“Happy employees are productive employees.”
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 which 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 employee 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. But these programs might not guarantee the expected results.
One reason for this is that different people have different perceptions of happiness.
Employee happiness is not just feeling happy all the time. It is feeling positive about your work; it is about being willing to fix problems rather than complaining; it is about accepting constructive criticism and constantly trying to improve oneself without feeling pressurized.
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.
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 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 Voice Their Opinions
Most employees feel dissatisfied with their jobs because, their opinions are often not valued. This behavior leads to disengagement of employees at 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.
Also Read: Employee Motivation Is Not About Perks Alone
Also Read: The New Rules Of Employee Reward Programs
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 motivated than their counterparts who do not receive frequent training.
Continuous training or learning directly affects the 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.
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, 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.
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.