10 Keys to making employees happier

by | Mar 19, 2015 | Employee Management, Our Blog, Retention

Happier employees means employees who are more engaged, motivated and loyal to you as their employer. One simple way to breathe new life into your workforce and culture is by focusing on “thanks” and social recognition.

Here are 10 ways to create a culture of recognition, and make your employees happier:

1. Thank your employees every day
Employees want to feel appreciated in the workplace. What you may not know is that recognizing employees at work not only increases their happiness at the office, but also at home. A simple ‘thank you’ is most powerful when it occurs repeatedly, and in a timely manner.

2. Foster friendships at work
The majority of employees say work relationships matter to their quality of life. Work friendships inspire and motivate employees, make employees feel more loyal and connected to their company, and provide the foundations for building trust among colleagues. By encouraging friendships at work, you create a happier employee and also an employee who’s more productive and committed in the workplace.

3. Pay attention to employees’ needs
In order to make employees happy, you need to make it a priority to notice and truly see how your employees are feeling. By keeping your head up, you’re not only in a better position to see and acknowledge your employees’ needs, but also their contributions, which puts you in a much better position to reward their work.

4. Nurture your company’s culture
Your company’s culture should inspire your employees to achieve great things. A healthy company culture is the most powerful way to find, build, and retain an engaged, high-performing workforce. Choose the values that define your company, and then encourage your employees to express those values in their everyday behavior. Instituting a recognition program can help breathe life into these values and make them actionable for employees every day.

5. Encourage employees to celebrate each other
Every company is a collection of communities and of human beings, bonded by their connection to each other through their work. By giving employees the opportunity to congratulate and thank each other for their work, a culture of recognition naturally emerges through associative behavior.

6. Create better leaders
There’s an old adage that people don’t leave companies, they leave their bosses. Managers should set expectations, identify emerging leaders and support the growth of those individuals through mentorship and training. By encouraging these leaders to thank their teams often and, in turn, encourage the same behavior among employees, a palpable rise in employee happiness will occur.

7. Show employees empathy
The importance of humanity in the workplace can’t be overstated. It’s one of the critical components of developing and retaining employees because, as humans, we have an incredible need for acknowledgement and compassion. Listen, support and protect your employees, and encourage the same behavior among all teams by celebrating instances where great connections occur.

8. Prolong the ‘honeymoon’
New hires love their jobs, are more engaged and feel appreciated and acknowledged at work. However, after passing the one-year mark, many employees say these feelings tend to wane. In order to keep employees happy, make every year feel like the first year. Recognize and appreciate your employees as often as possible so their enjoyment and engagement in the job starts high and stays high.

9. Unite your team
Today’s multigenerational workforce calls for an adaptable culture that is functional for a variety of different styles and approaches. Understanding people’s motivations and work styles, and being sure to make room for all of them in a united workplace, will help you make great strides in energizing your team.

10. Give “thank you” gifts
Everyone loves receiving gifts. So why wouldn’t the same apply in the workplace? Consider giving employees a gift with tangible value, such as a choice of merchandise or gift card, which will in turn improve their engagement, motivation and happiness.