As the single most valuable resource in your business, making the effort to keep your employees happy in their roles is an essential management activity. If your workforce is happy, you'll reap the benefits of better retention and profit through productivity. There are other reasons that make it worthwhile to maintain employee happiness, but keeping turnover low and productivity high should be reason enough to convince any manager that staff happiness matters.
As with anything, knowing that a need exists is one thing. What you're probably more interested in knowing, is what practical steps you can take to meet that need. To help you with that, here are five management tips for keeping your employees happy and your company enjoying the fruits of a productive and engaged workforce.
Perhaps your employees are totally happy, but how do you know? There are some great tools available to help you send out quick "pulse" surveys once a week. Tinypulse is just one such tool. You can use Tinypulse to send out an anonymous survey question once a week. It only takes your staff a moment to respond, and you benefit from being able to react quickly to any developing issues which might impact morale.
Above all else, staffs want to feel valued and appreciated by those they spend most of their waking day working for. A little recognition goes a long way. One way to recognize excellent performance is with awards. Performance-based awards are certainly an incentive for staffs to strive for excellence. However, even some fun awards for smaller achievements let your staff know you recognize what they do for you and the company.
The nine to five workday might be on its way out. Numerous studies and surveys have shown that today's staffs are more than happy to put in their 40 hours each week, but don't see the need for the old routines. If you want to increase your employees' happiness some, you could consider whether some form of flexible working would work for your business. This might consist of a compressed working week, letting employees do some of their work from home or introducing a flexible-hours program.
Employees tend to be happier in their work if they are given some responsibility and ownership of their workload. One way to foster a deeper involvement among the workforce is to empower employees to work as self-managing teams. Focus on output and let your employees figure out the best ways to achieve it. Self-managing teams can give employees the sense that "this product (or service) is mine", resulting in a greater sense of satisfaction and achievement.
Gone are the days when work wasn't supposed to be fun. Modern managers and good leaders know that introducing a sense of fun to the workplace can heighten rather than hamper productivity. It doesn't mean you have to dress in a clown suit to deliver your team briefings (although you can if you wish). Just simple things like ordering in some cakes and snacks for each employee's birthday and having a fifteen minute celebration can make employees feel more like people than commodities.
Creating and maintaining a happy workforce takes a little effort, just like any aspect of staff/employee management. However the payoff in retention and productivity make it a venture well worth pursuing.