Seeking Employee Happiness

by JANE SKAGER
It is no secret that a happy employee is more productive, committed and tends to show more pride in the company. Some studies even show people who were not just satisfied, but happy in their jobs proved to be healthier and even live longer. Happy employees benefit employers by reducing costs associated with training, turnover and worker’s compensation. A low employee turnover rate and high employee satisfaction both directly affect the profits of a company.

Many employers feel that giving their employees steady work and a paycheck (especially in this economy) is plenty to keep them happy. Some feel that giving much more than this can empower the employee too much. High salaries and raises are not always the key to creating employee happiness. The work environment is just as, if not more important to the masses. Successful employers provide their employees with affirmation and give them challenges, let them set their own goals, and allow some form of independence rather than constantly micro managing.
 
A Few Ideas to Help

Encourage all of your employees to contribute ideas. Whether it is encouraging the janitor to find more effective ways to cut cleaning costs or upper level management to brainstorm a new product, everyone likes to feel that they have something to contribute.

A family friendly work place is a happy work place. Many employees struggle with balancing home life with a career. Understanding and shaping policies around your own core values, such as family life, will certainly make your employees happier.

One on one meetings. In its quest to build a better bossGoogle discovered that its worst managers weren’t consistent in their 1:1 meetings. Some focused on meeting with people who were underperforming, while others met primarily with the top performers.

Open communication contributes to not only employee happiness but overall effectiveness within the company. Keeping an open door policy with employees keeps the line of communication open. Employees like to feel that they can come to their employee with any issues or suggestions. Consistent feedback between employer and employee is critical for growth.

Of course, not everyone is the same.. Some people are motivated most by money, others more so by the work environment. Getting to know your employees and what motivates them will lead to a happier work environment for everyone.

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