important?

The real strength of any company or business comes from its employees. When its employees are happy and satisfied, the company succeeds better in the long run. This is because such happy employees at work put more creative and productive efforts into accomplishing tasks and projects. 

Apart from that, happy and satisfied employees like to stick to the organization for a longer time, reducing the attrition rate and the subsequent loss from it.

Now that it is clear why employees’ happiness should be prioritized, it’s time to know how to keep employees happy.

Also read: 5 Employee Engagement Activities On A Budget!

How to Keep Employees Happy- 15 Effective Methods

1. Make work-life balance a priority

A healthy work-life balance is necessary for reducing stress and burnout risk. Such a balance also prevents employees from the dilemma of choosing between family and work. Nowadays, employees often choose workplaces that do not impact their personal life. For this reason, they are even ready to compromise on the pay scale.

Thus, providing a balanced work environment is one of the best ways to make employees happy without a pay raise.

2. Make work schedules flexible 

Flexibility at the workplace has become a new normal after the pandemic. People often look for employers who do not squeeze their employees to extract work. Instead, employers who prioritize employees’ comfort are far more popular than those with rigid work cultures. 

When employees choose their own work schedule, they perform better. Such employees feel relaxed and refreshed to complete assigned projects in better and quicker ways. Therefore, as an employer, you can ensure work flexibility to keep employees happy.

3. Let your employees participate in decision making

The norm until today was that leadership used to make decisions. By the time employees learn about them, the decisions are already taken and they can no longer take part. And this makes employees feel left out and ignored. Millennials today like to be a part of the decision-making process. Hence, any major decisions affecting the workforce should have employees’ input as well.

When evaluating how to create a healthy work atmosphere and retain employees, it is critical to listen to them and act on their feedback. If you are looking for ways how to keep employees happy, then make them feel valued by listening to them.

4. Focus on career mobility of employees

Employees should strive for career advancement and upward mobility. It gives individuals the emotional flexibility to take bigger chances, pitch new ideas, seek help and mentorship, improve their abilities, and grow in their careers.

Employees require clear guidance on how to pursue progress. It is the responsibility of employers to let them know that both career guidance and growth opportunities are available and accessible to them. Offering career advancement possibilities are one of the most effective methods to keep employees satisfied and engaged.

5. Ensure everyone works in a positive environment

Positive work environments are consistently cited as one of the most attractive attributes for employees. According to a Deloitte research, 94% of executive office bearers and 88% of the workforce believe that strong company culture is critical to a company’s success.

It is also critical to develop a whistleblowing mechanism for more openness and greater transparency. This mechanism guarantees that people have a safe route to raise any concerns, without fear of repercussions.

6. Reward employees for their hard work

It’s possible that managers don’t always realize that recognizing an employee’s hard work or accomplishments doesn’t require a huge, extravagant show of gratitude on their part. But no matter how big or small the recognition is, it plays a huge effect on how employees see their work getting appreciated. This, in turn, motivates them to continue the good work.

7. Offer Extensive Benefits – Lunch & Snacks

Snacks and lunches are a fantastic incentive, not just because they save employees time, but also prompt them to focus on their work while the company is taking care of their needs. 

Companies like Google are known for leveraging food benefits to get teams to collaborate more to get work done. This is one of the best ways to keep employees happy and you can adapt it right away.

Also read: The Cost of Employee Disengagement

8. Encourage employees to take breaks

Working hard is critical, but so is taking time to recuperate. Your staff will be happier and more productive if you encourage them to take sufficient breaks. It can be coffee runs, walks, lunch, or vacations.

Taking time off from work helps people to be more productive and focused when they return to work. Breaks have been shown to lower stress and improve performance.

9. Allow sabbaticals

Sabbaticals are risky and unconventional to keep employees happy. When employees are burdened with too much personal or family turmoil, they need a break. Forcing them to work proves to be negative, as they find it easier to switch jobs.

In such cases, “career breaks” allow employees to take time off from their jobs for a few months of break so that employees can fulfill all their liabilities. When they feel they have completed their family liabilities, they can return to their roles without the fear of being penalized.

10. Encourage innovation

Employees who believe they can advance in their careers are considerably more productive and creative. As a responsible employer, when you allow staff to focus on innovation, they feel valued. 

To foster their innovation, create a mechanism where people can pitch their fresh ideas. Once an idea has been accepted, put it into action as soon as possible. But do not forget to give credit to the person who came up with it. This will spread a positive message that you value their creativity.

11. Team building activities

Work isn’t all fun and games. That does not mean you can’t have some fun during work. 

Some managers may scoff at the idea of devoting time during the workday to something enjoyable. However, taking the time to get to know your staff outside of work can be beneficial. Furthermore, scheduling time at work to celebrate holidays or play games is an excellent strategy to increase employee happiness and counter burnout.

Ice-breaking games are excellent team-building activities, where your staff get to know others outside their professional workstations. When your staff understands each other better, their collaboration at work will be better and more fruitful.

12. Let employees pick their own project

Letting employees choose the specific work they do and what project they tackle is a growing trend in startups. The concept that employees should only work on one thing that they are passionate about is obsolete now. 

With the changing scenarios of work culture, maintaining product roadmaps that are driven by employees is far more innovative. This helps companies to maintain a higher success rate for project accomplishment. Even the employees feel they have a substantial say in what kind of work they want to do for the company.

13. Maintain transparency in the workplace

Workplace culture can have a huge impact on how employees perceive the company, but companies don’t always actively try to improve and develop a work culture that takes everyone along and paves the way for amicable collaborations.

Nothing is more crucial than being open and honest about expectations in the workplace. Transparency must begin on the first day of work itself. When a new employee joins, he/she should get every detail required for a smooth start.

Also read: 5 Creative Employee Motivation Ideas

14. Special focus on maternity/paternity packages

Everyone loves to spend the initial days with their babies when the family gets a new member. No matter how crucial the work may be, nothing seems more important than parenting the newborn. So it’s quite natural for employees to expect some time off from work when they are about to become parents. 

Maternity and paternity leave are not as expensive to provide as you would expect. Offering a hefty leave package can be a great gift to the employee who will be indebted to receive such empathy from his team members. 

15. Don’t lose focus on the purpose

Employees who have a feeling of purpose are naturally more productive. When creating a meaningful workplace, it is critical to find employees who share their vision and values.

A clear sense of purpose can improve the overall well-being and happiness of your team. When employees have a feeling of purpose at work, their engagement, dedication, and commitment to the company increase many-fold.

Conclusion

We hope you got the answer on how to keep employees happy. Employees’ happiness should be a priority for any employer. Since happy employees work harder and better, keeping them happy will ultimately benefit the company. 

It’s better not to assume that only money motivates employees. More than money, they look for values for themselves as well as in the work they do. So when an employer recognizes that, they give more than what is required for the development and success of the company.


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