The days of employee happiness being a low priority for employers are rapidly disappearing, and the value of workplace happiness is becoming increasingly important for a business’s success.
Many factors come into play when discussing employee happiness and productivity, from broader aspects like recognition of success and career development to more minor details such as timesheets and employee management. Unsurprisingly, there’s no single element that can improve employee happiness.
Studies have shown that productivity increases by up to 13% for happy employees, so it’s worth trying to boost your team’s morale. If you’ve ever been unhappy in a job, it’s easy to see why. Unhappy workers are more likely to grind out their nine to five days with minimal effort to just get through the day, but happy employees are more inclined to jump into the work. Research suggests that 85% of employees are not satisfied with their work, so this is a problem that affects almost every business.
Creating an environment that encourages employee happiness isn’t easy; there are many options available, but choosing the right ones for your team is vital. Here at Handdy, we know the importance of employee happiness and how it can affect productivity. So we’ve put together this guide to help you improve your employee happiness and productivity.
Why You Should Improve Employee Happiness?
Over the last few years, mental health awareness has grown significantly, and because we spend most of our days at work, our professional lives can dramatically impact our mental wellbeing.
A recent survey showed that more than 11 million people took time off work for poor mental health last year, which cost businesses about 40 million working days. More than half of the people surveyed said their jobs had become more stressful and had impacted their mental health.
So having happy employees means that you can save your business a lot of money by reducing the number of sick days people take. But encouraging happiness in the workplace can provide so much more than just making sure your staff turn up. Happy employees can:
- Create a better atmosphere that encourages creativity and productivity.
- Make sure that your customers have a great experience, which will boost sales.
- Be more engaged and outperform unengaged employees by up to 202%.
To truly ensure that your employees are continuously happy, you’ll need to look into what makes your employees tick and what works for your business.
5 Tips to Boost Employee Happiness and Productivity
It’s not surprising that there’s a correlation between employee happiness and productivity. A recent study revealed that unhappy employees are up to 10% less productive while happy workers are 12% more productive.
It can be tempting in these situations to throw money at the problem, but money isn’t always the best motivator, and a pay rise will only increase employee happiness and productivity temporarily.
While there is no single way to improve your team’s morale, there are some tried and tested methods that will enhance workplace happiness.
1. Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is a relatively new term that has become increasingly important with more and more people working from home during the pandemic. Pressure to work harder can force employees to prioritize work over their personal lives, which can be harmful not only for employees but also for the business. Overworked employees are more likely to be withdrawn, less engaged with their work and susceptible to burnouts.
Employees who feel like they have a good work-life balance work 21% harder than those without. There’s no one way of helping your team achieve a good balance, but there are a few options that you could consider:
- Remote working
- Flexible hours
- Ensuring staff finish and leave on time.
While this may require some changes to your business, like implementing employee monitoring software, letting your employees achieve a work-life balance will make them happier — both at home and work — and do wonders for your business.
2. Company Culture and Collaborative Environment
The thought of watching the clock make its way to five o’clock from a grey cubicle under fluorescent lights is hardly anyone’s ideal day at the office.
That’s why many businesses are now forgoing a traditional office space and opting for more open, flexible offices. Companies like Google led the way by creating workspaces that focus on employee happiness and collaboration rather than just grinding out the workday.
One of the easiest ways to build a company culture is to enlist your staff and let them help shape it. This helps create a space where your team feels comfortable, encourages teamwork and collaboration, and makes employees feel their voices and opinions are heard.
It’s also a great idea to have spaces dedicated to collaborative work. Breakout areas can be perfect for those “aha!” moments that so often happen when you’re least expecting it. Having places for your team to get away from their desk is excellent for productivity, and encouraging social interaction can help to retain employees.
3. Talk about the Future
A recent survey showed that 87% of millennials think that it’s crucial to have ongoing training and development opportunities at work. Personal development opportunities are an excellent way to keep your team engaged and happy and deter any thoughts about a new job or resignation.
But you should go beyond just the personal development of staff and actively include them in the direction of the business. By including your team in the bigger picture decisions, they will be more engaged and invested in the business’s progression and happier when they can help to achieve the company’s goals.
4. Go beyond the Basics
Almost every job your team members have had or will ever have will pay them and offer them the basics in terms of benefits. While income is a vital part of everybody’s life, it’s good to go beyond the basics regarding employee benefits.
You can offer various benefits that financially support your employees, like gym memberships and health benefits like dental and eye care. These benefits make employees feel valued and cared for in ways that a monthly payment never will.
There are a lot of other benefits you can offer, such as:
- Free coffee or meals
- More paid holiday
- Company vehicles
- Referral bonuses
You can tailor your company benefits to your staff so that you can be sure the perks you’re offering are hitting the mark.
5. Thank and Reward Employees
This is one of the easiest ways to improve employee happiness, and it’s just by saying thank you. As the phrase goes, a simple thank you can go a long way, and it’s no different in business. Just by showing your team members that you’re grateful for the work they’ve been putting in, they’ll know that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed, which will boost morale.
If you want to go one step further, you can give rewards for their hard work. These don’t need to be extravagant gifts but enough to show your appreciation. Something as simple as an Easter egg can be a perfect way of saying thank you.
How Do You Improve Workplace Happiness?
We’ve outlined some of the different ways to improve employee happiness above, but they are by no means all of them. Every business and, equally, every employee is individual, and what works for one might not work for another. But there are a few surefire ways of making sure you’re doing everything to help employee happiness and productivity:
- Listen to your employees
- Get to know your team members
- Encourage communication
- Be transparent
- Recognize achievements and accept mistakes.
You can’t go wrong if you make sure that you follow these guidelines, and by doing all of them, you’ll be sure to spot any signs of disengagement early on and find the cause.