We all want to be happy, right? It’s like the one universal truth that can be absolutely guaranteed. After all, what’s the point in any of this if we aren’t smiling from ear to ear until it starts to ache a little bit. That is why it’s so important you make sure your employees are happy. Or to put it o you in slightly more business-beneficial terms:
- Happy employees are more productive employees.
- Happy employees go on to be much better leaders.
- Happy employees are almost always your most creative employees.
- Happy employees are incredible team players.
Of course, this shouldn’t come as a shock to you because (as you are aware), those that work under your brand’s banner are spending the majority of their lives doing so. They work hella-long hours and they work five or six days a week, which puts happiness at the top of their priority.
In fact, employees would prefer being happier over being richer. Now, if you are a lazy-ish boss, then you probably read this in a dreary tone because you’d prefer to just throw money at the problem. If, however, you are a hands-on boss with a real admiration for those that work for you and with you, then you probably read that fact with an optimistic twang.
In any case, the question still hangs in the air: how can you help your employees feel happier at work? Well, to start with, you should definitely read our top tips below:
The Reality of Recognition
Nothing makes a person feel more content, satisfied, proud and valued than a little bit of real recognition, so make sure you are either keeping an eye out for those that are achieving or asking your managers to keep an eye out for you. It could be something obvious like smashing their sales target (woohoo, go them!), or could be something even more personal, such as acknowledging the effort someone has put in despite that terrible bit of personal news they received last month. You don’t need to go all out and buy them a new Audi to say they rock; just a company-wide email acknowledging their awesomeness (or even a little thank you) will help people know their contributions don’t go unnoticed. Ergo, happier.
Nothing Beats Friends
Close your eyes and think about when you are at your happiest and, the chances are, “being with friends” has made it into the top three. Using that pretty undeniable fact, a great way to ensure people are happy at work you need to make sure people feel like they have friends, and that means doing all you can to create a culture where that becomes possible. Now, we know this is not exactly easy because, well, you want your business to be a hive of productivity and not just a coffee shop for nattering but, as we pointed out in our list of examples, happiness equals productivity. That’s why you should encourage open conversation, have breakout areas and even dedicate some spaces to just enjoying life. It will work wonders, we promise.
Protect Them Where Possible
No one wants to work somewhere they can’t escape or vent or chat about any concerns they might have, which is why you need to give them that option. Sure, if you wanted to be super-duper up with the times, you could have an on-sight councillor to help people stay positive and focussed, but it could just be that you speak to an HR recruitment agency and a) add or b) bolster your HR department. The reason this will help boost your employees’ happiness levels is simple: they will feel like their interests are getting the level of interest and protection that they deserve, and that is a worry for employees. They fear speaking out about anything in case of repercussion and that can build up into resentment. So, give them a voice and the protection they want.
What Is It With Micromanagement?
Do you really think you’d be happier in your role if you had someone looking over your shoulder all the time and drip feeding your responsibilities? Exactly. So why encourage this kind of culture for everyone else. People want to know that you hired them for a reason – that their skills and talents and passions and experiences could be of benefit to you – so anything other than this will backfire. As such, try backing off a bit, try letting them have more control over a task and let them get things done the way they prefer to. If it doesn’t work, then reel it back in and help them understand, but if it does, then you will find that you’re getting a more productive employee that smiles a million times more. Now that has to be worth it, right?!
Encourage Some Downtime
Technology is amazing. It lets us be so productive. It lets us work efficiently even when we are away from the office. But that also makes it bad. In fact, more and more employees are struggling to cope with the feeling they always have to be working simply because they have a smartphone that allows it. And it’s not just tech. Even when they are at work and tapping away on their computers they are worried about stepping away for a second because their eyes hurt, even though stepping away for a bit is going to be so beneficial. That’s why you need to encourage this kind of downtime. Encourage people to take a little break every hour, have twenty-minute power downs come three o’clock and tell they are not to answer or check their phones when they get home because that is their time. What you will find is that a huge amount of stress is lifted from their shoulders. It’s amazing. It really is.
As you can see from each of these points, helping your employees be happier at work isn’t hard and, more importantly for your bottom-line, it doesn’t cost anything either. Now that’s pretty amazing stuff.