Employee happiness, wellness and engagement is finally in the forefront in the business sphere. Employee happiness has always been the responsibility of the HR department and never a pertinent aspect of the business strategy.
However, as time has progressed it has become clear that happy employees are important, not just for productivity and innovation, but also for your bottom line. Engagement and happy employees go hand in hand. Healthy, happy employees feel great to show up at work, usually with a pep in their step.
Happy employees also tend to be less susceptible to stress, which means reduced absenteeism. Add to that a strong workplace culture, and what you have is a recipe for success.
You might have hired some of the brightest and best brains in your industry to work for you, but if your environment is uncomfortable, it will make it hard for your employees to showcase their talents and perform their duties to their fullest potential.
A poorly designed workspace, lack of communication, a disregard for employee wellness and work/life balance are some of the other factors that will make it impossible for an employee to arrive at your place of business with the intention of putting their best foot forward.
As such, if you are looking to keep your employees happy and engaged, here are 6 things every office should do:
Look for a new office space
Is your office space working for or against you? Is the layout in your office one that encourages functionality and creativity? If your space doesn’t make your employees feel welcome and at home, might may be time to re-consider a new space.
At times it is not the size of your office that’s the issue, it may be how you are utilizing it. We know that you want to maximize space by fitting in as many workers as you can. However, rather than outfitting your office with a bunch of cubicles, perhaps you should consider creating an open work space that encourages collaboration.
Make your work environment fun
You don’t need to completely turn your office into a playground. However, your staff members need to feel as though they can relax and unwind whenever the pressures of work become too much to bear. Encourage your staff members to relax and have fun by creating a work environment that encourages fun
You can do this easily by adding fun games such as pool, Ping pong or a Foosball table in your lounge or breakroom. Something else that you can do is come up with theme days such as casual Fridays. Small but personalized company events such as bi-yearly company picnics could also be a welcome distraction for your staff members.
Show appreciation where necessary
Creating a positive work environment will require a lot of work on your end. If your employees do something worth noting, make sure that you compliment them and give recognition where deserved. Your staff members want to know that their efforts will be recognized whenever they go above and beyond the call of duty.
Develop personalized connections with your staff
While you don’t want to get too chummy chummy with your staff, you also don’t want to create an uncomfortable distance or discomfort between you and your workers. Your employees need to feel as though they can approach you with any worries or concerns that they may have without feeling strange.
The only way to make this happen is to have personalized relationships with them. Make an effort to talk to them, find out what their personal lives are like, whether they have children or not. Something as easy as asking how their weekend went will help to break down any walls or barriers that may have existed.
Create opportunities for growth and development
It will be difficult for you to maintain employee motivation and high productivity levels without room for growth or career advancement. That next promotion is often what keeps employees on their toes, so you need to make sure that there is room for your employees to progress and advance.
Creating opportunities for development is essential for employees to take needed risks, make mistakes and grow. Ensure that you give your staff a clear directive as to how they can seek growth in a business so that they can take the necessary measures to attain their objectives.
Ask your employees what they need
Your idea of happiness may not be someone else’s. As such, every now and then make it a habit to talk to your staff members about some of the perks they would like so that you can tailor a happiness package that’s suited to them. You could be providing perks and benefits that no one wants or hardly utilizes.
You can easily find out what your employees need in a variety of ways including conducting an office wide survey to determine what type of benefits would be most important for your employees.
Do your employees need longer maternity of paternity leave? Gym or wellness memberships? Retirement benefits? Depending on your staff members and the demographics in your workplace, you may not have an exact clue until they tell you themselves.
If you had to ask your staff if they were happy, what kind of answers do you think they would give? If most of what you expect to hear are disgruntled employees, then you have a huge problem in your hands.
The value of happy employees cannot be overstated. The top reason why most employees feel the need to leave their jobs is unhappiness. Unhappy employees do not feel valued, which ultimately affects their loyalty and overall motivation.
Why should you care? Simple! Your business will not attain the level of success that you envision for it if they are unhappy and unmotivated to give their best at work. So, if you have been dealing with your fair share of unhappy employees, we would encourage you to take a long hard look at your office environment, as well as your overall organizational culture.