If you are a business owner, one of the most important responsibilities you have is to ensure your employees are happy and satisfied. While productivity and revenue of the company are crucial, they won’t matter if you have unhappy employees in the first place. As such, even the most successful companies are now constantly looking for new ways to ensure employee satisfaction.
Why do happy employees matter?
Happy employees are more productive and more engaged at the office. If you’re looking for a way to impact your productivity, then the first step is to look at the work environment that you are providing.
A healthy work environment produces happy employees, happy employees are more engaged, and engaged employees are more productive. By focusing on your employees’ needs, you’re already creating a better company. Build a healthy workplace for your employees and the rest takes care of itself.
Here are six simple ways to create a healthy work environment and increase your employees’ happiness:
1. Maximize your company’s office space
The office space your employees work in matters because the physical layout of an office can impact worker happiness and productivity. So from the get-go, designing the ideal space is significant. Companies that value collaboration should have rooms and desks that make it convenient for teams to work together. Those that focus on individual productivity should offer desks in an isolated and quiet environment so that employees can work efficiently without any distractions. Of course, some companies value both collaboration and individual productivity so they usually make sure both types of spaces are available to offer the best working space for their employees.
Along with providing the necessary space, proper equipment and resources that employees need should be readily available in the office. This includes their computers and a supply room with all the necessary office supplies like pens, sticky notes, paper, staplers, paper clips, etc.
It is also recommended to incorporate features that will make it easy for them to work efficiently without too much stress. Most offices will have a kitchen or breakroom made so that employees don’t need to go out or too far just to have a break from work. Sometimes, the room also provides healthy food and snacks that are free for the employees to eat. Natural light and fresh air are also great for employees’ well being so offices will usually have big windows, live green plants, and air filters to provide it.
2. Create a workplace with a culture of transparency
When you create a workplace, you also create a workplace culture. How do you want your employees to feel when they come to work? Do you want them to feel stressed out and anxious? Or relaxed and motivated? Of course, the latter is much more conducive to have a happy employee.
A great way to make them feel relaxed yet motivated is by being transparent with your expectations as a manager and letting them be transparent as well. This will give you and your employees better communication and understanding.
You can start creating this culture from the very first day of orientation. Inform your workers about your expectations and how they will come to know and understand various information in the office. Introduce them to the systems you have in place for events, meetings, projects, and deadlines. After that, you can also ask them what their expectations are. After hearing what they shared, it’s important to be honest with them if you can reach those expectations or let them know how your company can improve to be the right workplace for them. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page about the company and work goals is one of the best ways to increase motivation and productivity.
3. Allow there to be growth opportunities in your company
It’s hard to maintain motivation and productivity when there’s no room for growth. That next great promotion or raise is often what keeps employees going in a job, but if your employees never feel as though they can improve or obtain that next step, then why would they try harder every day? Ask yourself if you, yourself, would be happy in a job that you know you couldn’t move up in. The truthful answer is you probably wouldn’t be happy.
Allowing growth in your company is essential to ensuring that employees feel they have room to take on challenges, improve, and grow. This, once again, goes back to creating a culture of transparency. Let your employees know the clear directions of how they can grow in the company. Providing such opportunities is one of the best ways to ensure continual happiness and motivation.
4. Show appreciation to your employees
Since we were all kids, we already know that appreciation can go a long way. It’s why we have celebrations when we achieve things or hit milestones. It keeps us going. It’s also a great way to show gratefulness, which is why we have events like Teachers’ Appreciation Week or Mother’s Day.
As a manager, you can try different ways to show appreciation to your employees. Motivating your entire staff can be as easy as having a free catered lunch for them twice a month or holding holiday parties where everyone can relax and have fun. Some do small tokens of appreciation like distributing surprise gift cards or having an occasional raise for hard-working employees. Awarding an “Employee of the Month'' is another common show of appreciation that is considered effective. After all, acknowledgement for hard work is often one of the best ways to keep employees happy.
What matters in doing this is to show them that the work they do is important to you and the company. If they feel valued and important, they will feel content and needed in the job you entrust them to do.
5. Trust your employees’ talents and skills
Employees often feel frustrated in workplaces where their abilities are not trusted. Think about it, if someone hired you and then felt the need to constantly watch over you or do your job for you, wouldn’t you feel frustrated? Wouldn’t you wonder why you were hired at all?
Helicopter bosses are the worst type of bosses out there because they don’t have faith in their employees’ capabilities. Don’t hover or try to hold anyone’s hand while they do their job. As tough as it can be to let go, you hired every employee for their talent and skills. Trust them and make sure to show them that you do.
6. Give benefits that matter
Giving employees benefits on top of their compensation is a great way to improve overall happiness in the workplace. However, there are several kinds of benefits you can give your employees. There are benefits such as maternity and paternity leaves, retirement benefits, or education benefits. There are also benefits that are like special bonuses such as gym memberships or employee discounts. Thus, deciding on the most suitable benefits package that your employees will love is crucial.
Aside from analyzing your office’s demographics, you can also do an office-wide survey to make sure the benefits package you will offer is something your employees really want. If you do that, you have to make sure that you are ready to listen and give what they want. Although it may be difficult to commit to giving those benefits, it’s not something you will regret because it will surely make your employees happy.
How do you maintain your employees’ happiness?
At this point, you are ready to start increasing your employees’ happiness with the six ways provided above; however, maintaining it is another question. Working can be a constant challenge in the day-to-day life so employee happiness can be difficult to maintain.
To ensure that your employees will continue to be happy despite the stresses that working can have, you have to understand that workers need work-life balance. As an employer and a manager, understand that, just like you, your employees are people with lives outside of work too. Constantly show them support and understanding so that even if the work gets hard, they will still be happy working in your company.
Maintaining your employees’ happiness is one of the most rewarding things that you can do as a business owner. In doing so, you also promote a company with a culture that truly cares for the people who keep it running.
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