Advertising
Advertising

5 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier

5 Ways to Make Your Employees Happier

Many businesses operate under the assumption that employees want to be paid more. And while pay raises and bonuses are important aspects of employee retention, there’s ultimately one thing that matters more: happiness. Not sure where to start when it comes to employee happiness? Here are five strategies that generally work:

1. Gather and Listen to Feedback

Employees just want to be heard. They want to know that their opinions matter and that they are respected and cherished members of the organization. Sadly, a lot of business leaders make decisions independent of their employees. This drives a wedge between the employer and employees and causes frustration.

One of the best things you can do is simply listen to your employees. Even if you make a decision that’s different than the one they want you to make, the mere fact that you listen says a lot about where your priorities are. An open door policy, along with opportunities for anonymous feedback, goes a long way towards improving communication and elevating satisfaction.

Advertising

2. Remove Points of Friction

Every business has little friction points that frustrate employees. They’re often small problems, but when they have to be dealt with on a day-in and day-out basis, they become really annoying.

Take the outdated process of manual time tracking as an example. “Asking employees to manually track their hours is a recipe for disaster—it often leads to over or underpaying, which in turn opens the business up to future FLSA lawsuits,” says Jay Schofield of System ID.[1]

Other examples, while seemingly frivolous, include messy break rooms, low-quality office equipment, stringent clock-in and clock-out procedures, and slow internet connections.

Advertising

3. Offer More Time Off

How many days off do your employees get each year? Chances are, it’s probably not enough. American companies, on average, grant just 10 days per year to employees.[2] For perspective, French employees get at least five weeks off each year. While you don’t have to follow the French, you can and probably should give your employees a few more days off. Chances are, the increased job satisfaction will actually enhance productivity more than anything.

4. Encourage Flexible Work Scheduling

Researcher Dan Schawbel has spent a lot of time studying employee satisfaction and how workplace procedures impact it. He and his team recently completed an in-depth study on the topic and found some interesting results. Specifically, they discovered that employees don’t want more money – they actually want better work-life balance.

“In the study, we found that 35 percent of employees want more flexible schedules and 46 percent of employees say that flexibility is the most important aspect when looking for a new job,” Schawbel notes.[3] This begs the question, how can you encourage a more flexible schedule for your employees?

Advertising

5. Treat Employees Like Adults

At the end of the day, employees don’t want to feel like they’re sitting in a ninth grade classroom. They crave respect and independence. The best way to make employees happy is by giving them the autonomy they desire.

If an employee’s child gets sick at 3 p.m. on a Friday afternoon and needs to run and pick them up, that employee shouldn’t feel like he or she has to walk on eggshells. If a salesperson needs to grab lunch with a client, he or she shouldn’t have to go through a lengthy approval process in order to be granted permission. You get the picture.

Happiness is the Key to Job Satisfaction

Organizations claim that they prioritize employee happiness, yet few companies ever take tangible steps towards actually making sure employees enjoy their work. They either attempt to quell employees with occasional bonuses or ignore their feelings altogether.

Advertising

Unfortunately, neither of these techniques work. What you need to do is identify things that matter to your employees and look for opportunities to enhance them. Only then can you enjoy a fully satisfied workforce that’s productive and engaged.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2021 10 Uplifting Positive Affirmation Apps That Help You Re-Center on the Go hourglass as time is wasting 15 Ways You Are Wasting Time During the Day (And How to Stop) When You Have These Recipes, You No Longer Need to Suppress Your Appetite for Dessert. itchy skin 4 Natural Ways to Soothe Your Itchy Skin

Trending in Work

1 13 Characteristics of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs 2 5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All 3 10 Simple Habits Every Effective Manager Needs to Learn 4 10 Ways To Help Your Employees Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance 5 Top 10 Workplace Safety Tips Every Employee Should Know

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

Advertising

“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

Advertising

The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

Advertising

You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

Advertising

Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

Read Next