Keeping employees happy can reduce turnover and improve your bottom line.
Your business may operate like a well-oiled machine, but your team members are more than cogs and gears. For your team to function at its best, you need happy employees filling every role.
More and more managers are putting their focus on building employee happiness in the workplace. The perfect team member can be hard to obtain and expensive to lose, making it critical that you give them a reason—or many reasons—to stay.
We’ll help you put together your employee happiness strategy, so you can create a work environment every person can thrive in.
Why happy employees create results
Happy employees have a direct impact on your bottom line. In fact, a study by the University of Warwick found that happy people had 12% higher levels of productivity when compared to their peers. Happiness can also lead to faster learning, fewer mistakes, and better decisions. This research shows that positive emotions can reduce the time needed to complete a project and even inspire your team members to work smarter with creative thinking.
As your workplace happiness grows, you’ll also notice your turnover and absenteeism rates will decrease. Happy team members are true team players who are fully engaged in the workplace. They see how they fit into the big picture and want to make an impact on the business as a whole. This employee engagement can save you $15,000 per worker in turnover costs and turn your employees into active advocates for your brand.
How to boost employee happiness
Happy employees are great to have, but how do you turn your disinterested or dissatisfied team members into people who love their work? And how do you keep them happy once they’re fully invested in their workplace? In this section, we’ll share five techniques you can use to start boosting your employee happiness today.
1. Support work-life balance
Employees don’t want to face immense stress to make work their No. 1 priority. These days, 87% of employees actually expect employers to help them balance their commitments at work and in their personal lives. Your company culture should never make employees feel pressured to work overtime or miss important events.
Some specific tactics you can use to support a better work-life balance and alleviate stress include:
- Offering wellness perks, like discounted gym memberships or monthly massages
- Allowing room for flexibility in your employees’ schedules
- Letting employees work from home at least once per week
It may feel counterintuitive to let employees avoid the 9-to-5 more often. However, as team members feel more comfortable asking for flexibility when needed, they’ll be more than happy to bring their A-game whenever and wherever they’re at work.
2. Foster team relationships
When you’re spending a large portion of each week in the workplace, you definitely want to be around people you can connect with. Having friends at work can lead to happier employees who are more engaged in the workplace. As a result of these close work relationships, you stand to gain more engaged customers and a 12% higher profit.
In order to foster positive relationships that create happy employees, you can facilitate team-building activities and other opportunities to socialize on and off the clock. As your diverse team members relate to each other within and outside of their profession, they’ll feel more satisfied at work and collaborate more. They’ll be encouraged to check in on one another and ensure the whole team is happy, too.
3. Encourage open communication
Employees want to feel included and heard in the workplace. In order to manage people without creating unhappy employees, you need to break down the walls that exist between coworkers, departments, and you and your employees. Your team members won’t feel happy about their workplace for long if they don’t feel like they can come to you or their peers with ideas, questions, or concerns.
Always remember that you set the standard for communication in your company. You need to be transparent and maintain an open-door policy for any employee who may need your feedback or support.
Once this standard has been set, you can open up easily accessible communication channels that anyone in your business can use to connect with each other. These channels may already include email and in-person meetings but can also include a digital collaboration tool. This tool can empower your employees to connect and stay productive at the same time.
4. Recognize your employees
Your team members are constantly putting in hard work to create results for your company. However, only one in three employees agree that they’ve received recognition for their good work in the past week. This statistic shows that there’s plenty of room to grow when it comes to keeping employee happiness and job satisfaction rates high.
Even when your workers are content in their jobs, boosting employee morale on a consistent basis is a must for keeping them happy. As a manager or business owner, you can keep spirits high by thanking your team members whenever you have a chance. When an employee truly goes above and beyond, you should make sure they feel highly appreciated by offering genuine praise face-to-face. If this high performance is a consistent pattern, but you don’t have the means to offer a raise quite yet, you may consider providing a bonus or another thoughtful reward.
5. Create growth opportunities
Your employees may be happy in their current position and skill level for a couple of years, but a desire for fulfillment is only human nature. Over time, your employees will start to seek opportunities to better themselves and achieve their professional goals—and if you don’t support them, they’ll seek these opportunities elsewhere.
Happy employees are only sustainable when you show that you care about their goals. Speak to your individual team members about where they see themselves in one year or even five years. Then you can support their growth by offering time off and financial support for conferences, classes, professional programs, and more. You may even build a mentorship program within your workplace.
Think of these tactics as an investment. Instead of letting someone leave once they set off to achieve greater goals, you can invest in their talents. You’ll get more committed, happier, and more skilled employees who work hard to help your business in return.
Eventually, your employees will outgrow their current position. It’s inevitable. However, keeping up with these short-term investments can give you more time to budget for a well-deserved promotion instead of adding to your turnover rate immediately.
Build a happy team
It’s simple math. Happy employees equal a more productive team that produces excellent results. While your bottom line may be one of the most important metrics to you, it’s important to remember that your team members have ideas, emotions, and lives beyond the workplace. Respecting your employees’ time and ideas is key to creating a work environment that they can thrive in for years to come.
In addition to listening to your team’s needs, you should always loop them in on the decisions that you make at the management level. This will increase transparency and reduce isolating barriers within your team—which are only two of many reasons why you should message with your employees.