What Makes A Happy Workforce?

Did you know that happy employees are more than 12% more productive? This comes as no surprise. Multiple studies have found that the happier the working environment, the more satisfied and healthier employees are. Contented staff leads to increased productivity and this, in turn, brings about boosted office morale, fewer instances of sickness and staff retention.

But what makes a happy workplace? You might recognise these ideas….

Encourage an open dialogue across the company

Open communication is the foundation of any happy workplace. Creating a sense of involvement for employees of all levels ensures everyone feels part of the team. This means making sure all employees are aware of the company’s goals and values. Throughout the year, it’s also important to provide staff with opportunities to be involved in projects that contribute to the development or performance of the business. An open environment like this, where employees can share ideas, thoughts and concerns candidly, leads to increased employee engagement, commitment and greater job satisfaction.

Career meetings….not performance appraisal

Whilst feedback should be provided to employees on an ongoing basis, this should not be saved up for performance appraisals. Instead, six-monthly or annual meetings should be a time and place for the employee to discuss their own desires for career progression, any apprehensions, and any opportunities they may want to pursue in the future. Employees and direct reports should discuss progress against measurable career objectives on a regular basis, with the aim of the employee feeling supported in their both personal and professional goals. These meetings build trust between team members and ensure the employee feels secure, listened to and valued – not just a tiny cog, or robot, in a corporate machine.

Factor in down time

Employees should not be expected to work at full speed day in day out. We all need to factor in some down time to rest and recharge. Recent research from the University of California found that sitting down for too long can age someone by up to eight years, in addition to contributing to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and dementia.

Regular breaks improve energy levels and productivity, reduce stress and fatigue, and ultimately lead to a happier, more switched-on workforce. Could you benefit from a break in the afternoon to encourage all employees to step away from their screens, chat to colleagues or use the time to pursue their own interests? They may come back to their desks with clear heads, focused on the task ahead!

Train to inspire confidence

Happy employees are those that feel positively stretched, but are supported in a way in which they can proceed with confidence. By allowing their employees to feed into the training programme to ensure desired topics are covered, workers feel their opinions and interests are appreciated. It doesn’t always have to be formal training either. Regular mentoring sessions on a variety of smaller topics, even over lunch or a coffee, will be highly valued and potentially more useful, allowing for deeper and more focused discussions on specific areas of interest – naturally boosting an employee’s confidence.

What do you think makes a happy workforce? Leave a comment or find us on Twitter – @IncentiveHub!

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