Employee happiness is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in running a successful business. When employees are happy and engaged, staff turnover will be lower and profits will be higher. However, when employees are unhappy and underappreciated, they will feel unmotivated and become less productive. Employee retention will be negatively affected, too, and replacing an employee can cost up to 33% of their annual salary. So, it makes sense to take employee happiness seriously.
We’ve put together some methods you can implement to increase employee happiness in your workplace:
Prioritise work-life balance
Employee’s work-life balance plays a huge role in their happiness at work. In fact, a recent study found that work-life balance is more important than salary for 65% of people in the UK. Therefore, ensuring that your employees have an excellent work-life balance is a critical aspect of building a healthy, productive workplace.
Allowing people to enjoy a greater balance and flexibility between their work commitments and personal commitments will reduce stress and prevent burn out. A surprising number of people experience chronic work-related stress, and it can lead to a myriad of mental and physical consequences from insomnia to heart problems.
So, how do you enable your workforce to have a better work-life balance? Making small changes such as offering hybrid working options, conducting regular reviews of employee workloads, and increasing support options for parents are just a few examples of how you can achieve this. Click here for an in-depth guide on how companies can maximise work-life balance for their employees.
Create career mobility
Career progression and upward mobility are crucial opportunities for growth for employees. If employees don’t have opportunities for career progression within a company, they will naturally feel demotivated and underappreciated. Fostering a culture of knowledge sharing and growth includes providing your workforce with compensated learning opportunities and the resources and room to grow within a company. This will enable employees to gain new skills and confidence, pitch new ideas for change and feel more enriched every day. In return, as an employer you will enjoy higher staff retention rates and a skilled, motivated work force.
Build a positive work environment
Creating a positive work environment where employees feel respected and important is one of the most essential steps an employer can take to increase employee happiness.
Making positive changes to your work environment can take many shapes. It’s important to take a look at the physical work environment itself – consider creating a mixture of collaborative spaces and private spaces, and give employees the freedom to work where they feel most comfortable. Creating a culture that encourages employees to have an open dialogue about work related issues and mental health and allowing employees to access safety training resources such as online sexual harassment training will ensure a positive, transparent workplace.
Listen to your employees
The idea of listening to your employees may seem obvious, but global studies have revealed that at least one third of employees feel that their company doesn’t listen to their ideas. Often enough, management will reach decisions and employees will be made aware of this without any opportunities to contribute. Having no input in decisions that affect the workforce can have a negative impact on employee commitment and morale.
Employers can strive to listen to their employees by offering employees a platform to share their ideas and feedback. This can take an anonymous format, such as anonymous survey platforms or a simple drop-box in the office, or a more formal setup where employees can arrange to meet with management for in-depth discussions. Following this, employers should take steps to put employee ideas into action where possible. Showing your employees that you truly are listening boosts engagement and inspires positive change in the workplace, ultimately having a positive effect on your business.
Recognise employees for their hard work
Recognise and thank your employees for their hard work. By recognising achievements, big or small, and providing consistent feedback to your employees you will make them feel valued and praised for their efforts. This doesn’t need to be an elaborate gesture - studies have shown that employees are happier with smaller, frequent rewards in comparison to larger, infrequent rewards. A simple thank you or a coffee voucher can go a long way!
Offer extensive benefits
Providing a comprehensive benefits scheme shows your employees that you really care about them and their families. When your workforce feels like their company takes care of them, they’re much likelier to feel committed and productive. Communicate with your employees to create benefits packages tailored to their needs. For example, some employees may value maternity and paternity packages, while others might prefer life insurance or gym memberships. Communicating with your employees about their needs reduces the possibility of you paying for benefits no one is actually using, too.
Microbreaks – short breaks that help break up any work related physically or mentally draining activity – have long been proven to be effective in increasing overall productivity, concentration and happiness. Encourage employees to take a few moments to themselves throughout the day by taking a step outside the office, getting a glass of water or having a conversation with a colleague. Though it seems contradictory, these short breaks will improve employee happiness in the long run.