It doesn’t matter what your company creates or sells, without people, it cannot move forward. If your employees feel unhappy and unmotivated, the company suffers. Numerous studies show that engaged employees perform better, miss less work, and embrace changes more easily.
But keeping your employees happy, especially in the current economic landscape, is not an easy job. Why? Because happiness is influenced by other factors in a person’s life as well, not just their job. However, someone’s working environment can add or subtract from their level of happiness. Ultimately, we spend most of our time at work, so if that means you have to deal with unreasonable deadlines, insufficient resources, hostile colleagues, and a lot of stress, your level of happiness goes down and so does your productivity.
Happy employees feel that what they do is important and meaningful, which gives them a sense of accomplishment. They feel respected, valued, and supported. Such feelings reduce stress and increase engagement. If you want to create an atmosphere where your employees are happy and thrive, consider the following tips:
Set Clear Goals
A few motivational posters around the office and saying “Go team!” after every meeting probably won’t do much to inspire your employees. No, people need to a well-defined set of goals. Whatever their job is, they need some way to measure their progress so they can tell whether or not they’re doing good work. This also helps them determine which strategies and resources help them achieve better results.
Psychologists agree that people feel most motivated when they’re trying to reach a challenging but specific goal. Most importantly, setting clear goals gives their daily tasks a sense of purpose, so they don’t feel like they’re working aimlessly. Researchers from the University of Alberta found that this factor reduces absenteeism by 60% and turnover by 75%.
Explain the Big Picture
Another way to instill a sense of meaning and purpose in your company is to make sure your employees see the big picture. They should understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the company. For example, Nike shows new hires how various departments and teams fit into the broader corporate structure.
If your employees can’t see the forest because of the tress, they won’t understand the purpose of their daily tasks, and they won’t feel as motivated. Here we’re not talking about canned mission statements and ambiguous flow charts. They’ll need a clear picture of how the various processes in your company play a part in maintaining its stability.
Create a Productive Atmosphere
The physical layout of the office is also important for productivity. People need a comfortable and pleasant environment to be able to focus on finding creative, efficient solutions. Make sure you take care of any maintenance issues in a timely manner. For example, maybe your boiler is broken. Don’t delay the repairs. If it turns out you need to change it, and it’s not within your budget, look for boiler rental nyc (new york city) or whatever city your office is located in. Letting your employees work in uncomfortable conditions for an extended time might lead them to believe you don’t value or respect them, so they’ll disengage and become less productive.
The equipment in your offices should also be designed ergonomically, and there needs to be enough natural light. This also helps maintain focus and boosts morale. The key is to help your employees make the most of the time they spend at the office. If factors outside their control like uncomfortable furniture, faulty equipment, and maintenance issues are slowing them down, so they have to work overtime, they’ll get tired and less productive. Moreover, since the overtime will quickly start to affect their work-life balance, you can be sure they’ll use what little free time they have left to look for another job.
Promote Work-Life Balance
Employees are happy when they feel like their employers understand that they have lives outside work, and they’re not just cogs in a machine. Work-life balance has become a priority for many companies, and they now offer flexible work schedules, work-from-home options, wellness programs, more vacation days, and childcare, all in the effort to encourage productivity and loyalty.
The current workforce cares about such benefits just as much as they care about their salaries. For example, if they have kids, they’d appreciate childcare services or remote-work so they can take care of inevitable family matters without taking time off work and falling behind. As an employer, this also works to your advantage because the cost of absenteeism and training new hires far outweighs the cost of these benefits.
Support the Career Goals of Your Employees
If you invest in your employees, they’ll invest in you. Whether you give them the opportunity to train for a new role or through tuition reimbursement, by showing you employees that they can develop professionally within your company, they’re more likely to stay. This means that you get to retain your best and most ambitious employees, who will, in turn, contribute to making your business successful.
To help your employees grow, you need to assign them tasks that will challenge their abilities, so they can learn new skills. It’s also important to ask for feedback and find out what tasks they struggle with and what resources and training you can provide them with. If one of your employees hits a barrier they don’t know how to overcome, show them that you appreciate their efforts, and work with them to get the job done.
Ask For Feedback
The best way to find out how to increase job satisfaction within your company is to ask your employees. You can get this type of valuable feedback through anonymous surveys. You can include questions like:
- Are you happy with your level of involvement in management decisions that directly impact your work?
- Does the work you do give you a sense of accomplishment?
- Do you feel you get the resources, tools, and training necessary to do your job?
When you get the results from these surveys, there will be some issues that you currently can’t solve, but it’s important to continue incentivizing your staff to provide suggestions by following up on improvements you can implement.