Many employees spend more time at work each week than they do at home (waking time at least). So it makes sense that employees would want to spend their time working at a place that makes them happy. Happy employees make good business sense too. In an analysis of multiple studies, Harvard Business Review found that happy employees are, on average, 31 percent more productive.
There are a variety of ways to facilitate happiness in the workplace. Here are five that may help boost morale at your company:
1. Ensure Employees Have a Sense of Purpose
The importance of meaningful work has been analyzed frequently in recent years as Millennials started to join the workforce, and a recent survey of LinkedIn members by Imperative showed that 74 percent of candidates of all generations want a job where they feel like their work matters. Employees across industries seek a sense of purpose from the overall company mission to their everyday projects and tasks. An emphasis on company values and the impact of employees’ work can create a sense of togetherness, loyalty and happiness that might otherwise be absent.
2. Provide Growth Opportunities
Every employee, no matter what level, can benefit from some form of training and development opportunities; and much like a sense of purpose, these opportunities have become increasingly important as the Millennial workforce has grown. Training is just one way for a company to show their investment in an employee, but any program that improves an employees’ skills will also ultimately benefit the business. In addition to training and development, employee happiness is also impacted by the feedback they receive from their managers and a sense that they have a future with the company.
3. Be Flexible
A 2015 study by World at Work and Flex Jobs revealed that some or all employees in more than 80% of organizations are offered ad-hoc telecommuting options. It seems that for most companies the days of 9-to-5 in-office work are over and that’s a good thing when it comes to employee happiness. Research by Georgetown University and the Alfred P. Sloane Foundation showed that 90 percent of workers with flexible options said it eased the work-life balance burden.
4. Promote a Sense of Safety
Safety can refer to either physical or emotional security. In this case, both are required to promote employee happiness. In a study by the Gallup organization, 67 percent of employees said respectful treatment ranked first on the list of factors that contribute to overall employee satisfaction. Employees need to feel safe to share their ideas and do their job in an environment that necessitates mutual respect. Additionally, 50 percent of employees in the same study said that feeling physically safe in their workplace is important to their level of job satisfaction.
5. Recognize Employees and Make Them Feel Valued
Employee recognition and a sense of value fall right in line with a respectful work environment and a sense of purpose. Employees want to know that they are contributing to the company and that their contributions are appreciated. Often companies jump right to monetary or other tangible forms of compensation when recognition is mentioned, but positive feedback, expressed gratitude and respect are compensation in their own right.
Happiness might not be the first thing a candidate considers as he or she looks for a new job, but it is one of the underlying forces influencing a job seeker to accept an offer and, ultimately, stay at a job. Try these five tips to improve your employees’ happiness and remember to adjust course based on what works and doesn’t for your company and your employees.