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Four Ways To Keep Your Team Engaged (And Thus Support Your Business' Bottomline) Recent studies say there is evidence that happier employees are more productive in the workplace by anywhere up to 20%.

By Walid Fakih

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Recent studies say there is evidence that happier employees are more productive in the workplace by anywhere up to 20%. Taking this into consideration, as a business owner it's your job to establish procedures that will keep your employees happy and motivated, not only benefiting the corporate culture, but also supporting your bottom line.

Here at McDonald's UAE, we were recently recognized as the UAE Best Employer by the prestigious AON Best Employers Award 2017 for the second year in a row. We grow at an average of 12 restaurants every year, and with an employee community growing on average by 450 people annually, we need to really focus on employee satisfaction in order to sustain this growth. McDonald's UAE provides the best possible working environments for its employees and invests heavily in their professional and personal growth, but each workplace is different and has its own dynamic, and it's impossible for any CEO to know and understand all of the interpersonal relationships and goings-on amongst employees. While keeping an even hand and being aware of the general office (and in our case, restaurant) sentiment, these are a few of my tips that can help boost the mood of the entire workplace.

Celebrate success
It's easier to notice things done wrong rather than realize the things that have been going really well. Often, top management are only forced to get involved with the day-to-day activity when tasks are being mishandled, or a customer or client is upset. It is rare that a compliment from a customer will make it all the way to the top of the organization, and, because of this, a job well done flies under the radar. A simple fix of asking for monthly reports on exceptional service or implementing an acknowledgement program will allow for these superstar employees to be regularly brought to your attention, and therefore regularly celebrated. This will not only improve their workplace frame of mind, but will also incentivize others within the company. Saying thank you is both cost-effective and easy, and whether delivered verbally or through email, it will go a long way.

In addition to celebrating successes, keeping an ear out for the general sentiment in the office or workplace can help influence the office dynamics, and make sure your employees are happy. Being available for a conversation shows that you're willing to listen, and value your employees' thoughts and concerns. An open inbox, or better yet an open-door policy, provides opportunities for employees to be heard.

Encourage development
Most people, especially in the workplace, naturally want to better themselves and progress. Offering training programs and providing developmental support to employees of all levels will not only show you an individual's ambition, but also ensure they feel supported in their personal goals and journeys. Whether this is an online training course or a mentor program within the office or on the shop floor, better educating workers will only help the organization thrive. It is critical to have regular career planning discussions with your team to ensure you're supporting them wherever possible. When you empower your employees with knowledge and skills, turnover drops, productivity stays high, and your employees will meanwhile feel valued; you're investing in them, so you must want to keep them around.

Give them a positive environment and have fun
Happy employees make for a positive work environment, so ultimately if morale is high, the general corporate culture will compare. Things like publicly acknowledging accomplishments and providing lunch after a good quarter will maintain good spirits and motivate them to work hard.

It doesn't matter what type of business you're in. Your organization can't function or move forward without people. Company leaders across the globe know that keeping their team happy means they can move forward together. The most important qualities for a business is to have a culture where its employees feel valued and empowered. A culture where all levels of the team are courageous and generous with positive and constructive feedback, will not only demonstrate high morale, but mutual respect across the company.

Related: Family-Like Teams Build Extraordinary Businesses

Walid Fakih

General Manager, McDonald’s UAE

Walid Fakih is the General Manager at McDonald’s UAE. Having been appointed in 2013, he is responsible for the dayto- day operations of the business, and driving future growth. With a significant number of years of both international and regional FMCG management experience, Walid is a key asset to the continuous growth, development and management of McDonald’s UAE, and an important member of the management team.
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