As a business owner, it’s important to understand the importance of keeping your employees happy in the workplace. Happier and more fulfilled employees lead to higher staff retention, increased company loyalty, and even higher customer retention. Over time, these areas of the business can mean positive impacts in revenue, workload and overall business value. It might not seem like something to consider now, but a business’s value can have a major impact when it comes to the decision to sell, buy into, or pass on. With that being said, happier employees are a key variable in optimizing a business’s success.
Making employees happier in their workplace really pays off in terms of productivity. A study at The University of Warwick confirmed this. Conducted by the university’s Economics Department, it showed that productivity amongst jolly workers is up to 12 per cent higher.
For this reason, many progressive companies even go to the extent of hiring a Chief Happiness Officer (CHO). Amongst these companies are Amazon, Google, and Airbnb. All have appointed a CHO whose primary task is to shepherd the overall well-being of their employees. With a CHO at Google, employee satisfaction has notably risen by 37 per cent.
Surely, there are many ways to keep workers engaged and more productive. Here are some key steps to consider for increasing workplace happiness.
Optimise the office layout
Create an environment fostering comfort and happiness, starting with the layout of your office. The ideal design revolves around floor-to-ceiling windows that allow lots of natural light into the office space. Integrate plants into the interior design and set these greens in harmony with the organised work desks.
Provide generous space that inspires workplace productivity. The offices should be roomy enough so that your staff can have opportunities for physical activity. For instance, their workplace has to be roomy enough for them to stand up and stretch.
Adopt an open-plan office environment to encourage interaction amongst your employees. This setup brings about better communication between departments and strengthens workforce relationships. Decorate common areas to make these spaces more welcoming. Walls with relaxing colours, art pieces, and air-purifying plants are sure winners.
Set up a break room conducive to relaxation physically and mentally. Create a space where your employees can enjoy a brief respite from work. Furnishing it with comfy chairs and providing access to fresh fruits and healthy snacks should do wonders in enhancing employee productivity.
Promote workplace wellness
Ensure that wellness is a priority in your employees’ workplace to help build a positive mood in the work environment. Doing so contributes to maintaining the energy of the employees to accomplish their assigned tasks.
Providing healthy snacks in the employees’ break areas is a good start. This will encourage them to bring healthy foods of their own.
Conduct workshops on healthy lifestyles and offer incentives for group activities that promote health. Many companies succeed in increasing workplace happiness by organising inter-office sports competitions or activities. Some even provide a gym with fitness equipment exclusively available to employees.
At the workstations, provide ergonomically designed office equipment. Such furnishings help employees maintain good body posture throughout their workday. They will also be more comfortable, thereby contributing to workforce morale, a happier environment, and increased productivity.
Allow employees to express their personal touch in their respective workstations. Encourage display of personal items like photos, souvenirs, and décor comforting to an individual employee.
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Strengthen your company culture
Cultivate a virtuous company culture amongst your employees, as it weighs positively on workplace happiness. Immerse the workforce in the vision and mission of your business. Make sure each employee understands the norms and behaviours expected of everyone to help fulfil the objectives in the organisation.
Share to your employees the short- and long-term goals of your company. Regular updates, like quarterly briefings on how your business is doing, would be ideal.
Continuously highlight to your employees the importance of the products and/or services that your business delivers. Create a forum by which any employee can suggest ways and means to further enhance or improve the deliverables of the company.
Reward or recognise outstanding employee performance in a given period. Posting monthly on the company’s bulletin board your “Employee of the Month” can do wonders for employee morale.
Embrace diversity in the workplace, avoiding at all costs prejudice against gender, age, religion, or nationality. Encourage employees to showcase their talents outside of their work skills and expertise. Open opportunities for such display on special occasions, such as company holiday parties or outings and employee birthdays.
Involve your workforce in the exercise of your company’s social responsibility. Allow your employees to experience first-hand how your business contributes time and resources to worthy community projects and charities.
Summing it all up, creating a happy workplace is a group effort. Everyone in the organization has a role to play in making this happen. Its secret to success comes in a flawless orchestration of the various steps towards a happy and productive workplace. In saying this, it is a business’s owners responsibility to ensure that the workplace is consistently practicing ways in which employees can feel happy and secure at work. The smallest difference can make a huge impact on employee happiness and overall productivity. When it comes to deciding what’s best for your business, whether it’s a strategic planning or bringing on a new business partner, you want to make sure that your business practices are the best they can be in order to optimize its operations and value. When it comes to your next business-related decision, be sure to seek out a professional business valuation to help you understand your business’s current value. In the meantime, these simple practices will help you create a positive work environment and happier, more productive employees.