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How to Increase Employee Happiness at Work?

Guest Author | 12/5/2019 | Culture & People

Employee happiness is a huge deal for a company. Employee happiness is the key to attracting and retaining your employees. Discover 8 effective ways to increase employee happiness at work. 

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Why should companies care about employee happiness?

Employee happiness is a huge deal for a company. Employee happiness is the key to attracting and retaining employees. These days, when unemployment rates are low, candidates can choose where they want to work. 

Employee happiness  is the key to talent attraction

When searching for a new job or maybe even applying to other companies, one of the most vital parts of knowing whether this is going to be the right move for someone is whether the employees are happy at this company. 

And if a company is not keeping its employees happy, chances are they are going to lose more employees than what they keep.

What does it take to keep employees happy?

There are several factors that come together to ensure that employees are happy when they are in a company. It is these factors that potential employees look at before they decide to go with a company or not. These factors include:

Factor #1: Benefits

Are you offering benefits of some kind? For example, do you offer an extra paid vacation after having spent so much time with the company? Do you offer incentive benefits for staying with the company?

Factor #2: Compensation

What is your compensation for the work that is completed? Are the salaries you offer compatible with the rest of the market or slightly higher? Employees are often happier when they are at least getting paid the fair market value for their services or slightly higher.

Factor #3: Health insurance

Is health insurance included and is it affordable? In today’s age and time, health insurance is a huge deal for potential employees and for employees who stay with the company.

Factor #4: Retirement benefit

Do you offer a retirement benefit like a 401(k)? This is widely important to those who are looking to land with a company and make it last for many years to come.

Factor #5: Open communication

What is your company's communication culture like? Employees are looking for an environment that is friendly and open, perhaps leveraging employee engagement tools to enhance connectedness and positive culture. Company communication is vital to avoid any toxic work environment and efficiency in the tasks at hand.

Factor #6: Management style

What is the management style? Do your managers know who their employees are? Are they involved with the decision making or are they simply filling a position? Employees are looking for someone who is going to manage effectively, be fair and above all else, who is invested in making the company work.

Factor #7: Company culture

What is the overall morale in your workplace? Are your employees happy? Are they ready to give your company a great review? Company culture is highly important and is one of the biggest reasons why potential employees may steer clear of a location or be excited to work there.

Factor #8: Employee wellbeing

Does your company seem to care and take an active role in their employees' wellbeing? Or do you seem to treat employees as though they are just a number?

The importance of employee happiness

When employees are not happy with their current company, there is nothing that is really holding them there. While a person may be getting a high compensation rate, if they feel as though the management style is lazy or they know that they are not getting any type of retirement benefit, they are going to look elsewhere.

Employee retention statistic

In addition, when current employees are not happy with the company they are going to convince potential employees to look elsewhere since they realize just how toxic the environment may be. The reputation that the company gets could mean the end of them in the long run. When a company cannot get someone to work for them, it makes everyone question just what is going on at this company.

Along with not being able to retain employees or get new employees into the doors, one of the issues that comes with employees not being happy is the unhappiness as a whole. Most people have worked in an environment where not everyone was happy with the way things were going. In these cases, a few employees can make the working environment feel awful. 

Employees who may have liked work despite not being overly happy are going to start dreading this. The problem with this scenario is that those who are in this situation, who do not leave the company often find themselves riddled with health problems and issues, such as anger and sadness, may start leaching into other areas of their lives. 

Particularly, they may start having issues with their home life. As anyone can tell, when an employee is happy at work, they are happier with their life in general. After all, we spend most of our time at work!

How a company can encourage employee happiness?

To encourage company happiness, a company needs to make sure that they are providing these employees with benefits that are going to make working there all the much better. 

They also need to ensure that they have managers in place who listen and they encourage all their employees to be open and communicate with one another.

If there are problems, they should encourage their employees to talk to them about it, then do whatever they can do in order to make sure that they are effectively solving these problems. All of these elements combined make for a great company that employees are going to want to be a part of.

Many companies have started HR positions that are all about employee happiness. These positions are all about ensuring that the company is doing what it can to make employees happy. 

8 way to increase employee happiness

Here are 8 effective ways of increasing employee happiness:

#1 Give away contests

The company may hold giveaway contests throughout the year encouraging employees to attend small gatherings and win some cool prizes.

#2 Employee of the week

The company may highlight one employee each week that has gone above and beyond. Getting recognition for the work that you do is a great way to ensure the employee remains happy while at the company.

#3 Social gatherings

Social gatherings that may mean ordering lunch for the employees, or even renting out a venue for a day out of the office is one way that companies are reaching out and realizing that the happiness of the employee needs to be at the top of the list of what they can give potential employees.

#4 Monetary prizes

Monetary prizes may include an extra day of vacation or something along those lines. These types of prizes are something that employees look forward to. For businesses who are well established a holiday bonus is a great way to show appreciation and it will help to make employees more loyal to you, as they know that you appreciate them.

#5 Open communication

Encourage an open line of communication. By instilling this idea in management, it will roll down to employees taking advantage of this line of communication to ensure everyone is happy. 

When complaints are received, be sure that you do whatever you can to make it right for the employees...this is the only way to ensure that the open line of communication is going to be used and be effective.

#6 Trusting environment

Develop a sense of trust with everyone in the business. When everyone feels as though they are in a trusting environment, they are going to be happier. 

A trusting environment ensures that there is an open line of communication, it ensures employees are encouraged to speak up and to bounce new ideas around. It is this level of trust that the business is showing that makes employees feel as though their contribution is appreciated.

#7 Individual approach

Employers should be doing all that they can to understand the personalities of their employees. While a business may enjoy each employee they have, they are not robots that act the same. There are going to be those that are more sympathetic and want to listen to others, there are going to be those who are born leaders, there will be those who work best when left alone to their own schedule, and so forth. 

Knowing and recognizing that personalities play a role in the work environment can help businesses to acknowledge what works best for their employees to keep them happy in their position.

#8 The right tools

Smooth operations in business is just a small task that will go a long way in making employees happy. If employees have all the tools and materials needed to do the job, they are going to be less stressed than if they are having to beg for the necessary tools. 

It’s all about digital transformation - improving workflow and helping empower employees with the right tools.

This is something that most businesses will be focusing on anyways and it gives the added benefit of making employees feel as though their jobs are not threatened in any way.

The key to employee happiness

There are plenty of ways in which companies can do those extra little things aside from providing employees with a paycheck. Taking those extra little steps is what makes employees realize they are working with a company that truly cares. 

When a company does take this type of interest in employee happiness, they are going to find that employees are more likely to stick around and it will help build their reputation on the market. 

When employees are happy at a company it is going to show in everything that they do. From the work they produce now, their desire to get to the job, as well as how fondly they talk of the company.

About the author 

Melinda Clover is a mid-western transplant who has spent 20+ years working in Silicon Valley with a variety of enterprise software companies. Sheh has held positions as a Business Analyst, Services Consultant, Services Project Manager, Product Manager, and Product Marketing Manager.  She is currently working at GuideSpark as Director, Product Marketing. Time permitting, she likes to travel the world or hike/bike in Northern California. You can find Melinda on LinkedIn.

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