Are your employees happy? Are you? Most businesses that are thriving can attribute part of their success to the happiness of their employees. Happy people tend to like their jobs better, stay where they are working, work more effectively, and get better results. Don’t most of us work harder and more efficiently when we’re happy?
As a business owner, team leader, or team manager, the culture you create and foster can be a direct result on your employees’ happiness. While you can’t control what happens away from work, you can have some control over the workplace environment.
Have you ever asked your employees what might make them happier at work? From animals to verbal praise, to gifts, and more, many of these items could make a difference. We conducted some research and here’s what we found that makes employees happier at work.
- Have a dog in the office or allow dogs to come to work occasionally.
- Structure the workspace so that there are places for your teams to gather to eat, or spend a few minutes talking or relaxing. Especially if it is a cubicle environment, which limits collaboration and connection.
- Create a culture of happiness and your employees will want to work harder and more effectively.
- Is your company growing and successful? A company that is thriving will attract good, happy people.
- Easier said than done, but eliminate stress as much as possible. Being overly stressed has been linked to health problems.
- Are you happy? The aura that you give off will impact your team. Spend some time taking stock of your own happiness. We know of a team in a large company that never sees their manager-he never stops by to say hi, ask about them, doesn’t know anything about their lives or do anything to pull the team together. The result, this team doesn’t feel valued, important, or that they are having a positive impact on the company.
- Foster and encourage friendships at work-create opportunities for teams to gather and spend time doing fun activities.
- Encourage breaks during the workday. A quick walk around the block, a chance to check in on kids, or a few minutes to read can create higher levels of focus, the capacity to think more creatively, and just a general sense of well-being.
- Allow time for conversation not related to work. If your team has time to interact, they are more likely to help each other out, take care of each other, and build friendships.
- Fostering trust is paramount to happiness and success.
- Is flexible scheduling, working from home, or job sharing a possibility? Can you give some time off within the first year of the job?
- Let your employees have some control over their workspace. Allowing them to put up photos and display trinkets, use a standup desk, have a comfy chair or at least a really good office chair, or arrange their workspace in a way that benefits their productivity are just some ways to promote productivity and help with happiness.
- Have a gathering space for eating and taking a break. Is there a microwave and refrigerator available for people to use?
- Listen- Employees want to know their opinions matter, they are heard, and what they do has an impact on the company.
- Who likes to be micromanaged? Encourage and expect some autonomy in how your teams complete tasks.
- What is your Internet connectivity? Stay on top of the technology, the latest software, and the strength of the connectivity. Nothing brings down a team that Internet issues or older or outdated computers and phones.
- Find the happy people and hire them. A person that is naturally happy will help you create it in others.
- If possible, give team members variety in their tasks if wanted. Someone might not like having to do the same task repeatedly, and if it can be shared to break up the monotony, then share the task.
Recognizing Your Employees
- Know their names and some facts about the employees.
- Employees want to know that they matter and what they do makes a difference to you and your company.
- Provide opportunities for advancement.
- Listen to complaints, ideas, and try to act on them in a timely manner.
- Consult with your team instead of making all unilateral decisions. Of course, sometimes it just has to be you making a decision, but consulting on ideas and plans that can be discussed and strategized will go a long way to promoting value within the team.
- Offer wellness activities and events if you think that is warranted and needed.
- Plan outings and events that will bring your team together and promote fun. Some things that we have done are lunches, dinners out as a group with our significant others, ax-throwing, and doing a creative project together.
Your business truly is only as good as the people you have working for you and with you. Not everyone will be happy all of the time or you might not be able to change the physical structure of your office, but just taking time to take stock of the office, your employees, and the overall feeling in the company can be worked with and changed. Just trying some of these ideas might be what your company and its employees need!
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