5 Tips for Investing in Happy Employees

5 Tips for Investing in Happy Employees

Table of Contents

Happy employees you say…

What do you think of when you picture office work?

Rows of employees, with springs in their keyboard strokes and sparkles in their eyes. Slow, triumphant smiles, fist bumps, and high fives. Engaging conversations with the CEO, managers, and interns, pulsing with excitement and inspiration. Team huddles. Team struggles. Team triumphs. A place where people belong. A place where people enjoy working together and reaching their full potential.

Now imagine this instead:

Rows of employees, shoulders hunched, heads bent to their screens. A dimly lit, out-of-the-way break room with an old ping pong table that’s rarely used. Hurried lunches, eaten at desks between meetings. Scattered small talk and bleary eyes, then nervous silence as the CEO walks around the corner. A job to pay the bills. Unfulfilling, monotonous stagnation, eight hours a day with half-hearted perks and hawk-eyed executives.

There’s a huge difference between happy and unhappy employees.

Why should you invest in happy employees?

As Fast Company states:

“A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, “We find  human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”

In their article: “Ten Reasons Why It is Important to Create a Happy Workplace”, Inc. shares 10 benefits of happy employees:

  1. Happiness has a multiplying effect
  2. Happy employees are successful employees
  3. Those happy people have the right attitude
  4. Reducing stress increases productivity
  5. A positive work environment encourages risk-taking
  6. Happy employees support each other
  7. They are not afraid to make mistakes
  8. Leaders lead by example
  9. Happiness inspires creativity
  10. People like to work with happy people

All right so you’re convinced. Happy employees are the way to be. But this doesn’t happen overnight. How do you create a happy workplace and encourage employee happiness?

5 Tips for Investing in Happy Employees

1. Build Compassionate Leaders

Make sure all of your managers embrace the vision, are there to support people, and are connecting and inspiring them in the right ways. A manager is the most direct link to an employee. We all know individuals don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. Similarly, a great manager can make a world of difference and inspire their team members to move mountains, unlock their potential to develop their professional growth, and spring the organization forward in the process. So share this vision with your managers, and cultivate an environment where managers are motivating coaches, rather than intimidating bosses. Everyone wins.

2. Invest in Your Employees

Help your employees develop their career path and progress. This includes recognizing them for hard work and work well done. It means giving them feedback, both praise and constructive criticism, being a coach, a mentor, a cheerleader, and a friend. It also means listening to them. Do your employees have a voice in your company? Are you giving people the opportunity to give feedback, to be listened to and responded to? An excellent way of doing this is through a third party survey platform. Show employees you want to hear what they have to say. And then listen and act.

3. Create a Motivating Office Culture

Do everything you can to make work a place where people want to be. This might include having a social events group that organizes sports teams, group workouts, yoga sessions, competitions, or fun nights out. When you give employees opportunities to bond, while also providing positive recreational activities, it’ll inspire and encourage them. They’ll feel part of something. They’ll also feel taken care of. And will give it their all.

4. Be a Kind Leader

Don’t be the boss everyone’s afraid of, who rules by fear. Though it’s important to have a measure of respect in order to command authority, you also want your employees to know you’re on their side, you’ve got their backs, and you believe in them. So be transparent about what’s going on in the company. Share information openly. Ask employees to give you feedback, and respond. Eat lunch with your employees, even by Zoom. Talk with them. Joke with them. Be approachable. Leave your door or Slack channel open. Treat your team members like family.

5. Give Your Employees Ownership

This starts with hiring right. As Rob Catalano states in his article on LinkedIn, don’t hire passengers, hire drivers—people who are passionate about your goals, who are excited for the difference you’re making in the world and can’t wait to jump on board. And once they’re on board trust them and let them run with it. Give employees the power to move the company forward. Allow individuals to prove themselves. Reward people for their hard work. Let them lead new projects, get creative. Give them equity—this organization’s your baby and now it’s theirs too. When employees start running with the passion of the company, nothing can put those flames out.

Happy people are vital to a successful company. As the saying goes, “If you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go further, go together.”

Your employees are your team, your family, and your greatest asset.

Treat them as such, and you’ll be amazed at the results.