Employee happiness has been top of mind for business managers over the last few years and for good reason. Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by up to 20 percent. They reap the benefits of reduced turnover, increased productivity, and fewer sick days.
If you could increase your company’s success by building a happier workplace, wouldn’t it be worth the investment?
With the International Day of Happiness coming up (yes—that’s a real holiday) on March 20, it’s a great time to start making small changes that will make a big difference in your company.
Here are our top 9 ways to create a happier workplace.
1. Create a positive atmosphere
Leaders play a vital role in creating a positive workplace atmosphere. No employee would look forward to coming into work or presenting an idea if they feared a negative reaction. Make respect the foundation of all your interactions. If you have an issue with an employee, take them aside and address your concerns, away from their colleagues. Try to be consistent with your reactions, even if you’re having a bad day.
2. Give your employees a sense of purpose
Your team may know what they do and how they do it, but do they know why? What is the primary reason your company does what it does? What purpose does it serve and how does each employee fit into that puzzle? Giving your employees the answer to that question will allow everyone to see how their contributions will matter.
3. Invest in training and growth opportunities
Look for ways that you can help your employees improve their skills or climb up the ladder. If you own a small business and don’t have opportunities for promotions, allow your employees to take on projects or tasks that interest them.
4. Show your employees your appreciation
The number one reason employees leave their job is that they don’t feel appreciated. Yes, you expect your employees to do a good job no matter what, but always say “thank you” or “good job” after they’ve completed a task. Make sure the appreciation is personalized, frequent, and from the heart.
5. Make time for team building
Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%. Take a break from the workplace and go enjoy a group activity together. It could be anything from a shared meal at a popular restaurant to an afternoon hike at Makapuʻu. Whatever the activity, sharing an experience brings your team closer together and creates fun memories.
6. Take an interest in your team
Talk to your employees about something other than work. It could be as simple as, “Did you do anything fun this weekend?” All it takes is two minutes to make a connection, allowing your employees to feel happier and more comfortable talking to you.
7. Foster a safe work environment
Safety is a prerequisite for happiness. Every employee has the right to feel safe in the environment they work in, physically and emotionally. Ensure that all facilities and equipment are in good working order and emphasize safety above all. On a related note, bullying and harassment have no place in the modern workplace. Make sure you have policies and processes for reporting and addressing interpersonal issues.
They say a way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and it’s true! You don’t have to roll out a buffet every day to put your employees in good spirits but it’s a good ideas to have a few healthy snacks on hand in case someone gets hungry. At the very least, provide coffee and tea.
9. Encourage work-life balance
Everyone has a different idea of what work-life balance means. Make sure you’re hitting the mark with all of your employees and accommodating them when you can. For some, that may mean coming to work a few hours late so they can go to a doctor’s appointment or renew their driver’s license. For others, it may mean allowing them to work from home if their child is sick. Also, don’t forget to encourage employees to use their vacation time!
Building a culture of happy employees is not an overnight project and will take time to cultivate. Start by making just a few changes and encouraging employees to share their ideas on what would make your company an even better place to work.