Cultivating Employee Happiness

Employees are the biggest asset in most all successful businesses. The quality of your employee’s work is often a reflection of their happiness while at the office. When a person spends the majority of their time at work, quality of life should be a top priority. Workplace culture is substantially dependent on employee happiness and often ranks above compensation and additional benefits. When employees are happier, they perform at a better rate and turnover is lower.

So, how does one cultivate a happy workplace? If you find that your workforce is diverse, increasing happiness is more than offering cake in the breakroom. This change of mood is not something supervisors can force, but rather it needs to be cultivated holistically from the top down. If you’re striving to be the workplace where your employees are genuinely happy and not just pretending to be, read on.

Be Authentic
To genuinely foster happiness within your business, you need to know your company and listen to your people. Creating connections early on with your employees, regardless of company hierarchy, is essential to establishing company culture, which should reflect the wants and ideas of your staff. If you’re not in the trenches with your colleagues, there will undoubtedly be an internal disconnect.

Connecting Your Culture and Strategy
Creating synergy between company strategy and employee culture is key. When senior leaders spend resources to create a program that neglects the actual wants and needs of the employees, then the organization’s happiness level and standard of work can suffer. Having senior employees that are in sync with their colleagues of all levels and also collaborate with leadership can help to bridge the gap.

Employee Ownership
Key employees understand their worth and don’t want to work at just any job. One thing that builds happiness in the workplace is the feeling of ownership. This strategy allows employees to feel a sense of belonging, purpose and personal career growth. To implement, consider releasing projects and tasks (as is appropriate), so your employees are consistently challenged with new opportunities. If you find an employee that is struggling to find purpose at work, look to add them on projects that have an impact on the organization, engage what he or she is passionate about and are also challenging.

Employee Recognition
Creating consistent recognition leads to increased happiness among employees. It does not have to be a big deal; a simple company-wide email can efficiently do the trick. Putting the spotlight on a job well done can add another level of contentment among office staff. By valuing the strengths of your employees, you are also promoting the culture of your organization. Saying “thank you” can be the most effortless way to make your employees feel seen while appreciating them for their hard work.

Depending on your employee’s personalities and industry, they may also find motivation from financial compensation or gifts, such as an end-of-year-bonus. Recognition – be it verbal, written or financial, is most always appreciated, so consider including it as part of your company’s culture.

Career Growth
Employee happiness often occurs when individuals feel valued. As a manager, try to identify ways to recognize the hard work of employees or colleagues, but also to promote them within the company. Increased engagement from a supervisor indicates that you care as their boss, which results in success for not only the employee but the company.

If you find yourself questioning the importance of employee happiness, there are facts that prove its worth. A study from England by the University of Warwick discovered that “happiness led to a 12 percent spike in productivity” compared to unhappy employees that “were 10 percent less productive.” Positive emotions do energize staff, and therefore, employee happiness does affect productivity. Simply put, workers who are happier tend to use their time in the office effectively and also increase the speed of completing tasks without sacrificing quality.

When your employees find meaning in their work, the happier they will be in the long-term. Learning what drives their joy can also provide ideas on what to change in the workplace. Take a moment to reflect on what makes you happy. As a leader, creating a place that makes you happy will provide the space to encourage others to pursue career satisfaction. Connectivity is vital within a happy workplace and one of the most important aspects to fostering a healthy and likable workplace.

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