How to Keep Employees Happy at Work: 5 Tips

Manager laughing with employees and keeping them happy

Simply asking how to keep employees happy is your first step toward doing just that. It shows that you’re motivated to create a fuller sense of purpose and direction, that your managerial skills are engaged, and best of all it signals an intention to change things for the better.

When it comes to generating good will, free food is always a good start. (We’re joking, but only a little bit.) Nothing creates a sense of team membership and shared belonging like a meal, or small treat that everyone can share. While this can get tricky, taking dietary restrictions and preferences into account, it’s one of many ways to brighten the workday. Throw in recreational activities or flexible work schedules and you get closer to the goal of employee satisfaction.

The key is to be genuine in seeking the happiness of your employees. And here you already have the advantage because you’ve been an employee too—you know both the pain points and the opportunities that exist. Here we’ve focused in on 5 tips that will help you know how to keep employees happy at your company.

Tip One: Employee Satisfaction Means Being Heard

While compensation may convince someone to join your organization, it’s respect that will keep your employees happy and satisfied. That means workers need to feel seen and heard—and that means producing actual results, not just making promises. In business, as in most things, your actions speak louder than your words.

An employee who feels unacknowledged—or even worse, disrespected—isn’t an employee you can expect to maintain. All jobs come with pay and perks, but those aren’t enough to hold onto your top talent alone. We need to keep our workers happy if we want them engaged. People stay with their employers because they’ve “bought in” to the company’s mission, and because they’re willing to include their company’s brand in their career. That means making sure your mission and brand take their needs into account as much as the those of the customer.

Tip Two: Make Respect Part of Your Company Culture

Creating a workplace culture of respect can also help with recruiting new employees, as well as maintaining current relationships. Those employees’ productivity and morale make up the spirit of your organization, and you should represent that from the get-go.

But how do you promote respect in your organization to the point where employees share that message when talking about your brand? By going out of your way to demonstrate it to them by doing things such as:

  • Handing out kudos
  • Listening and adapting to worker concerns
  • Promoting the best ideas
  • Making sure everyone gets public credit for the brilliant work they do

Tip Three: Start at the Beginning

Knowing how to keep employees happy isn’t always a simple, easy or self-explanatory process. It’s one that needs fine-tuning and constant care and supervision. As a manager it’s your job to make sure any of the teams you work with are efficient, enthusiastic and invested in your company’s future and product.

A happy workplace starts with hiring. Make your recruitment process convenient and enjoyable and lead with your values. This will ensure that you hire people who have an understanding of, and interest in, your company’s true mission and values. This is important both for the job-seeker, who needs to find a fit if they’re going to be happy, and for the employer, who needs reliable workers that can take part in that mission and values from the get-go.

Onboarding offers another opportunity to highlight your organization’s commitment to respect and honor employees, and to promote worker advocacy for your brand. Some companies even introduce ambassadors, different employees who are known to exemplify certain values and valued traits, to act as culture mentors. This not only makes your values tangible, but also gives the chosen workers encouragement and joy of their own.

Tip Four: No Surprises!

The best way to ensure team happiness, and keep your employees coming back for more, is to create an environment of respect and transparency. Think about all the steps in a career with your company: Interviewing, hiring, onboarding, as well as ongoing support and professional development. We’re looking for places to ease these transitions, and make the most of these opportunities to connect, to keep employees happy.

A new employee should be given things like the paycheck schedule, or quirks of the benefits package, as soon as possible in the process. A friendly introduction to any teammates outside their immediate sphere is another way to build cohesion and avoid information silos. And all employees should be warned in advance of any moves, managerial shakeups or other major changes. To be included in this news is to become part of the change, which goes a long way toward raising that comfort level.

Tip Five: Treat Your Employees Like They’re Rock Stars

When an employee or team does something great, like landing a new client or innovating a creative solution, make sure everybody knows about it. This will inspire more greatness, as well as showing the employee you noticed their effort and strengths.

Making employees feel good about their contributions is often as simple as acknowledging them, but feel free to go all-out when you’re creating a new worker-happiness initiative. You could create a short video to tell the story, or provide branded notecards for managers and coworkers to use in praise and thanks for one another’s contributions.

And seriously—don’t forget the free food! It’s a gamechanger, even for rock stars.

Want to Know How to Keep Employees Happy at Your Company?

When it comes to creating a positive and productive workplace, there’s no need to start from scratch. Our expert recruiting and management insights mean Monster can help you build the workforce you need—and help you keep them moving strong. Here’s a solution that will keep current employees happy and introduce newer workers to the joys of working at your company.