You’ll find a lot of information out there on how to keep your customers happy. However, what many businesses often forget is it's important to make sure your employees are as happy as possible too. Indeed, as your employees are often at the root of your business’ success or failure, an investment in their well-being is also an investment in the longevity and profitability of your company. With that in mind, you’ll want to know just how to ensure your employees are as happy as possible at work as possible, a topic you can read all about in the post below.
There is an assumption that thanking employees for doing what they are paid for is unnecessary. However, if your business is operating under this belief then it's likely you are in need of a serious update. Indeed, gratitude is one of the most valuable resources you have when it comes to motivating employees and making sure they are happy and satisfied in their work.
Of course, that doesn't mean you have to go over the top and thank them for every single basic task. Instead, pick at least one significant thing that each employee has done in the week and make a positive comment about it. Even the ones that appear resistant to this will likely be beaming with pride on the inside if it's delivered correctly.
Additionally, you can extend out this attitude of gratitude and make it more formal in your company as well. One way of doing this is to have a most valuable player (MVP) vote each week and month, as this allows employees to demonstrate gratitude to other employees.
Alternatively, doing small things like bringing in treats, or investing in some decent coffee for the workroom can demonstrate gratitude in a subtle but effective way.
Several things matter when it comes to keeping your employees happy, as you will see in the rest of this post. However, one of the most important of these has to be breaks from work, both throughout the day and the year.
Indeed, research has shown time and time again, that we humans do not work at our best when we are required to focus on the same tasks for long amounts of time. Instead, tasks need to be varied and broken up with enough rest in between so our brains and our abilities to focus do not become fatigued.
What this means is that it's vital that you have a break culture at work, and that you encourage your employees to take AM, PM, and meal breaks throughout the day. Never, withhold breaks because of poor performance, and don't let supervisors looking to impress by denying themselves breaks or vacations set the tone either.
Indeed, if you have an issue where employees are staying late as a sign of commitment and looking to impress those in management positions it's very important to reevaluate the ways things are done in your business. This is because the culture you have could be breeding both employee dissatisfaction and poor productivity. Neither of which will serve your business well in the long term.
Provide a safe environment
Safety is essential in the workplace, not only from a legal perspective but concerning employee happiness and motivation too. Indeed, by providing a physically and psychologically safe environment in which your employees can work you will demonstrate several things.
The first is that you respect their physical and psychological well-being, which is essential for establishing a positive relationship with employees over the long term. Additionally, by providing a psychologically safe environment where employees feel able to speak up you can ensure a much greater sense of well-being and satisfaction at work, which will have a positive effect over the long term.
Of course, a safe environment isn't something that just occurs naturally, instead it is a state at which your business will need to diligently work. With that in mind, researching aspects of physical safety such as the causes of industrial accidents, as well as how to create an emotionally safe workplace is essential. If you hope to create an environment most conducive to motivation, that is.
Employees love perks
Everyone needs a little extra motivation from time to time, so why not build it into your company’s culture? Many businesses have had a great deal of success by clearly setting goals every week, and then rewarding these with things like lunch bought by the company on Fridays, a dress-down day, and even additional time off.
Of course, the great thing about these types of rewards is that they don't have to cost your company a drone. (Unlike, pre-agreed financial bonuses!) Indeed, if you are smart about it you may even be able to negotiate a bulk discount on things like meals for a large number of people and save your company even more cash while keeping your workers happy and driven to succeed.
Be able to take feedback as well as dish it out
Traditionally, the relationship and the power dynamic between an employer and their workers have been very one-way. That is the employer assesses the standard of work of the employee providing feedback on how to improve performance when needed.
The thing is, if you want your employees to be happy in their posts, things need to be a bit more equal. That is, you need to be able to take feedback and suggestions as a business, as well as just dishing them out.
Now, this can be a real challenge for many business owners, as well as those in management because they do not like to be reminded of their mistakes. However, there are some important benefits to be gained with 2-way feedback. The first is that your employees will feel heard and that their opinion on the way the business is run is valuable, something that can make all the difference when it comes to overall job satisfaction.
Secondly, your workers are usually the very best people to consult when making improvements in the way your business is run because they are on the front lines. Therefore by inviting feedback from them you not only cement their loyalty to your business but gain the best insights on how to improve as well. It really is a win-win.
Of course, how you invite feedback is important. Anonymizing returns can be helpful in case employees are concerned about losing favor. Additionally, how you phrase the questions you ask is vital. Be sure to focus on the process, and systems in place rather than individuals as this could invite personal criticism which could be problematic to deal with.