Are your employees happy at work? 5 steps your business can take to improve employee happiness

October 5th 2017 | Posted by phil scott

Are your employees happy at work?  5 steps your business can take to improve employee happiness

We spend more time at work than anywhere else, working with colleagues and clients, on projects of all shapes and sizes.

Undeniably, work is a huge part of our daily lives.  We are focused on our jobs, looking for opportunities to develop, with a desire for our efforts to be rewarded.

Happiness at work is more complex than meets the eye.  It isn’t as simple as being paid a fair salary for the work we do.  In today’s world we are hungry for much more out of our working lives – we need appreciation, attainment and a sense of achievement to match our ambition.

Employers today could benefit from taking a more holistic approach to supporting their employees.  There are some simple steps your business can take to improve employee happiness at work.

1) Incentivise and Encourage

People respond well to encouragement and motivation.  Having goals in place that employees strive towards can increase feelings of happiness, because of the sense of achievement as goals are reached.  Plus personal encouragement from those in charge makes a big difference.

Incentivising employees can be very motivating.  Incentivising doesn’t have to be financial incentives only, but can include other creative ideas that can encourage employees to do their best and to work with a goal in mind.  This helps direct passion, because seeing a clear outcome and being rewarded for it, can be a massive motivation.

2) Provide opportunities to grow

As well as being committed to a job and an employer, individuals are committed to their own personal development.  An employer who provides opportunities for career development and personal growth will see benefits in the happiness (and of course productivity) of their employees.

Learning & development programmes, internal and external training, work shadowing or stepping into a new role for a set period of time are all opportunities to support employees’ career development.  Giving people access to these avenues and encouraging them to take them up and further develop their experience can contribute to their happiness at work

3) Open up communication

A positive environment for communication is essential to workplace happiness.  People need to feel that their voice can be heard and that both positive and negative feedback is welcome.

It’s important for managers to encourage an on-going flow of communication, up and down the company and that individuals are supported to express themselves.  This helps prevent any small issues from growing into something more serious and also provides an opportunity for positive feedback in both directions.

4) Support the whole employee

Of course the whole purpose of being at work is to do the job.  But that doesn’t mean it exists in isolation.  Happy employees are those that have their wider needs met.  Being looked after and supported will have positive effects on employee productivity, motivation and loyalty.

Looking after employee needs in simple ways can have a big impact.  Providing complimentary refreshments, offering perks through an employee benefits programme and giving flexibility in working location and hours are all small things to implement but can have a big impact.

5) Recognise and appreciate

Employees can feel happier in their roles simply by believing they are appreciated.  Recognising staff efforts and dedication in easy, but valid, ways will help contribute to the overall feeling of happiness in the office.   Staff news round-ups by email, announcements in team meetings, employee of the month programmes, awards and of course one-to-one thank yous, are all easy ways to recognise and appreciate employees.