Top 10 Secrets to Employee Happiness
The majority of workers spend the best part of adulthood in a professional setting.
It’s a big commitment, and since the way you feel about your job can impact other areas of your personal life, it’s important to find a working environment that promotes employee happiness.
What Are the Common Signs of a Happy Workplace?
A happy workplace fosters engagement, inclusivity and collaborative achievement.
- Show a shared sense of responsibility
- Are focused on common goals
- Feel valued for their individual contributions
In a happy workplace, employee productivity is typically high and staff turnover low.
Whilst an employee’s happiness is, of course, relative to their interest in the role they fulfill, it takes a lot more than passion to achieve real job satisfaction .
Forward-thinking companies recognize this and understand the importance of creating a professional environment in which their staff feel appreciated, fairly rewarded and encouraged to reach their full potential.
Why Is Employee Happiness Important?
There are many benefits of a happy workplace, both for you as an individual and the organization you work for as a whole:
It Boosts Employee Productivity
A large part of employee happiness is a sense of value – the feeling that your hard work is recognized and rewarded, and that it contributes towards the business’s objectives.
When this is the case, you’re more inclined to put in the extra effort and make your contribution that much greater.
As a result, you become a valued employee with more opportunities for career growth, and your company benefits from your increased productivity.
It Creates a Strong Company Culture
Not only is a happy workplace a productive one, it’s also a united one. Employee happiness encourages a close-knit team whose members share the same values and are focused on company growth.
For the organization, that means a workforce dedicated to achieving business goals.
For you as an employee, it gives you a role to be proud of and a sense of security, since businesses with a collaborative working culture often have a competitive advantage over those who maintain a top-down management style .
It Benefits Relationships
Happy people typically inspire positivity in others and establish relationships built on mutual respect.
The same goes for happy employees. They form strong bonds with both coworkers and management, which makes for more effective working relationships.
Office politics are minimized since everyone feels valued and part of a team. The working environment as a whole becomes a nicer place, which in itself contributes further to employee happiness.
It Improves Retention
Happiness at work means higher employee satisfaction, and when you’re satisfied, you’re far less likely to look around for something new.
Your employer gets to hold on to top talent and reduce recruitment costs, and you get to eliminate the stress and strain of looking for new employment.
It Affects Life Outside of Work
Employee happiness is central to business success and, as an employee, the happier you are at your place of work, the more enjoyable life in general becomes as a result.
By contrast, a hostile work environment can negatively impact working relationships, productivity and, subsequently, business success as a whole.
Moreover, employees who find themselves in a hostile work environment will often see that negativity creep into their personal lives , affecting their home life, emotional wellbeing and sense of self.
Top 10 Secrets for Employee Happiness
Whilst there’s no magic formula for happiness in the workplace, there are things that employers can and should do to encourage a better working environment and increase employee happiness and wellbeing .
Keep the following things in mind when assessing your current role or weighing up the benefits of any future employment.
1. Open Communication
Top-down managerial styles, where information is given on a need-to-know basis, aren’t productive in today’s working culture.
Instead, employers should look to adopt open lines of communication , promoting honesty and transparency at every level.
For example, employers who keep staff in the dark about organizational change are more likely to encourage resentment than employee happiness, and those that don’t listen to staff opinion will see a rise in employee frustration.
You’re far more likely to be engaged when you feel part of the bigger picture, so seek out a working environment where open communication is a key business objective.
2. Good Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key to a happy life, and though there are many habits you can develop yourself in this respect, your employer also has a major part to play.
Flexible working hours that allow you to better prioritize your responsibilities can significantly improve your attitude to work.
Many organizations are also seeing how the advantages of working remotely can contribute to employee happiness.
3. Employee Wellness Schemes
Health and wellness are hot topics in employment, and there’s an increasing sense of responsibility among businesses to ensure both the physical and emotional wellbeing of their workforce.
Wellness schemes can comprise multiple offerings, from healthcare plans to gym memberships.
A wellness scheme can contribute significantly to employee happiness, since the better we take care of ourselves, the more enjoyment we get out of our everyday lives.
