You came up with an amazing idea, have a product, and your company is doing so great that you decide to expand. Well, as soon as you expand, you need to face the hard truth — you and your idea are no longer the company. The company is now made up of all the people that you hired and brought on board. Keeping the team happy needs to be the top priority for any entrepreneur. It’s pertinent that clients and stakeholders feel and see employees are invested and believe in what they do.
With that in mind, I put together eight tips for creating a happy workplace, based on the data we’ve collected from over 500,000 anonymous employee reviews.
Help With the Balancing Act
We all need a work-life balance, but some need it more than others. Always remember that while you might be a workaholic, your employees, in order to be happier, do need some time to sort out and enjoy their personal lives.
Offer a flexible working schedule, at the end of the day, employees should be measured by results, not time spent in the office. Give employees days off for moving or other big tasks that require their attention. Make sure that if they need to, they can work from home (if the job allows it, which today a lot of them do).
Learn What Benefits Your Employees
When thinking about benefits, many companies tend to look at what others are doing and mimic that. Remember, a benefits package is not one size fits all. You have no idea how the competition came to the decision to pick these specific benefits, and what their employees think about them. What you should do is communicate. Ask your employees what they prefer. This way they’ll feel their voices are heard and more likely than not they will get what they want. In the end, it’ll save you money and time.
We’re not talking about getting participation trophies, but good work should be rewarded, and not just with a paycheck. If you see a project that an employee feels really proud of or put in a lot of work into, make sure to acknowledge and appreciate that effort. At times we forget that even a single word of encouragement every once in awhile can stave off deep resentment in your team. Don’t make them feel like their work is for nothing, even if it needs to be changed or scrapped altogether.
Sense the Sense of Purpose
Some employees prioritize a sense of purpose to their work above getting paid the highest salary possible. When looking to make your employee base happier, don’t be afraid to share with them the purpose of your business — and make an effort to get them on board. How are you changing the world? Once your purpose becomes their purpose, they will be happier to come in every morning and find a passion for their work.
Share the Knowledge
As company leaders, we have an instinct to hide information from employees. We might think they don’t need to know, or that there’s no reason for them to get all worked up. This instinct is actually wrong. Don’t forget that knowledge is power. Always be sure to share as much information as you can without compromising the company, when everyone is on the same page and you avoid misunderstandings, it helps keep everyone happy.
Challenge the Routine
Our data constantly affirms that one thing all employees want at work is to be challenged. Most employees don’t want to skate by and keep doing what they are doing. With that in mind, try and find ways to challenge your employees — especially if they ask for it. Even if their core tasks aren’t challenging, involve them in a creative project from another team to keep things interesting.
Work as a Team
While conventional wisdom teaches us otherwise, our data shows pretty clearly that people need a solid teamwork foundation in order to be happy in the workplace. Remember there’s no I in team. Avoid those old school competition management philosophies and focus more on helping everyone do their job better, together. Encourage teams to have an identity and unit pride, as they call it in the service. Make sure everyone knows their tasks and place in the team, in order to avoid ugly clashes.
You must always remember that a good employee is an employee who grows with the company. Make sure to know your employees goals for their career, and do what you can in order to make those goal happen. Whether that be giving them time (or funding) to continue their education or even sitting in on higher level meetings to learn how things are done, make sure that they feel like they’re advancing.
Employee happiness is one of the most crucial elements that make successful companies successful. Employees are your company's face to the clients and the world, they are the ones who build your idea and improve it. Them being happy means a better environment for your product, which will, eventually, reflect on the bottom line.