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.
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.
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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