How can I make my employees happier?
The happiness of your employees has a remarkable effect on the overall success of your business. As well as increased productivity, a happy workforce generally means lower staff turnover rates which is a great thing for any HR team.
However, in times of economic uncertainty the potential for an unhappy workforce is dramatically increased, as businesses are unable to provide pay increases and bonuses.
You'll often find that many staff work harder to ensure they remain employed and unless you recognise and appreciate these efforts during tough times, you may find yourself facing a talent drain once the economy improves.
However, you can make yours a happier workplace with little or no expense at all; a place your employees will want to be, in bad times and in good.
- Show appreciation – Create recognition programmes such as ‘employee of the month’ and other ways to celebrate jobs well done. Take time to give personal praise whenever possible.
- Provide opportunities – Nothing feels worse than working in a dead-end job. Give individuals a clear career advancement path and allow for cross-training.
- Share perks – Make sure you share out any freebies or invitations you receive. Make is as easy for the new trainee to get perks as it is for the CEO. Use your company’s buying power to offer staff discounts.
- Communicate – Meet with your staff on a regular basis to keep them updated and motivated. Encourage employees to come to you directly for advice or with problems or ideas and let them know what can and can't be done.
- Lead by example – If you make a company policy, you need to follow it too. Make sure you show that you're as committed to the long term future of the company as you're asking your employees to be.
- Stay positive – While it might be a relief to vent your frustrations publicly, nothing has a more negative effect on staff morale. If you have a problem with someone, or a mistake has been made, address it in private.
- Let your hair down – Socialise with your staff. The best companies have a family feel to them and you can create a siege mentality when times are hard.
- Avoid overwork – More hours spent at work do not always lead to more results. Time away from work increases people’s energy and creativity and is just as crucial. Employees have family and outside interests that help balance their lives.
The happiness you give your staff will rebound on you in positives too. Studies show that people who are happy at work improve the bottom line because they:
- Are more productive
- Are more creative and innovative
- Give customers better service
- Are more motivated and dedicated
- Are more positive and optimistic
- Communicate better
- Are better at team work
- Are less stressed
- Take fewer sick days
- Sell more
Everyone knows that tough times call for tough measures, but a few simple morale boosters can help ease the pain for both your employees, and your business.
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