Regardless of the type or size of business you run, improving employee happiness and creating a better, more efficient work environment is probably at the top of your to-do list. And while that’s an important goal to pursue, the logistics of it can be daunting, to say the least.
In this article, we discuss some of the most effective ways to improve employee happiness in your business.
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Employee Happiness Matters
It may seem like a simple concept, but employee happiness is more than just being chipper all the time.
Employee happiness includes behaviors such as:
- Expressing a positive attitude while at work
- Being willing to fix problems rather than complaining
- Accepting constructive criticism and feedback
- Striving to improve
When your team exhibits such traits, they’ll be more likely to:
- Stay engaged throughout the day
- Operate with high levels of productivity
- Feel more creative
- Exhibit better interpersonal skills
- Experience fulfillment with their job
- Give 100% in everything they do
What owner or manager wouldn’t want that from their team?
Even if your business enjoyed just one of those benefits, it would be worth all the time and effort that goes into improving your employees’ state of mind and the happiness they feel while at work.
How To Improve Employee Happiness
1) Provide The Tools They Need To Work Efficiently
There are few things more frustrating than having to struggle with the tools you need to get the job done well and in a timely manner.
If your employees have to repair the scanner every time they want to make a copy or input a document into the computer, it becomes a very real speedbump — and even, perhaps, a roadblock — in the efficient completion of their work.
Take the time to watch your team at work. As you do, make a list of the tools they use and the options that might improve productivity. Then, ask your team what they need to be even more efficient.
You may discover — and they may suggest — both simple and complicated fixes. Either way, providing your team with the tools they need to work as efficiently as possible will boost employee happiness by leaps and bounds.
2) Celebrate Achievement
You can certainly celebrate achievement at any time and in any way you see fit, but providing small rewards more frequently — as opposed to one or two large rewards when they finish a project or at the end of the year — may be much more successful.
Consider catering lunch after a particularly difficult week when your team rose to the occasion or giving them the option to leave a few hours early on a Friday after they achieve a certain goal.
Small celebrations like these can go a long way toward improving your employees’ state of mind.
3) Ask Your Employees What They Need
One of the best ways to improve employee happiness is to ask your employees directly what they need to feel better at work.
Rather than putting them on the spot during a team meeting, consider distributing an employee satisfaction survey and letting your team answer anonymously.
Creating an anonymous feedback system allows your employees to answer freely and without risk of reprisal about some of the more sensitive issues that may be affecting their happiness.
4) Set Up Standard Operating Procedures
Standard operating procedures serve as a framework for the responsibilities and activities that your employees encounter every day at work. The procedures also provide a set of expectations that influence how your team will react to whatever comes their way.
If you haven’t already, start by setting up clear procedures and instructions for everything that has to do with your business, including:
Doing so gives your team a clear path to success and helps them understand what you, and your business, expect of them.
5) Offer Personal Growth Opportunities
No one wants to feel like they’re stuck in a job with no future and no prospects. If one of your employees does feel this way, it may seriously affect their happiness for the worse.
To combat such feelings in your business, consider giving your team plenty of opportunities for personal growth.
- Training in new skills
- Working in a different department for a day or two
- Assigning tasks that require an employee to stretch outside their regular skill set
- Leadership opportunities
When you allow your employees to grow, improve, and learn new skills at work, they’ll feel better about their job and happier while they’re there.
6) Let Your Team Work Autonomously
No one likes to be micromanaged while they’re on the job. Your employees need space to make their own decisions and to find their own solutions to the problems they face every day.
As difficult as it may be for you at first, try letting your team work autonomously for a while to see how it goes.
Set up an assignment, a goal, and a deadline, and then give them the space to work without any input or interference from you.
Such autonomy can help instill a sense of trust in your team, which, in turn, can help them feel happier while they’re at work.
7) Give Purpose To Your Employees’ Work
Giving purpose to your employees’ work can help them see how valuable their efforts are to you, your business, and your customers.
Feeling valued like this can help your employees feel like they’re making a difference and not just completing meaningless tasks.
As a result of seeing the larger purpose — not just the small job that needs to be done — your team members will feel happier overall with their particular roles and responsibilities in your business.
8) Build Inclusivity
Building inclusivity is not one of those things you can do quickly like some of the other ideas on this list. But it is a powerful way to improve your employees’ state of mind.
Inclusivity includes the practices and attitudes of your business that ensure that everyone:
- Has equal access to the same resources and opportunities
- Is treated fairly and respectfully
- Can (and wants to) contribute fully to their success, the team’s success, and the business’s success
- Feels that their thought, ideas, and perspectives matter
It may take some time to achieve, but when you develop inclusivity by making everyone feel like a valuable member of the team, you lay the groundwork for their overall happiness to grow and improve as well.
9) Strengthen Team Communication
Strengthening communication in your business goes a long way toward making your team happier.
More than that though, effective communication matters because it prevents confusion, gives everyone a voice, and improves the engagement your employees feel every day.
For more information on strengthening team communication, take a few minutes to read this helpful article from the Inch blog: 16 Easy Strategies For Improving Team Communication.
10) Implement An Alternative Work Schedule
As part of a comprehensive employee satisfaction survey, ask your employees when they feel the happiest and most efficient throughout the day.
You’ll find that the responses fall into one of two time blocks: morning (i.e., 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and afternoon/evening (i.e., 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
To take advantage of those peaks in happiness, efficiency, and performance, implement an alternative work schedule, such as:
Allowing your employees to try an alternative schedule gives them the opportunity to do the bulk of their work when they feel their best. This can significantly improve employee happiness and contribute to the overall success of your team and your business.
Use Inch To Increase Employee Happiness
While many apps streamline the scheduling process — be it the regular 9-to-5 or one of the many novel alternatives — only a handful can actually help you improve employee happiness.
Inch is one of them.
Inch is a suite of task management tools that puts your team’s satisfaction front and center and helps you build employee happiness throughout your business.
Sign up for a free account and see for yourself how Inch can improve the way your entire business operates.
For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.