It is Monday morning. Everything is a blur and everyone is in a hurry. Most people are heading to work, still not fully recovered from the weekend, and it’s written all over their faces. Amid all the hustle and bustle, have you ever stopped and wondered if these employees are happy with their jobs?
Beyond the mirage
If you are an HR professional or a manager, you might have wondered, “Are my employees happy?” You might even think, “Well, we have great employee perks and flexible schedules, so I guess they must be happy.”
It sounds sensible, but you could very well be wrong. Employee happiness does not always depend on perks. It depends on organizational culture, work-life balance, and more. Then again, why is employee happiness so important? Because your employees are your organization’s greatest advantage. Their happiness quotient is directly proportional to company performance.
Here are some stats to get you thinking:
Pretty compelling, right?
Now that you have an understanding of why your employees’ happiness is important to the health of your business, let’s get into how to make them happy and keep them that way.
7 tips to increase your employee happiness quotient
Recognise and appreciate
Many employees feel they are not appreciated enough or recognized for their efforts. While a variable pay scheme can be a good reward, it may not always be the best, and certainly not the only token of appreciation your employees are looking for. A pat on the back, a “great job” note and a “thank you” can go a long way. It’s important to recognise your employees’ accomplishments and remind them of their value to your team.
Provide clarity on goals
The workforce of today are looking for clearly defined goals and will go the distance to achieve them. According to a survey conducted by Forbes, 70% of employees are unaware of their organization’s goals and culture. This ambiguity can lead to a mismatch in expectations. Give your employees clarity from day one with relevant onboarding. This will set the right expectation of your organization’s vision and the team’s objectives, ensuring that they align with the employee’s goals.
Engage and leverage
Employee engagement is a term that you’ve likely encountered a few times. Engaged employees are committed to their work and to their organization. Reports say that only 13% of employees worldwide are considered to be engaged in their work. So how do you promote engagement? One way to do this is to take the pulse of your employees with pulse surveys. These surveys should be designed simply and be done consistently, say, once every few weeks. These 10-15 minutes surveys are a good way to get insights from your employees’ perspective and get suggestions that might surprise you. Read about more tips on employee engagement here.
Give frequent and transparent feedback
While a yearly appraisal can be a good indicator of performance, it is not the best or only option. In today’s competitive workplace, employees are eager to know where they are headed. Performance review meetings at regular intervals will give them valuable feedback on their current trajectory and areas for improvement. But what about negative feedback?
If you need to give negative feedback, you need to approach the situation delicately and not demotivate the employee. One way to do this is by starting the review with an honest compliment and then evaluating the root of the problem. Regular feedback creates a window for managers to assess an employee’s potential. It also establishes a healthy relationship between managers and employees, reducing room for any surprises or disappointment.
Make them feel wanted
Everyone wants to be included. Whether it’s a discussion about the snack menu or suggestions to grow the business, your employees will want to be a part of it. They’ll feel more valued when you include them in discussions on developments in the organization, interesting events in the department, and team updates. If approached, they can have insightful suggestions for organizational issues, and you may even get a solution to your problem! All this will instill a sense of togetherness and make them feel wanted.
Break up the routine
While setting up targets and achieving them is what business is about, sometimes you will have to loosen up a little. Let targets and reports take a backseat while you celebrate your milestones with social or cultural events. This will make employees take a break from their routines to interact with each other.
Flexibility doesn’t have to only apply to your work schedule. It can apply to your work process, too. Empower your employees to think outside the box and let them innovate. Let them experiment with their own ideas. People will go beyond to make the ideas that they believe in work, and providing them the space to do that will make them believe in your organization and its values.
We’ve discussed 7 different ways to increase your employee happiness quotient. Many of them are closely related and are fairly simple to implement. You can observe a visible difference in your employees in just a few weeks’ time. That means smiles, laughter, and fresh faces on Monday morning!
“When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors”
– James Sinegal