How to Make and Keep Employees Happy
Employee validation is almost as important as a good paycheck. In order to make and keep employees happy, you must create a positive workplace. Employees need to have a sense of ownership of the company’s image, reputation and long-term growth. You’ve got to get employees to feel that they own the place, not just work there.
The survey says!
Everyone loves a good survey! Anonymous surveys will help gauge your employees’ satisfaction levels with existing policies, procedures and working conditions. This allows them to give their honest opinion without fear of reprisal. The questionnaire should also address what types of perks and privileges they would like to receive in recognition of outstanding performance. These might include “employee of the month” parking spaces, extra vacation days and discounts on company merchandise.
Once you’ve identified some areas that need improvement, it’s time to brainstorm solutions. I know. It’s the worst. Sitting in a room with your peers generating answers for current problems may seem like a waste of time but it’s the only way to create important employee ownership. Employees appreciate coming up with their own solutions verses having a manager dictate what executives have decided. For a less time-consuming method, try identifying a single problem on each piece of paper then tape the sheets of paper to the wall and invite staff members to jot down their ideas regarding viable remedies.
Now that you’ve identified employee likes and dislikes, it’s important to take a look at the balance between their work lives and their home lives. Listen to their concerns about what would make that balance easier to achieve. Examples of this include flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and onsite daycare.
Achievement and recognition are high motivators for employees. Praise your staff regularly for company accomplishments. Let them know that their initiative, hard work and loyalty is paramount to the company’s success. Be creative with praise. Give them a gift certificate to a restaurant, an extra day off, or tickets to a show, etc. The small stuff adds up.
Employee wellness programs can make a big difference in efforts to control health care costs and maintain a productive workforce. Having a workplace wellness program will go along way in employee happiness, not to mention companies could reap clear returns on investments in workforce health.
The bottom line is that when workers feel that they are an essential part of a business, they are happier, more productive and willing to go the extra mile for their customers and co-workers. Therefore, give praise openly and always take your employees’ needs seriously. By respecting and listening to your staff, you’ll be giving them the motivational push they need to stay loyal and committed to the company’s goals. And when you have a happy and productive workforce that is eager to contribute, your company can weather any economic storm.