We know that stress can kill creativity. If a person is happy he is likely to exude greater energy and creativity levels. Unfortunately, employee happiness has never been such a significant priority as businesses would rather focus on keeping their clients and customers happy. But there is a definite connection between having a happy employee and a satisfied client.
Studies have concluded that an increase in employee focus and passion was due to raised levels of happiness improving productivity levels by around 10%. Employee engagement and productivity are signs of a healthy environment at work. If you are looking to improve the company profits you are expected to take small measures to make sure that the employees stay happy. Keep in mind that it is not always about money. You will discover several other happiness statistics that can be used for reaching out to the employees. There is a direct correlation between employee happiness and business bottom-line and here are some to help you increase employee happiness levels.
1. Develop trust
If you are an experienced businessman you will know that trust is the foundation of any organisation. It is not possible to develop a happy work environment if there is no trust between employers and their employees. If the employees feel that the employer trusts them to do the various tasks they are more likely to perform creatively and confidently. This also builds a feeling of being valuable in them, increasing their contribution to improve the business bottom-line.
2. Give consistent feedback
Employees want employers to notice their hard work, and provide good feedback. You need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and how their performance can be improved. Be accessible and give them consistent feedback about their work. It opens up communication barriers between yourself and your team. But keep in mind that this feedback can be effective only when it is fair and objective. Use this as a tool for instructions rather than a way of handing out punishment.
3. Provide growth opportunities
Talented employees will always try to learn and raise their knowledge levels. One of the writers from Harvard Business Review mentions that a significant driver of employee motivation is the urge to get better at work and make progress. So, if you are looking to lead a team of employees that are engaged, do not assign them mundane tasks. Give them tasks that boost productivity while allowing them to grow professionally.
4. Appreciate hard work
Engaged employees will always try to exceed the call of duty. They always take full responsibility for their assignment and many times will complete them before the deadlines. However, to keep their motivation levels on the higher side you have to appreciate the hard work continuously. Always credit them for a job well done. Establishing a positive feedback loop makes sure that this engaged employee stays that way. You can use written feedback for this purpose or online ones. In the second case, you can share files, convert to PDF and have the workers read the comments in private.
Many companies offer incentives and bonuses to their employees as a kind of appreciation. However, keep in mind that money is not everything. The kind of appreciation for motivation is public recognition where the employee will enjoy elevated social status and rejoice in the glory of being praised. There are several ways of appreciating the hard work of your employees. You may call them up on the stage during the next organizational event, or mention their names in the newsletter, or even recognise them as employee of the week. Some people just provide a shout-out for them at the time of office hours. Providing a simple gesture showing appreciation will do wonders for the performance of that employee. Just try it.
5. Offer greater flexibility
Those days are gone when the office hours are 9 to 5. This is the era of digital technology and people are working with greater flexibility while trying to maintain a better balance between work and life. Provide your employees with the independence they need to work as per their preferences. As long as they are working for 40 hours a week and are meeting the deadlines required by the projects there is no need to chain them to their desks. The advent of cell phones and Wi-Fi devices has made life easy for everyone enabling the employees to work from home and anywhere despite not being present in the office. By allowing them to work from home you are contributing to their happiness and this means better productivity.
You may introduce new tools for your system such as analytics. This allows everyone to learn new things each day. One of the key ways of promoting professional growth is by offering them opportunities to study further and improve their career prospects. You may send them off to attend significant conferences and allow them to participate in your internal mentorship programs. You should consider investing in the professional growth of your employees because it is not only beneficial for the business but it also helps in making them feel appreciated and worthwhile. The feeling of gratitude these gestures will generate together with the satisfaction can propel the employees to work harder and to the best of their capabilities for raising the company bottom-line.
6. Promote a better work to life balance
It is important to realise that the employees have a life away from work. It can be their family, or extra-curricular activities such as hiking and music. A good leader will have proper initiatives in place that can support people’s wellbeing outside of their work too, such as promoting a fitness culture.
7. Recognise the achievement of personal goals
Encourage a bit of selfish thinking within the workplace by allowing staff to chase their non-work related personal goals. Let’s say an employee is attempting to achieve higher education. You can support his cause by being a little more tolerant if they take a bit of time off from work to prepare for the test and appear for the exam.
8. Improve positivity
Happy people are those who love their work and are always looking for ways to be better to the best of their abilities. Employees spend hours to ensure that you stay in the business. Therefore, it is only fair that you give a piece of this back to them. Giving back can be in the form of setting time for family fun days, engaging your employees in team-building activities, or even giving them opportunities to do some community work. This culture of giving out more can make people more content when they work for your company.
9. Concentrate on the strengths of your employees
Your staff are the most important asset of your organization. Concentrate on finding out what makes your staff so awesome. Provide opportunities to them to shine at the workplace. Managers who focus on the strengths of their employees are successful in boosting employee engagement to a great extent. For instance, if you have an employee that is good at leading teams, provide them the opportunity to take charge of one of your projects. Empowering employees and recognising their strengths will make them contribute more to the workplace.
10. Set realistic goals
It is a fact that most companies have huge goals. You really cannot expect the employees to accomplish all of them overnight. Rather you need to create smarter goals for motivating the employees. When you have a big project or a big deadline coming up, break things up into smaller and smarter goals for things to become easier for the staff to stay focussed and engaged.
Employee attitudes and their motivation levels play a significant role in the success of a company. Putting the above steps into practice will help ensure that you have and engaged workforce. Provide them a reason to get up every day and be excited about work. Stick to this routine developed with these points and watch your bottom-line grow.
Author: Disi Tesfaye
Photo credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash