Are your employees happy?
Studies have shown that job satisfaction is directly linked to an employees output, and ultimately their influence on your overall revenue and bottom line.
Simply put, unhappy employees are bad for business!
The worst part is that most managers and business owners aren’t even aware of this until it’s too late.
When most people think of happy work environments they tend to think of places like Apple and Google, who have these cineplexes of sunshine, joy & happiness!
You’ll find things like slick sleeping pods for a quick break, numerous games rooms filled with the most expensive toys, cafeterias chock-a-block with the tastiest treats, and everything the imagination can think of.
But real employee satisfaction comes down to more than just the trimmings.
And thankfully that means it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either!
In fact, today I want to show you 15 (mostly free) ways you can create happier employees right now.
Simply read on for more!
How To Create Happier Employees In 15 Easy Steps
15 Simple Steps To Happier Employees
If you’d like to find out a little more about each of these 15 steps, simply read on:
Happiness Step #1: Be Transparent
I remember being on the other side of the fence as an employee.
There were one or to businesses I worked for who were very secretive about the goings on of the company.
The problem is quite a few people left because of it, and I witnessed this in more than one business.
Employees appreciate transparency more than you realize.
It makes them feel a part of something much bigger than themselves.
It might sound a little cheesy, but knowledge is power, and you want to empower your employees.
Transparency also indicates trust, and trust goes a long way in the professional space.
As new generations enter the work place, especially Millenials and Gen Z employees, this becomes especially important for them.
You have to remember these generation grew up on social media and the internet, so they’re accustomed to a certain level of transparency.
Happiness Step #2: Create Social Connections
I remember my first year of working from home, it was tough.
You lose all sense of social connection in the work place (unless you count that pigeon in the window).
I started to pine for some of the relationships and friendships I had made in previous businesses.
At the end of the day we’re social creatures, and we need those kinds of connections.
Even in a room full of co-workers, this can be tough (especially for the introverted employees out there).
That’s why creating social interactions becomes vital!
You can create lunches, after-work drinks, happy hour, you name it.
One company I worked for even had an internal magazine that was pretty nifty, and you got to share in your co-workers achievements and find out what other departments were up to.
There are plenty of ways to go about it, and if you’re stuck for ideas you can even ask your employees what they’d like to do.
Social interaction bonds co-workers together, gets them closer and ultimately helps them collaborate in a far better way!
But this all comes down to you as a manager, you have to take the initiative.
Happiness Step #3: Coach Employees
A really smart guy I once worked with once told me, “You manage stock, not employees”.
Employees want to be coached, not managed.
(Even worse, employees don’t want to be micromanaged).
It’s about helping your employees achieve their goals, and you do this by supporting them, not watching over their shoulder.
Coaching takes time, but its totally worth it in the long run.
Employees who hit their goals are good for business.
Happiness Step #4: Have Frequent Company Surveys (And Act On Them!)
According to Officevibe, 52% of managers don’t even do anything after surveys are taken.
And 27% of them don’t even review the results!
Surveys give you a scarily accurate picture of what’s actually going on in your company.
And why wouldn’t you want this snapshot?
But more importantly, it’s about acting on this information at the end of the day.
Surveys once or twice a year simply aren’t accurate enough. You need to be surveying as frequently as possible to get a more real-time indication of employee engagement and satisfaction.
There are tons of tools out there too, so there’s really no excuse for not doing it either.
It doesn’t matter what you use, what you end up offering as incentives, and how often you do them – if you don’t use the results, you’re just wasting everyone’s time (especially your own!).
Happiness Step #5: Banish Fear
Certain types of managers lead in different ways.
Some lead by example, whilst others lead by fear.
I’ve worked in both types of environments and I know which one I’d want to be in every day of the week!
Fear could be holding back your employees from achieving great things in your business.
And that means only good things for your bottom line.
An absence of fear allows your employees to grow, and find purpose in what they’re doing.
It keeps them engaged, creates a channel where they can submit ideas, and ultimately it helps them understand that they matter.
Happiness Step #6: Show Respect
Hands down, this is probably the easiest point on this list.
It’s also not surprisingly the most overlooked thing managers do.
Showing someone the respect they deserve can go a long way.
If someone needs to take some time off, don’t make a huge deal of it.
If an employee arrives 3 minutes late, don’t turn it into something it doesn’t need to be.
I’ve seen how this behavior can alienate employees.
Think of it like this, treat your employees the same way you’d treat your family.
Happiness Step #7: Give Recognition
According to recent research, praising employees at least once a week is required simply down to the way dopamine works in your brain.
Simply put, employees need recognition, and they need it frequently.
It’s about showing your employees that you recognize what they’re doing, and that they can be proud of their work.
Recognition also doesn’t have to cost a ton either.
You can acknowledge progress on a certain project, you could offer a bonus day or two off, or send them a handwritten letter, write them a LinkedIn recommendation, and you can even let them have a double lunch break.
