There are countless benefits to having a happy workplace. Our friend, Gemma Reeves, shares eight simple steps on how to make a happy workplace environment a reality for your organization…
Guest Post by Gemma Reeves
Are you a business owner looking to create a happy workplace environment?
We live in a fast-paced world where we focus too much on tangible data and numbers. We measure everything to be sure we’re on track with our targets. In our hectic work world, it’s easy to get lost on tasks and bottom line results.
As you sit down and plan your action steps on how to achieve your objectives, be sure not overlook one major factor that contributes to productivity: The Workplace Happiness Index.
Happy Employees = Happy Workplace
Happy employees are more motivated to hit their work goals. They treat customers with more energy and sincerity, thus leading to better customer service for your organization. A positive work vibe might be intangible but it’s something that can be felt by anyone who visits the workplace.
A happy workplace doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes deliberate effort to achieve it – And it starts from the top.
If you need more convincing, here are two insightful happy workplace statistics:
- Happy employees are 12% more productive than neutral peers
- Happy employees are 22% more productive than unhappy employees
The good news is: Creating and maintaining a happy workplace does not have to be expensive or complicated.
When it comes to happy workplace ideas, here are eight simple steps to bring more smiles to your employees’ faces and more bounce to their steps.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Keep this in mind: A normal employee prioritizes his family over work. People who have the freedom to enjoy their personal lives tend to be happier.
Probably, your workplace has clear policies regarding attendance and the number of leaves allowed for each employee. However, some bosses make people feel bad whenever they have to miss a day at work.
When employees ask for time to take care of a sick child or parent, or to attend a school event, be supportive and gracious about it. Reply promptly to requests with, “Ok, hope she gets well soon!”, instead of a curt “okay”- or worse, ignoring employee’s application for a leave of absence.
Be flexible and consider work from home arrangements, if feasible. Keep in mind that work-life balance is an especially crucial factor for the younger workforce.
Interact With Everyone Regularly
Give people a sense of who you are as a human being and show the values of the organization.
- Eat or hang out with your employees
- Say ‘good morning’
- Take time to meet new hires
- Welcome people
If you run a large company, it can be difficult to remember everyone’s name, especially if you have infrequent or limited interaction. Purchase staff badges to increase name awareness — for yourself and all team members. It will benefit everyone by making introductions and communications easier.
Remember that emotions are infectious: By being happy yourself, you can spread happiness into your own happy workplace. Also, those who feel that they belong stay longer and are more motivated to grow with the company.
Give Proper Credit And Express Gratitude
Saying ‘Great job!,’ ‘Congratulations!,’ or ‘Well done!,’ can do wonders to boost the morale in your workplace. Stay away from snubbing peoples’ efforts, no matter how trivial it might seem.
Avoid this dangerous mindset: That is his job – I am paying him to do it well. He has been compensated for his efforts. He should be thankful that I gave him this job.
Make employees feel appreciated — Sincerely! “Thank you,” are two very powerful words.
Additionally, instead of asking, ‘Were you well-compensated for your work?,’ a better question is, ‘Do you feel appreciated here?.’
Allow For Error
Mistakes are bound to happen sooner or later, and how you respond to them will set a powerful example for the organization.
When employees can openly admit to their blunder without fear of reprisal, they can identify the source of the mistake and learn from it more quickly. More importantly, you might even find a valuable opportunity to improve an important process.
To assure a happy workplace, learn to accept bad news with a smile and a sentence like, “Thank you for bringing that to my attention.”
People who are given more responsibilities feel a deeper connection with the company and more satisfaction in their jobs.
Avoid micro-managing your subordinates, as that may make them feel that you do not trust them. They might also experience anxiety if you keep checking on their work.
Provide clear, measurable goals and timelines, have good systems in place, and then let employees do their jobs.
Listen To Feedback For A Happy Workplace
Allow employees to communicate their thoughts, suggestions and concerns to each other and to you — And really listen to them. Over time, you will most probably hear some things that are not pleasing for you, but keep an open mind and respond in a positive way.
Also, mind your body language. Acting defensive will cause people to clam up and maybe even feel fearful to voice their opinions next time.
A workplace where employees feel heard enjoys higher morale and productivity.
And remember: You are not doing your subordinates a favor by listening to their issues — It is the other way around. Be thankful that they are willing to share their thoughts and want to see the company become better.
Of course, listening is only half of the battle. Concerns must be addressed, as well. The best step is to do your best to fix any problems.
Organize Systems And Processes
It is frustrating to work with ill-defined systems and processes. Rules that keep on changing based on management’s mood and convenience negatively impact everyone.
Neither you, nor your employees, would want to waste time on unclear processes. Drive productivity up by implementing efficient ways of getting things done.
Treat Employees As Human Beings
Your people are not machines. They are human beings with feelings, thoughts, ambitions, fears and personal lives.
In fact, your team is probably made up of people with different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses and personalities. This might be sometimes challenging to manage, but this diverse mix of skills can benefit your organization.
A recipe for a happy workplace is to try to cater to the needs of your workforce:
- Treat them with respect
- Provide a good working environment
- Support opportunities for growth
- Foster teamwork and good relationships
- Get to know who they really are
- Give them breaks
Summing It Up
Now you have all eight ways to encourage a happy workplace.
Remember that aiming for a happier workplace must stem from a genuine concern for your employees’ well-being. Be sincere and consistent in your efforts.
I addition, truly appreciate your employees and keep in mind that your people are the heart of your organization. Take good care of them and they will, in turn, take good care of your business.
It’s a win-win situation for you, your employees, your customers and all your stakeholders!
About The Author
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business at FindMyWorkspace. Connect on Twitter.