7 Strategies for Happy Employees

The mood in the workplace can have a powerful impact on your business. Here’s how to keep it positive and fun — and productive.
7 Strategies for Happy Employees
Nothing is more contagious than someone who is happy, positive and friendly.

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What’s the vibe around your workplace? Do your employees frequently complain and drag themselves into work each day only to punch the proverbial time clock? Perhaps your employees need a boost. 

Low morale can decrease productivity, increase absenteeism, and create higher employee turnover, all of which impact a company’s ability to reach its full potential. 

Unengaged workers and high turnover affect the bottom line with increased costs of hiring, training and ensuring quality standards. In short, a company’s financial growth is impacted when employees are unhappy. Low morale leads to a culture of shortcuts, laissez-faire attitudes, and mediocre customer service — all of which will drag your company down. Try these strategies for boosting workplace morale. 

1. Recognize a job well done

Employees disengage when they feel as though their hard work isn’t recognized. To combat this, WorldatWork, a nonprofit human resources association, notes that organizations are setting aside an average of 1 to 2 percent of the payroll budget for recognition programs. Company awards programs, whether based on goals, milestones, or employee votes, can serve as a powerful way to praise employees. 

Possible appreciation programs include employee gifts, bonus awards, or implementing an employee-of-the-month program. Additionally, a simple note of recognition to an employee is a great way to sincerely and personally convey appreciation for a job well done. 

2. Empowerment

Have you ever been to the grocery store and the clerk rings up an item that has the wrong price? The clerk isn’t authorized to fix the problem so he or she must call the manager to override the register to correct the price. In today’s business environment, companies should embrace the knowledge, ideas and creativity of every employee. Empowerment is a mindset of responsibility, accountability, capability and independence within one’s job. 

Empowering employees that are both willing and capable to take initiative serves the collective interests of the company, creating satisfaction for management and employees. 

Set clear parameters for company expectations, including specific boundaries, and establish a method of accountability. Decisions that involve certain risk factors —legal issues, safety situations, or anything affecting company reputation — should be deferred to management. 

3. Continuing education

Invest in employees’ personal success by offering educational opportunities both inside and outside company walls. Challenge employees to continue learning through seminars and online training sessions in order to master job responsibilities. 

Additionally, cross training in the workplace will alleviate strain on staff members in the absence of a co-worker. Co-workers who gain a better understanding of one another’s jobs can improve productivity and open the lines of interdepartmental communication. Investing in employees’ professional success is a great way to improve loyalty and performance. 

4. Open communication

One of the most underused tools we have is an open ear for listening. Employees disengage if they feel as though no one cares about their work concerns or ideas. An open-door policy with management encourages employees to express their opinions, share ideas and offer suggestions. 

Oftentimes, it allows management the opportunity to address a potential situation before it becomes negative or cancerous to staff morale. Encourage employees to be engaged in offering suggestions and finding solutions and show that the company respects their input. Let them see that they do have a role in the overall success of the business. 

5. Positive attitude

There’s always a choice in how one does their work each day, even if the work itself is not glamorous. An employee with a negative attitude can be toxic in the workplace. Nothing can single-handedly bring productivity and performance to a screeching halt like negativity. Therefore, organizations must address attitude issues promptly. 

Alternatively, nothing is more contagious than someone who is happy, positive and friendly. This is a co-worker who makes the job more fun. Leaders should set the tone with a smile, show gratitude for others, keep things lighthearted, and keep negativity from gaining a stronghold in the workplace. 

6. Have fun like the fishmongers

Pike’s Place Fish Market is world famous not only for its fish, but also for the fun and entertaining experience it provides. Featured in the book “Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results,” Pike’s Place is an example of how ordinary people doing ordinary work can find enjoyment in the work they do simply by having fun. Customers, and consequently the market’s bottom line, benefit from the experience as they watch the fishmongers toss fish and shout out orders. 

Though a company’s employees don’t need to toss fish to enjoy the workday, they choose the attitude they bring to work. Creating a culture of positive energy and lighthearted fun helps workers stay enthusiastic about their work. Consider ways that your company can liven things up to make the workday more enjoyable. The key is to help employees find ways to de-stress and build friendships. 

7. Perks

While it’s not feasible for most companies to offer bocce courts, bowling alleys and an on-site free café such as those found at Googleplex, consider adding some office perks that your employees will appreciate. Flavored coffee, snacks in the break room or company-hosted lunches can go a long way in helping your crew enjoy the workday. 

Providing high-quality food choices, such as yogurt and fruit, helps employees feel happy and healthy. Consider handing out sports drinks and healthy snacks to crew members who work in the field, particularly on busy or hot days. The company benefits when employees are fueled up for maximum productivity. 

Helping employees to feel motivated in the workplace improves productivity, attendance and enthusiasm. Top-performing employees thrive, aiding in company success. Investing in the culture of your organization gives employees a sense that they are respected and valued, ensuring that they will weather difficult times and help the company to become stronger than ever.

About the Author

Beverly Lewis runs a marketing agency, the Beverly Lewis Group, dedicated to helping small businesses with marketing solutions. Having served as the director of sales & marketing for two portable sanitation companies, her unique background combined with an expertise in marketing is well suited for the portable sanitation industry.

She believes that a company’s image is represented in every aspect of the company. She is an active member of the PSAI and was awarded the distinguished Sani-Award in 2008 for outstanding service. Contact Beverly at beverly@beverlylewisgroup.com or visit www.beverlylewisgroup.com.


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