Every business wants a happy workplace for their employees. Whether you want to enhance your employer brand, or create a company culture that’s worth raving about, the easiest way to create a happy workplace, is to make sure you have a happy team.
Sounds simple right? We all know that work is better when your people are happier. Employees are more productive, they’re more engaged and your workplace just sends off those ‘I want to be here’ vibes.
Did you know that disengaged employees have:
- 37% higher absenteeism rates
- 49% more accidents in the workplace
- 60% more errors, mistake and defects in their work
With this in mind, we’ve collated eight quick tips that you can use to make your employees happier at work (and they’re all absolutely free… well mostly).
But first… why is having a happy workplace important?
- Happiness is infectious, and therefore can lead to multiple success! Employees who are happy at work set a great example for others who are maybe feeling less motivated.
- Happiness builds positivity, making everyone feel less stressed, more focused and enthusiasm.
- Happiness reduces occupational stress
- Happy work = Healthy life
- Increased likability for your entire business
Eight Tips For a Happy Workplace
Tip #1. Get to know your team
Firstly in order to make a happy workplace, you need to treat your people like people. Those of us who work for small businesses do so because we don’t want to be an anonymous number in a big corporation.
Getting to know your people, what team they support, where they’re going on holiday or what their favourite coffee is goes a long way to making people happier.
At Employment Hero, we’ve implemented Donut on Slack. Every fortnight, people are randomly assigned in pairs and they have to go for coffee together. The one rule is they can’t talk about work and instead, have to spend 30 minutes getting to know someone they normally wouldn’t. The result has been a boost in morale for the office. Donut is also a reward as we pay for the “coffee date” and it is time out of the office.
If your business is already fully on board with Slack, this can be an inexpensive way to reinforce your company culture and values – combined with the value of getting to know each other.
Tip #2. Celebrate together in your happy workplace
It’s important to celebrate your wins, personal and professional, together. It’s always nice to take a step back, even if it’s only for a few minutes in a team huddle, to recognise the awesome work people are doing or a really important event in their lives.
We use the start of every huddle to talk about one celebration (personal or professional) to celebrate something. It sets a tone for the meeting of looking forward and bonding. This reinforces the human need to be known as just that. A real person. To have a personal life event celebrated, such as an engagement, gives everyone an identity that is more than their ‘role’ or ‘job title’.
Tip #3. Show people how they contribute to the business
Everyone wants to know what they’re doing matters and happy employees know their work matters. Set a clear business strategy of where you want the company to go and then clearly communicate it to your team. Everyone should understand it and be able to see how their work directly contributes to that bigger strategy.
OKRs (objectives and key results) can be a really good way to have the whole business working towards a clearly defined goal that rolls up into a bigger strategy for the business. If you want to read more about goal setting, check out How to Support Staff NY Resolutions in HRD.
Tip #4. Consistency = happy workplace
People fear the unknown, which is why it’s so important to be consistent as a manager. When people know what to expect, they will be confident in their work and to make decisions for the business. Managers whose behaviour fluctuates, who play favourites and constantly change the strategy breed cultures of confusion and ultimately, unhappy employees.
With your consistency, be self aware. If you need to ask a peer for help on this – do! Think back on your career and those managers who weren’t consistent – how did you feel? Don’t become one of those managers where your team don’t know what to expect any given day.
For more tips on how to be a better manager, we bought a list together of some of the amazing books our leaders read to make sure they are continually growing as a manager.
Tip #5. Say Thank You
It’s a little thing but at the end of each day, say thank you. When people feel appreciated and recognised, they are more likely to work harder and stay engaged in the business.
Often, managers get busy but the simple act of saying thank you for all your doing can have a huge impact on an employee. It doesn’t take too much effort when a team member says goodbye for the day, to say “thanks for everything today, Alex”.
If you have people sitting close to you, who do not report directly to you, and you are a leader, saying goodbye and thank you also goes long way to recognition, making a team member feel appreciated and acknowledged – beyond their own team.
Tip #6. Aesthetics
No one wants to be stuck inside four beige, boring walls for 40 hours a week. It can make anyone feel a little disheartened. Invest some time and money to decorate your space with things that will keep your team motivated and inspired.
Tip #7. Surprise and Delights
Make sure your team always know you’re thinking about them! Even if it’s something small… Here are some great examples of what our Employment Hero fairy god-mother, Esther Mitchell, does for the us at Employment Hero HQ.
Tip #8. Workplace Communication
Make sure everyone in your business feels like they have the means, and a safe environment to communicate with others. Here are some great tips on exactly how you can do that.
Of course you do. For more advice on making your work happier, take a look through the tell-tale signs that you have a healthy workplace!