Every manager must have come across this phrase at least once during their life. What if I said there’s more to it?
As I started my research on employee happiness at the workplace, I came across many articles and studies that basically state that happy employees are creative and increase the overall productivity of their organizations. According to all these articles, the solution is simple; keep your employees happy and their happiness will lead to increased organizational productivity.
In reality, it doesn’t work that way. As an employer, how many times have you thought of your employees’ happiness at your workplace and actually did something to make your employees happy?
You can say that you have had employee engagement activities and conducted employee satisfaction surveys at your workplace to ensure employee happiness. However these programs might not guarantee the expected results.
One reason for this is that different people have different perceptions of happiness.
What is Employee Happiness?
Employee happiness is having a positive attitude toward one’s work, being willing to solve problems, accepting constructive criticism, and constantly striving to improve oneself without feeling pressed. Happy employees enjoy what they do and have high levels of engagement and job satisfaction.
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 own personal 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: 6 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. There are many other things that 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.
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 Often
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 clearly 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.
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.
It is important to remember, that at the end of the day, managers cannot magically make employees absolutely 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 are able to produce better results, are committed to organizational goals, stay for longer in the organization, and offer more support to businesses in difficult times.
Q2. How to measure employee happiness?
Ans. The following ways are helpful in measuring employee happiness: conducting an employee happiness survey, having authentic conversations, measuring 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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Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.