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Happy workers = Productive workers

Beyond bonuses and salary raises, there are many ways to keep your workers happy.

Beyond bonuses and salary raises, there are many ways to keep your workers happy.

Businesses need to get creative with ensuring their workers are happy. You’ll kick yourself later if you avoid this simple task; just get cracking with some new ideas! When employees have low levels of wellbeing and job satisfaction, they’re more likely to quit their job – which is a loss for you. You’ve invested time and money in training them and getting them up to speed – losing them now is actually a financial loss, as well as a talent one.

Here are a few vital ways to keep your employees content…

Health benefits

Employees enjoy feeling that they are being ‘looked after’ in the workplace. Offer health risk assessments, biometric screenings, common medicines like aspirin in the office, maybe even psychologist visits.

This can reduce stress and help make employees feel happier and healthier at work, not to mention valued. So says a recent study by Towers Watson in Canada and Wendy Poirier, the health and group benefits leader:

We are seeing employers increasingly realize the importance that health and productivity programs can play in their efforts to control health care costs and maintain a productive workforce.

The evidence overwhelmingly shows that effective health and productivity programs can make a real difference to an organization’s bottom line.

There are unrelenting pressures on employers and employees today, but improving employee health is an opportunity for a true win-win.”

A good office ‘vibe’

Employees are generally happier if the office is a happy place. Make sure morale is as good as it can be – play music, play games, whatever it takes! Communicate regularly with your employees; be genuinely interested in their lives. Take five minutes out of your day to converse with the new guy!

Another great idea is to reduce the length of meetings; don’t drag meetings on and on, making employees bored and uninterested. Rather have shorter, more regular meetings. Once in a while, provide food or treats for the whole office such as Pizza Thursday or Fat Friday once a month.

Recognise and reward

Make sure you recognise and reward your employees with compliments when a job is well done. Either face to face, via email, or even in a written note – make your employees feel appreciated. But don’t just stop there. A bonus shows employees that they’re values and has been shown to increase loyalty to a company.

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Employees also need to be motivated – they’ll perform better if they feel trusted to do their work their way, without a manager hovering over their shoulder. Recognise their autonomy and reward them with trust.

Some work, some play

All work and no play makes your business a pretty dull place. Make sure you do social things with your workers e.g. set up a team-building event every few months, where employees get to get to know each other better as well as have fun. This can benefit the organisation in the long run as employees may end up working better as a team in the office.

Be social

In case you haven’t realised, employees will try sneak onto Facebook or Twitter when the boss is out the office. So why not just set up times for them to use social networks? Even 15 minutes twice a day is better than nothing in an employee’s eyes. It’s a healthy way to get employees to refocus themselves after working for long hours, and you’ll get more productivity out of a worker who’s happy and taking intermittent breaks.

Training and mentoring

Ask employees which areas they feel they need more training in, or if you recognise they need improvement in certain areas, set up a a platform for them to be trained. New workers should be sent to training in the early stages of their employment,  making sure the work will be done properly and employees feel more equipped and confident in what they’re doing. They should see you as a mentor encouraging constant improvement, rather than a judge on the lookout for mistakes.

According to Jamie Gruman, a professor at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario:

Simply throwing newcomers into a job and letting them fend for themselves results in their being socialized by default rather than design. Companies benefit from boosting their employees well-being. Helping new hires adjust at the start empowers them to achieve their potential later on.”

A balanced life

A balance between work and personal life is something every employee should have. When they’re under the weather, give them the option to work from home. When their children are involved in important concerts or events, allow them to attend these activities during work hours and catch up on work in their own time.

Make employees feel like they have some sort of balance in their lives. Recent research by the  American Psychological Association shows that that 67% of workers would stay at a company because of the balance it offers them in their life. Some companies offer personal and professional perks to keep workers happy with their work-life balance, such as child care or housekeepers.

Space to thrive

Offer employees room to grow in the company. Employees who come to work every day with little or no room for future growth are often unsatisfied with their jobs and end up being less productive than the ‘growing employee’. They’re also most likely on the lookout for other jobs. This can be prevented by offering opportunities for advancement in their careers within the company.

Here’s something to always remember, whether you’re running your own business now or in the future:

When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors.” ~ James Sinegal

Read the original Business News Daily article here.


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