There really are a number of creative ways you can give an employee that much needed recognition.
Happiness Step #8: Encourage Work-Life Balance
The last thing you want is a burnt-out employee!
That’s no good to anyone.
A well-rested and energized employee is good for your business, and you need to encourage that.
There are two simple ways you can do that:
- Encourage employees not be “always on”, and if you can see that they work too much tell them to go home and simply relax
- It works both ways here, so you need to set a good example and actually do the same!
Happiness Step #9: Align Your Team Around Goals
How many businesses do you think exist with no clear goals, mission or values?
I’m sad to admit this but almost every single business I’ve ever worked for lacked this.
How can you expect your employee to deliver something specific to you when there’s no clear overall goal?
And when you get into the finer details of it all, every employee needs a set of goals they have to work towards.
How else are they going to know if they’re progressing at all, or doing good work?
When employees achieve goals that are aligned with the overall business goals, you get happy employees and a business that’s always growing.
Happiness Step #10: Autonomy
Autonomy is closely linked with respect.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen leave companies because they simply don’t have the autonomy to do their jobs.
Why hire someone if you’re only going to micromanage them?
All you’re left with is an unhappy employee (if you’re lucky), and more work on your hands.
That’s not how employees, and your bottom line, grows at the end of the day.
Steve Jobs said it best when he stated, “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.
It’s about trusting your employees and letting them show you what they’re capable of.
Happiness Step #11: Offer Flexible Schedules
I remember when this kind of thinking was absolutely outlawed!
Thankfully times have changed, and with the way technology is pushing the world forward it doesn’t really make sense restricting people to a 9-5.
An optimal work schedule looks different for every person.
I find I do my best work at 02:00am – No kidding!
Whilst other people might be more productive in the afternoon.
Flexibility could allow your employees to work optimally and ultimately produce better results for you as a business.
Happiness Step #12: Encourage Exercise
I once worked for a business who had a manager that ran very early before work.
It didn’t take long before there were a group of people who joined in.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about keeping active it's that exercise is easily the fastest way to build productivity, energy levels and happiness.
Whilst this might not be possible for everyone, you can look at subsidizing yoga sessions or even gym memberships for employees.
Some companies even go as far to build gyms on their premises!
Even if you only educate and encourage people to exercise, it’s a great start.
Imagine what your company could do with a more energized workforce who could work at an additional 10% capacity?
Happiness Step #13: Create The Perfect Workspace
Whilst I don’t exactly buy into the precise science of “zen” interior design, I absolutely believe a fun workspace can contribute positively.
Psychology plays such a vital role for a happy employee (just look at this list), so its little wonder that you can boost an employee with a few psychological tricks to help make that happen.
Everything from colors, to types of furniture and where they’re placed, to plants and even the lighting can actually play a crucial role.
A happy comfortable space will lead to happier employees.
Happiness Step #14: Offer Good Perks
Most business confuse perks with company culture.
Whilst the perks you offer help you attract and retain employees, they don’t define your company culture.
Before you have a heart attack with the amount of imaginative bills flooding your imagination, remember that most perks that employees want are actually free!
You don’t even have to get that creative with them, and if you get stuck there are tons of examples out there you can “borrow”.
Snacks are a great perk, as are longer lunch breaks, and even things like unlimited vacations. Longer parental leave always goes down well, as well as things like a staff masseuse or even early days.
If employees feel like they’re taken care of, they’ll treat you exactly the same way.
Richard Branson put it best when he said, “When you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple”
Happiness Step #15: Give Challenging Work
Employees want a purpose, and by offering them challenging work you’re giving them just that.
Laszlo Bock, the former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc outlines this in his book “Work Rules”.
People with a purpose produce.
In fact according to the Yerkes-Dodson law, employees want to be challenged at work, but not too challenged.
They need to be mentally stimulated, but they don’t want to be overwhelmed.
Work that’s too easy leaves them bored, whilst work that’s too difficult overwhelms them.
You want to find that sweet spot riiiight in the middle.
That’s the one thing I really enjoyed about working at Agora Inc, they allowed you to find the work you enjoyed the most (and ultimately excelled in).
Don’t fit square pegs into round holes, work with your employees to find out what they want to be involved in and work on.
How To Boost Your Revenue By Creating Happier Employees
Simply put, happy employees are good for the bottom line.
Remember, if you’re stuck there are 15 specific things you can do to keep your employees happy.
You can: Be transparent, create social connections, coach employees, have frequent company surveys (and act on them!), banish fear, show respect, give recognition, encourage work-life balance, align your team around goals, offer autonomy, offer flexible schedules, encourage exercise, create the perfect workspace, offer great perks, and you can give your employees challenging work.
In this day and age, and with the amount of competition there is out there, keeping your employees happy is non-negotiable.
What are you doing to boost job satisfaction in your business?