It used to be that employers would think of their employees just in terms of what they can bring to the table. They were a commodity that would help the business to generate more money. But that’s old-school thinking. It’s a different world now. Companies are more interested in ensuring that their staff are happy in their work. This is obviously better for the workforce, but it does have a knock-on effect for the company too — studies have shown that productivity increases when workers like where they’re working. So how can you increase the happiness levels of your staff? We take a look at a few tried and tested methods below.
The Hiring Process
You’ll find it much easier to keep your employees happy if they’re the right fit for your company. When it comes to hiring, many businesses take a look at a candidate’s experience and qualifications, but it’s worthwhile digging a little deeper to check that their personality fits with your business. If you’re running a traditional business, then someone who is better suited to the more casual approach (think Silicon Valley offices) may find it difficult to adapt to your approach. It’ll work much more smoothly if they’re the right cultural fit.
While there are plenty of things you can do that’ll increase your employee’s happiness, it’s unlikely to work if your staff feel like they’re not getting paid enough for their work. Of course, not all companies have big budgets to splash on employee salaries. It’s not about paying a lot (though that will help): it’s about keeping things fair. If you’re earning twenty times what your employees are earning, then there’ll be resentment. You’ll also want to check that what you’re asking them to do (such as the number of hours they have to work) is fair too, and that you’re pulling your own weight — it’s much better to work in an office where the boss leads by example.
Bonuses and Surprises
Studies have shown that while salaries are important, employees also want to feel valued in ways that extend beyond their monthly income. Who doesn’t like receiving a bonus or a surprise? It’s true for both our personal and professional lives. Giving an unexpected gift is a small gesture that can go a long way to making your team feel valued. This could involve giving your employees ham and turkey gifts at Christmas, or paying a bonus if you’ve had a good year. These gestures will show that you really do care about your team.
Everyone likes to have friends at work. The problem is that often the workforce isn’t given an opportunity to become friends. There’s only so much bonding you can do when you’re only discussing work matters with your colleagues. As such, take a look at organizing events where the team can get to know one another in a more informal setting. After work drinks are a great way to help build some team spirit, as an example.