Yes, sometimes it’s just that simple. When your employees are happy, they’re more productive – an average of 12% more productive, according to research by the University of Warwick in Great Britain. And it doesn’t take a professional researcher to conclude that higher productivity is good for business!
The question is, how do you make your employees happy…and more to the point, how do you keep them happy? Sure, office perks like free snacks and coffee are nice. Raises, bonuses and awards boost morale. But it takes more to ensure the kind of sustainable happiness that really benefits your business.
Here are a few basic ways to keep your staff motivated, engaged and…yes, happy:
- Make your working environment as pleasant as possible, with comfortable office spaces and lots of natural light.
- Give employees new challenges and raise goals – realistically, of course. Failure doesn’t make anyone happy!
- Healthy = happy. Wellness programs are a great path to long-term employee satisfaction. See our article Healthy, Wealthy and Wise for some ideas.
- Everybody loves flex time, including the opportunity to work from home on occasion. It demonstrates trust and encourages employees to be responsible.
- Celebrate success. When your company or department achieves or surpasses a goal, let everybody share in the victory. It’s a great excuse to throw a party! But don’t stop there; always reward individual accomplishments as well.
Finally, remember that a culture of happiness starts at the top. Foster enthusiasm among executives and management and watch it trickle down. To put a little spin on the famous line from Forrest Gump, “Happy is as happy does.”