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10 tips for making your employees happier at work

Monday July 15, 2019


10 tips for making your employees happier at work

Workers who are content, stimulated and engaged are more productive and help their employer stand out among the competition. But how do you ensure job satisfaction while also motivating your employees to improve your company’s performance? The following are some ideas for helping your employees play their key role in your success.

1. Recognize your employees (with time rather than gifts!)

According to an SHRM study, employees prefer to receive one-on-one encouragement and genuine recognition from their superiors rather than small gifts or other similar rewards. Spending a few minutes with an employee to explain the importance of a project they recently worked on costs nothing and is, by far, the best way to keep that person motivated.

Tip: Instead of handing over a $20 gift card, spend 15 minutes one-on-one over coffee with your employee.

2. Keep your workers in the loop: an informed employee is a happy employee!

One of the leading contributors to disengagement in the workplace is the feeling of being just one more tiny cog in a huge machine. The better your employees understand the critical role they play in your company’s activities, the more they’ll appreciate their successes and grasp their importance in helping your business achieve its main objectives.

Tip: Talk about the company’s projects and plans regularly with your employees.

3. Listen to their ideas and implement their suggestions

Your employees face constraints and challenges on a daily basis that you and your management team may not entirely understand or even be aware of. It is consequently only logical for your workers to come up with innovative solutions and ideas. Listen to them and, above all, “walk the walk” and invest time and money in implementing some of their suggestions. You will be the first one to reap the benefits of this approach.

Tip: Implement at least one employee-based initiative every year.

4. Align pay and working conditions to employee performance and needs

Providing working conditions and compensation that correspond to each employee’s needs and expectations will show your flexibility and commitment. While many workers are motivated by cash bonuses, some others might prefer a four-day work week, additional vacation time or the option to consider teleworking. And don’t forget to recognize and leverage your employees’ strengths and help them tackle their weaknesses so they can grow and develop within your organization.

Tip: Review working conditions and pay one-on-one with each employee.

5. Offer them a career, not just a job

The difference between a job and a career often has much to do with future prospects. Let your workers know what goals they need to reach in order to qualify for a promotion, and sit down with them to establish a tangible and realistic timeline. Break major initiatives down into smaller phases and then create unique positions for each phase rather than leave your employees to stagnate in one position for years.

Tip: Associate promotions with clear, realistic objectives.

6. Provide on-the-job training

Your employees want to improve their skills over time. Try to incorporate professional development opportunities into all positions. Online training sites such as LinkedIn Learning may help you find relevant training opportunities at an affordable cost. And don’t forget to consult your employees to find out what types of training they are most interested in.

Tip: Allocate 1% of your payroll to professional development every year.

7. Make workplace improvements knowing that your employees spend a big chunk of their lives at work

A few minor changes may often be enough to radically transform employees’ perception of their workplace. From updated, more ergonomic furniture to softer, soothing lighting, airy spaces, renovated restrooms, zen rest areas, or the addition of green spaces or even simply some indoor plants, there are 1,001 ways to make the spaces at your workplace more inviting.

Tip: Incorporate items created by local artists or artisans.

8. Foster a corporate culture that your workers can identify with

The values that a company represents are increasingly important when it comes to choosing an employer. These values should also be aligned to a company’s business sector, clients and history as well as its owners’ identity. For minimum confusion and maximum impact, identify a limited number of values, perhaps between three and seven. Then, focus on conveying to others how these values define your organization.

Tip: Invite managers and owners to contribute to a brainstorming and screening process to come up with a list of values.

9. Make effective use of technology when choosing communication tools

Incorporating some of the latest highly effective communication tools—for example, Slack, Trello or Asana—can help streamline teamwork. Use them to share news and information as well as status updates concerning the various projects your company has on the go.

Tip: Try out new software for at least a week (nearly all applications offer free trials!) before adopting it officially.

10. Be a good boss, because your employees are watching

Looking in the mirror and asking what kind of leader you are is an excellent way to initiate changes that will lead to improvements within your organization. Managers, officers and owners set the tone not only by demonstrating their own talents and the quality of their work but also through their moods, humour and emotional intelligence.

Tip: Remind yourself to smile and maintain a good mood at work, as this accounts for 90% of the battle!

By retaining your best employees and keeping them motivated, you will significantly increase your organization’s performance in addition to reducing the trouble and expense associated with employee turnover.

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