Workplace happiness is something that lives at the forefront of every employee's mind and should be on every employer's radar. You depend on your employees to keep business afloat, so their loyalty and productivity are essential for your company’s wellbeing. It’s fair to say that your employees’ happiness is a valuable investment.
According to a 2013 UN World Happiness report, people who are happy at work are also more productive. When workers are unhappy, employers can see stark declines in productivity, which eventually leads to decreased quality of work. But how can business owners like you tackle workplace happiness levels efficiently? Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for answers.
Let’s walk you through the many ways you can begin to boost happiness levels in the workplace.
Four Ways to Improve Workplace Happiness
Make work-life balance a top priority
Overworked employees are not happy employees. If you have a sense that your employees are too stressed to take lunch breaks, it may be time to consider their work-life balance. David Ballard is assistant executive director at the American Psychological Association. David says this – “top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that's part of a rich, fulfilling life.”
While it is admittedly quite difficult to find a one-size-fits-all solution for striking the perfect work-life balance, it’s better to begin somewhere than forgo trying at all. Consider doing a company-wide survey to gauge the happiness levels within your company. Ask for suggestions, too! Your employees are intelligent, hard workers. Odds are they have a few ideas of their own of how to improve the work-life balance.
Offer more vacation time and sick days
Do you ever think about what your employees do in their spare time or on the weekends? If not, perhaps you should. It’s good to keep in mind that their down-time is precious, and they cherish every moment away from the office. Every job requires time and brainpower— two things that can leave one feeling tired after 8 hours on the clock. To avoid the adverse effects of burnout and disillusionment, consider rewarding your employees with vacation days.
Many employers work on an incremental system or award a specific amount of days from the start date. Offering at least 14 days of paid time off gives your employees the peace of mind and vacation time they need to spend away from the office and with their family and friends.
Create structured development pathways
Training opportunities and career mentoring are two wonderful ways to begin building effective development pathways for your employees to get excited about, not to mention improve workplace happiness. Not only does implementing a pathway to higher success and valuable growth reduce feelings of stagnancy, but it encourages your hardest workers to aim higher.
Don’t make the mistake of hiring new talent in favor of training your current team members. Team-wide morale could plummet, and your loyal workers could end up feeling disgruntled. Should you decide to hire, be sure to run your potential candidate through a credit report for employment check. You’ll want to be sure you’re hiring only the best of the best, and a background check and credit report are great avenues to begin your search.
Promote a positive work environment
A happy company has happy employees. A positive work environment is most conducive to churning out happier workers. It should be at the top of your priority list to figure out ways to make your place of work one in which people feel happy and healthy.
A positive work environment begins with the following two things:
- Developing meaningful relationships – Creating healthy, work relationships is the first step toward creating camaraderie. It helps to get to know your colleagues as more than just people you work with. Happy hours, in-house networking events, and company outings are exciting ways to encourage branching out.
- Recognizing hard work – All your employees work hard at their jobs. It may feel impossible to acknowledge the littlest things individually. Don't let that stop you from trying. Encourage managers to point out when their direct reports accomplish something outstanding. You may even consider enacting an employee of the month program.
Whatever you decide to do to change the pace of your workplace, begin with employee satisfaction in mind. After all, your team is the lifeblood of your business. It’s only right to treat them with the utmost respect and gratitude.
Creating an environment that fosters workplace happiness doesn't have to be complicated. When you think about it, what's the one thing people hate about their jobs the most? They feel stressed. Deadlines, projects, meaningless meetings, and a demanding boss do not encourage workplace happiness.
Look for ways to get the job done without adding additional stress. Recognize and reward employees for their efforts and results. Encourage feedback and be open to what employees have to say. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to feel like they're part of the team. Understand your employees have a life outside of the workplace. Be sure to give them plenty of time off to enjoy that life.
If you do, workplace happiness will increase. Your employees will be more productive, have less stress, and will want to stay in their jobs. That's the kind of win-win proposition we all strive to achieve.
Fred started the blog Money with a Purpose in October 2017. The blog focused on three primary areas: Personal Finance, Overcoming Adversity, and Lifestyle. During his time at Money with a Purpose, he was quoted in Forbes, USA Today and appeared in Money Magazine, MarketWatch, The Good Men Project, Thrive Global and many other publications.
In April 2019, Fred, along with two other partners, acquired The Money Mix website. To focus his time and energy where he could be the most productive, Fred recently merged Money with a Purpose with The Money Mix. You can now find all of his great content right here on The Money Mix, along with content from some of the brightest minds in personal finance.