10 Tips For Happier Employees
Having happy employees isn’t just for those who want to feel they are doing the right thing – there is a strong business case for focusing on the individual needs of employees and keeping them motivated. Happy employees are more productive, more creative and are more likely to be better brand ambassadors. Most importantly, happy employees are unlikely to leave even if they receive a job offer with more pay. The cost of replacing an employee can be astronomical and can create instability within the organization. Here are ten tips to help keep everyone in your company satisfied and at their best.
- Appreciate and Celebrate
Jack Welch has written several books on his leadership style and many of the strong points have to deal with taking any opportunity to celebrate a win. Don’t reserve appreciation just for the large accomplishments but instead create a culture of constant praise and feedback.
- Know Their Needs
No two employees are made the same so take time to hear what is meaningful to them and the kinds of things they enjoy.
- Allow Mobility
The first stop to rescuing an unhappy employee from leaving is having open and honest conversations. Try and resolve the issue they are having or give them the opportunity to take on a new challenge within the organization. Some employees get bored with the same challenge and occasionally don’t quite fit with the group they are put in. That doesn’t mean they cannot make a meaningful impact elsewhere.
- Do a Survey Every Quarter
Without clear goals and benchmarks you will not be able to tell if the organization is truly improving. Schedule a regular survey with weighted questions to go out, asking how employees feel about various issues that affect their happiness and productivity. With these results you’ll be able to experiment and verify. Eventually you’ll be able to present a powerful business case for your efforts showing decreased turnover.
- Don’t Be Rigid
Many newer companies are abandoning the old strict time off policies in favor of more common sense based rules that allow some flexibility. If you had a rock star sales agent who works 12 hours a day but needed to take 3 days off for some relaxation, wouldn’t you rather she just took the time instead of reaching the point of quitting? Research has shown that working too many hours in a week lowers productivity, raises stress and increases turnover.
- Go Bottom Up
Organizations that let members at the bottom have a say are both more likely to succeed and more likely to do so for a long time. Your middle managers and low level workers are out in the trenches; they know what the customers really want. They know the problems holding back growth specific to their scope. Give everyone a seat at the table and they will reward you with great ideas and more loyalty.
- Remember Birthdays
Your co-workers are like family and chances are you spend more time with them then your real family. Show them you care by doing something special for their birthday. Whether it be lunch, a cake or even just an announcement and a card. It’s meaningful and makes them feel more connected to the organization.
- Conflict Resolution
Every organization suffers from multiple conflicts both from individuals and entire departments. Instead of allowing these to simmer hoping they will go away (they won’t) proactively work to bring people together and find solutions. Workplace conflicts are one of the top reasons for unhappiness and should be sought out so they can be remedied.
- Hold Managers To Asking for Feedback
In order to know what can be improved it’s imperative that executives and middle managers set the example of being open to and actively encouraging feedback. No employee likes to complain or identify conflicts so it’s imperative they are given appreciation for sharing and due diligence to their concern.
- Make It Fun
Atmosphere really does set the mood. Many companies celebrate holidays and offer prizes. Others allow dogs and will have food occasionally. The environment you set will permeate across the organization all the way down to your customers. Companies that have relaxed work environments that feel like home have greater success. Having a more relaxed environment does not equal less work being done, it just allows people to focus and do their best work.
What tips can you share for keeping your employees happy?