“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.” – Doug Conant
This means having a happy, satisfied and motivated workforce is one key to a successful business. A highly engaged workforce could spell the difference between a company that achieves its goals and one that fails to grow. The more engaged and happy an employee is, the more work he or she is willing to put forth for the company.
Unhappy and disengaged employees can cost billions of dollars. According to Gallup, companies with an engaged workforce outperform their competitors by 147% while disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually (The Engagement Institute). These numbers show how employee happiness in the workplace contributes to the growth or decline of an organization. As a business owner, investing in your employees’ happiness should be a crucial part of your business strategy
What makes people feel good? You might think that providing free perks such as free food and amenities in the office would ensure a happy workforce. However, the formula for happiness at work is not that simple. Although these perks might provide some benefits for your workers, however, they definitely need more than that. For example, employees become happy when they accomplish something that’s meaningful for them, especially if they receive appreciation for doing an excellent job.
How do you make your employees happy at work?
1. Hire happy people. The first step in achieving happiness at work is by working with people who have a positive outlook. You can teach skills and train them in what you want them to do, but you can’t teach attitude.
2. Do random acts of happiness in the workplace. When was the last time you treated your employees for a free coffee or a free meal? Simple acts like these matter a lot for your employees. The pleasure or reward center of your brain can be stimulated up to three times by unexpected acts of kindness.
3. Stop negative behavior. Negative behavior spreads faster than positive. In fact, negative emotions are three times more contagious than positive vibes. So keep rudeness, gossip and negative drama out of the office. Aside from not contributing to your productivity, these negative behaviors act like a cancer that eats up your organization from the inside out.
4. Celebrate successes, even the smallest ones. One of the factors that impact your employees’ happiness is recognition and appreciation for their accomplishments. Whether an employee achieved the quota ahead of time or the company was able to win a big contract, be thankful for all successes –big or small. This simple tactic can help transform the atmosphere in the workplace into a happy one.
5. Celebrate mistakes. Don’t treat mistakes as something dreadful, treat it as a learning experience instead. People will be more open to admitting their mistake and you’ll create a more innovative and creative atmosphere.
6. Don’t overwork your employees. When your employees are overwhelmed with work, they won’t be able to relax and enjoy what they do. Try outsourcing some of the non-core processes of your business, so you can free up some of your employees’ time. This will help them focus on the tasks that really matter to your business and not feel stressed out because of too much work.
Making your people happy is not all about salary increases or giving expensive perks. It’s about giving them meaningful work and appreciating what they have done for your company.