- Happy employees are 20% more productive.
- Recognition and feeling their work is meaningful is key to workplace happiness.
- Happiness creates a more enjoyable work environment for employers and employees.
Happy employees are productive employees. By taking small steps to create a happy and motivated work environment, there are likely to be fewer work-related conflicts, lesser absenteeism and more productivity.
What constitutes a happy workplace?
Essentially, employees want to feel like they are important to the organization. They want to be appreciated for hard work. They want to know that their work is having an impact, and that they are making progress toward a common goal.
Here are seven ways through which you can create a safe, empowering and positive work environment.
1. Appreciate your employees.
Most managers make the mistake of waiting for annual reviews when it comes to judging the potential of their employees. The long wait for recognition makes the performing employee impatient, making way for negativity which ultimately results in reduced productivity.
It's recommended you do your best to appreciate your employees as often as you can. This will boost morale, invoking a positive environment and will help them to stay happy.
One of the easiest ways to show appreciation is simply recognizing hard work. Praise your employees for a job well done, and be specific. Say thank you often. Send an email that shows you notice their accomplishments.
2. Be flexible.
Running an office with a tight schedule with no breaks may be a mistake and a factor in making employees miserable.
It takes guts to promote a flexible standard and the future demands it. Flexible hours allows employees to have more control on their work-life balance. It's unfair to expect workers to perform better if they are unable to give time to their families. For a careful work-life balance, it is essential to allow workers to have flexible working hours along mixed with short breaks.
A Discover study revealed that a flexible schedule was a major component of their ideal job. In a survey of Accenture employees, 80% stated that ability to balance work and home life is essential to their decision to stay with the company.
If the employees are able to maintain a positive work-life balance and are able to refresh their minds as often as they need, they will start loving their office and promote towards its growth.
3. Remember happiness is contagious.
Happiness is not a solitary experience. What can be the best way to make everyone happy other than a smile? If the boss is smiling, and positive, employees will feel relaxed, communicate more, worry less about making mistakes and ultimately learn more.
A Harvard study proves that happiness truly is contagious. If you have a happy friend living within half a mile of you, you are 42% more likely to be happy. A happy sibling increases your chances of happiness by 14%.
When you have a boss with a positive demeanor, the employees will start helping each other, remain healthy, communicate freely, engage in more productive talks leading to an improved work environment.
4. Promote organization.
Disorganization exacerbates bad feelings and clutters the mind. It is essential to remain organized to promote a healthy workplace. Being disorganized increases stress and decreases productivity, which results in lower employee morale. An organized work area promotes a sense of calm and makes it easier to focus.
Here are some ways to make it happen:
- Provide shelves and drawers for specific items.
- Keep the floors dry and clean to prevent falls.
- Clean the bathrooms and floors with disinfectants to prevent the spread of germs.
- Maintain essential light levels and sufficient availability of fresh air.
- Ask your employees to take care of their workspace.
5. Be a team player.
Leading by example makes a great boss. Be there for your employees when they need you most, which could mean jumping in and getting your hands dirty with them. This can provide a strong sense of camaraderie and respect. Show your employees that you are willing to do what you are asking them to do.
Rewarding your team for their hard work is a great way to raise morale. Have a strategic reward system in place based on four key areas: accountability, individual performance, team performance and punctuality.
Rewards and incentives can have a big impact on morale. A study conducted by U.K. recruiting firm Genesis Associates found that 85% felt more motivation to perform their best when incentives are offered. 73% considered the overall atmosphere to be good or very good when incentives were offered.
Rewards don't have to be monetary, either. Here are some examples:
- Give an extra day off.
- Throw an office party.
- Give them gift cards.
- Write them a [handwritten] thank-you note.
6. Promote a social workplace.
Offices shouldn't feel stuffy and too serious. The manager should be responsible for promoting a social workplace where workers are free to talk, share their opinions and communicate freely.
It is recommended to hold weekly meetings and discuss positive goal achievement and good things happening with your team. Motivational acknowledgment coupled with stats on positive company growth creates a virtual aura of satisfaction in the minds of the workers making them more productive.
Spending time with employees outside the workplace can be beneficial as well. Getting to know your employees and building friendships can help boost morale and increase loyalty.
However, you do have to know where to draw the line. You need to maintain a sense of authority and the ability to make objective decisions.
You should also be careful not to favor some employees over others. It's best to socialize with employees as a group, instead of one on one. If everyone is invited, no one feels left out.
7. Pay attention to the physical work environment.
The physical environment of the workplace has a surprising impact on happiness. Nature has the biggest impact of all, according to a study by Dr. Tina Marie Cade, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Texas State University, revealed that live plants or being near a window improved employee happiness.
The study looked at several aspects of satisfaction, including overall quality of life and job satisfaction, and more specific categories including supervision and coworkers. Those with a window view or live plants reported greater satisfaction in all categories. Only those without a window view or live plants stated that they had overall dissatisfaction with their life.