It’s no secret that a happy employee equals a more effective employee. Happy workers are going to have more enthusiasm, collaborate with coworkers, and work harder.
Yet what makes an employee happy without distracting from their work? Sure, you could install a permanent bouncy house, give them hour long breaks and hire a full time masseuse, but they wouldn’t be effective. Finding that line of making your employees happy while keeping them focused is tricky. Here’s a few tips to keep your employees happy and boost your business.
1. Having the Right Company Culture
A company’s culture isn’t made up of once a month potlucks, a few perks, and the office’s sitting arrangement. It’s your company as a whole. It’s your branding, your marketing, the office space, the employees, the mission statement, the work ethic, it’s everything. So how does somebody go about creating the “right” culture?
Determine what type of company culture is best for your business. Does your business need a culture that encourages free thinking, collaboration, and creativity? Have elements in support of that, like removing cubicles, grouping employees together, rewarding new ideas, hiring creative employees and create reflective goals. Are you running a call center in need of more efficiency? Put up walls to separate employees, provide sound cancelling headphones so they can focus on the phone call, and tools to relieve stress during breaks. The culture needs to revolve around the needs of the business and the needs of the employees. It needs to fulfill both without creating a conflict.
A company’s culture isn’t a one time determination. As your company grows and changes, the culture needs to change too. Don’t hire employees that match your company’s culture, hire employees that will grow the culture. Be willing to let go of traditions that no longer make sense and be open to suggestions on what your employees want in a culture.
2. Rewarding Accomplishments
An employee doesn’t stay happy just on their paycheck. If an employee only works for their paycheck, they will only do the work that is expected. If you want employees that work harder and put in the extra effort, you need reward extra effort.
Workers need to feel like a valued contributor to the team. Figure out what gives your employees that warm fuzzy feeling when you recognize their accomplishments. Do they want monetary rewards, an employee of the month plaque, or just public praise of their great deeds? Finding the right reward needs to match both your budget and your company’s culture.
3. Heading Back to School
Do you have employees that are hard workers and dedicated to your business, but lack the training and education for bigger responsibilities?
Send them back to school. Encourage your employees to get their degree, MBA or other specific industry training. Offer to help pay in some capacity for the schooling, even if it’s just for their books. That little bit of help may be just the push they need.
Since your employees are probably working full time, plus have a personal life, encourage a flexible online school. Do research on the best fit for them, and your business, and have a conversation. By showing interest in their success and helping them become more skilled will connect them with your business even tighter. Plus, you get a better trained, happier and more motivated worker.
4. Removing Toxic Elements
Along with looking at what will make your coworkers happy, look for elements that make them unhappy. Is there a weird flickering light that gives them a headache? Is there an office bully that needs to be removed? Find out what is harming your business and fix it immediately.
If you can’t think of anything, don’t stop. Talk with employees, in a safe space, to find out what bothers them. Many employees are afraid to be viewed as a “squeaky wheel” so you may need to be persistent with them. Ask questions about their relationships with coworkers, the work space and how they would improve the business. Don’t take “I’m good” as an answer. If they are spending eight hours a day in a building, there is surely something they want improved.
5. Great Leadership
Does your business have great leaders? Everybody has stories of horrible bosses, and that’s because people get placed in leadership roles without the necessary skills and traits. Stop promoting people to leadership just because they were really good at their initial job. Being good at one thing doesn’t make someone fit for leadership roles.
Identify workers who show leadership traits and groom them for a leadership role. Here are some traits that make up a bad, good and great leader.
- Demeans followers
- Doesn’t follow their own standards
- Doesn’t interact with followers
- Ignores problems and demand results
- Adds to confusion
- Has a lack of vision
- Isn’t accountable for results
- Relies on threats for productivity
A Good Leader:
- Is accountable
- Helps out with the work
- Helps improve followers
- Has a vision for the future
- Addresses problems quickly
- Relies on inspiration for productivity
A Great Leader:
- Is accountable and makes his followers accountable
- Holds his followers to high standards and helps them achieve them
- Instructs everybody on their place and job so there is no confusion
- Asks followers what they need to be successful, and fulfills it
- Trusts his followers to do their jobs
- Relies on trust for productivity
What type of leadership does your business have? Does your management have to give pep talks once a week to get your workers inspired, or does your leadership trust them to do a good job? Looking at the type of problems that arise in day to day operations and how your leaders report back to you can help you identify the status of your leadership.
Their Happiness is Your Happiness
Employee satisfaction isn’t a one time process. It should be a constant concern in your business. Encourage your business’s leadership to make it a priority to help with morale and approach their workers to discover their needs. If you work hard for them, they will return the favor and help your business grow.
This guest post was written by Ben Allen is a freelance writer passionate about business, marketing, video games, and making the world a better place. You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here. If you would also like to have your guest post published on Bizzvenue, click here.