4. Clear Career Pathways
A happy workplace encourages growth, so look for organizations that support staff with their long-term career goals by providing clear pathways for progression.
Enthusiasm and enjoyment fade when faced with a lack of opportunity, but when you have definite stages of advancement, you become more motivated to work towards them.
For example, if your employer lays down a five-year plan for your progression at the company, you’ll be far happier with your prospects than if faced with ongoing uncertainty.
If your current role doesn’t fit within a typical career ladder , try talking to your employer to see how they envisage your responsibilities evolving.
5. Rewards and Benefits
When you work for a company that treats you well, you’ll find far more enjoyment in your professional life.
Hard work should be rewarded, and for most people that means more than just a decent salary .
Rewards come in all shapes and sizes. Most companies offer healthcare, pension contributions and paid vacation time as part of their employee benefits packages, but appreciation doesn’t always have to come with a monetary value.
Some companies show their gratitude with internal awards; others make simple gestures like publicly thanking staff at team meetings. All these things add up and make for a happier, more productive workforce.
6. Perks Beyond the Norm
We’ve already mentioned the standard offerings made through employee benefits packages, but some organizations look to increase employee happiness by going beyond the basics.
Travel allowances, tuition contributions and family-planning benefits are all things to keep an eye out for.
Some firms offer sabbaticals to staff who have served a certain number of years with the company, whilst others may provide subsidized office snacks or loyalty schemes for out-of-work activities.
The value of work perks should not be underestimated. They can go a long way towards creating an environment in which everyone feels happy with their lot.
There’s nothing worse than working in a hostile atmosphere where your colleagues would rather focus on individual gains than work as part of a team.
Any good employer knows that whilst friendly competition can be healthy, the happiest workplaces are those that encourage collaboration.
This is often a cyclical process.
When you’re happy in your work, you’re more inclined to help those around you, and the more you see the benefits of working as one team, the happier you become.
Effective teamwork is often crucial to business success, so it’s in an employer’s best interests to create a collaborative working environment.
8. Strong Company Values
When an organization works to a set of core values, and does so from the top down, it creates a sense of mutual respect and common purpose.
Managers who lead by example experience increased buy-in from staff, and when everyone works together, employee happiness is strengthened.
Values predetermine company culture, and the most responsive employers look to create a culture of continuous improvement .
This is a process whereby all staff are involved to some degree in business decisions, creating a positive workplace where job satisfaction is typically high.
9. Interesting and Varied Job Content
Repetitiveness is dull, and if you’re in a job that involves completing the same tasks in the same way day in, day out, boredom will soon creep in.
To avoid tedium, you should look to your employer to provide varied and interesting job content.
Of course, every job has its core responsibilities that need to be taken care of, but perhaps your employer could implement a new approach, or invest in technology to streamline some processes.
Variety is also key to career development.
The opportunity to learn new skills or take on greater responsibility allows you to grow, so speak to your employer about any opportunities to take on a new challenge.
10. Appropriate Compensation
Employee happiness is not always tied to financial gain, but it does help if you’re paid fairly for your role.
A good employer will assess your pay at regular intervals to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.
If your salary is a cause of job dissatisfaction, and no review is forthcoming, follow our guidance on how to ask your employer for a raise .
You’ll never be truly happy in your work if you feel you’re undervalued, and any organization that sees employee happiness as a priority will do its best to find mutually agreeable terms.
There’s no quick fix for employee happiness. You may love the job you’re in and the people you work with but still experience stresses in your work-life balance.
You may feel you’ve achieved the right balance between personal and professional responsibilities but see limited opportunity for growth.
There’s also no one-size-fits-all solution, and what you look for from an employer isn’t necessarily what your coworkers will see as beneficial.
Employee happiness is an ongoing process. It requires employers to continually assess their organizational culture and how they treat their workforce. It takes clear, two-way communication between managers and staff, and it should form part of your personal development plan.
After all, if you’re not aware of what employee happiness means to you as an individual, you’re unlikely to know if and when you have achieved it.