Keeping your employees happy should be the priority for any boss. Your employees are vital to keeping your business going, and the culture you create will reflect the work they achieve. We’ve compiled a list of 8 ways to keep your team happy. Indeed, this is just a starting point, so whilst you may be acting on some of the following points, make sure to take the time to assess your managerial style and ensure you are implementing approachable and welcome change.
1. Company culture
Company culture is a phrase thrown around frequently and one that will pop up throughout this advice piece. Company culture is integral to every aspect of creating a happy working environment and happy employees, and requires a company to look inwards. There are various changes which can be made, some of which we’ll go through later, to create a company culture to be proud of.
First up, team building. Think of fun ways to encourage your team to get to know each other, the ideal setting for this is outside the office, partaking in something enjoyable. You’d be amazed at how different people can be when they are removed from the office environment, helping you and the team to get to know each other better than ever before. Take part in activities such as go karting, a simple night out, or even try your hand at axe throwing. Your team will appreciate the time to relax, have fun, and connect on a different level.
Team building exercises can also be introduced as company perks such as free yoga classes which are great for de-stressing, discounted gym memberships and much more. Volunteer days are also popular, particularly those that involve animals because who doesn’t enjoy cuddling a puppy? Talk to your team and find out what they would like to do to ensure whichever activities you opt for are fully appreciated and wanted.
2. Flexible working
Flexible working is becoming a more common offering in the office, especially since the pandemic struck and many companies had to adapt their infrastructure to accommodate working from home. With working hours increasing and commutes becoming more packed and longer, it’s no surprise that this option is still preferable for many workers. Therefore, it’s a strong selling point for any job role when the option to choose your working hours and where you work is available.
The pandemic forced companies to adapt and trust their workforce to work efficiently from home, and in most cases, displayed that results can still be achieved when working this way. This has helped to strengthen many work relationships, resulting in higher productivity.
Nonetheless, there are many employees who still prefer coming into the office for collaborative working and to establish a clearer work and personal life balance, but it’s key to make it a voluntary choice in order to cater towards everyone’s needs.
3. Work life balance
Achieving a work life balance is one of the most important but difficult parts of working life. With employees being more career driven nowadays and working hours having increased over the years, it’s tough for people to relax and feel well rested when they’re worrying about checking emails or staying late to get work done.
It’s absolutely essential for emotional and physical happiness to have these essential breaks to rest and recover. Employees who feel pressure to work late will experience burnout eventually, which can have a negative impact on their mental health. Responsibility falls to employers to ensure that workload is manageable with the contracted time given to complete it.
To reduce the likelihood of this happening, ensure that employees know they never need to work outside of work hours. Create a work culture which actively encourages employees to take time for themselves by checking they don’t have their work emails set up on personal devices and are taking the recommended breaks away from their job, this will differ in every industry depending on the task at hand. Nevertheless, taking a small five minute break to get some fresh air works wonders for employee happiness and productivity.
4. Support systems
You should always provide a good support system for employees. This can be HR, who should be fully trained in providing impartial and beneficial advice to employees to ensure their needs are met. With this in mind, you should also strive for an inclusive office that is accessible to everyone. If employees’ needs aren’t met, they may feel less valued.
5. Valuing opinions and ideas
You should try to implement a platform that encourages your employees to share their ideas and feedback, enabling them to share any positive experiences, inspiration, constructive criticism or issues.
A great office atmosphere stems from honesty and taking the time to listen to employees will only strengthen your business and the work it achieves. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a large boardroom meeting, it can be in appraisals, one to ones and even in the format of a suggestion box. Talk to each of your employees and see what they think might be the best way for them to get their ideas and opinions heard. This will allow them to be part of the bigger picture, showing them that their feedback is valued and can change the way the company operates.
6. Praise, recognition and rewards
A great way to value your employees is to take the time to praise them and say thank you for their efforts. It only has to be a small gesture to recognise an employee’s achievements but the impact can be enormous, creating a work environment that values their contributions and hard work.
Many modern offices have a reward system, where if an employee goes above and beyond or achieves something great, they’re rewarded for it. This could operate in the form of a spinning wheel or a lucky dip type scenario, and the rewards can range from vouchers to an extra day of holiday. Rewards not only boost morale, but the time taken to show appreciation provides a welcome break from work and encourages the team to meet up for a short period and celebrate a fellow colleague.
7. Chances for progression
Progression comes hand in hand with valuing your employees and recognising their achievements. Having a clear path to progressing their career, with set objectives and goals is guaranteed to boost morale. Often employees can find themselves in a rut, unsure of where their current career will take them and how to take that next step to progress. If you have set steps to follow, then an employee will more often than not work hard to achieve this and will be happy to do so.
If an employee cannot clearly see how they could improve their performance or progress their current position, they may feel demotivated. Regular catch ups and feedback on areas for improvement, taking the time to acknowledge their success also, will make them feel valued, seen and provide them with a clear vision for the future of their position in the workplace.
8. Physical spaces
The physical workspace plays an important role in employee happiness. Grey, drab offices with small cubicle spaces are the epitome of an unhappy workplace.
Ensure you have spaces full of natural light, and where this isn’t possible, use lighting which imitates natural light, avoiding harsh fluorescent lights. Talking of brightening a room, plants are known to boost morale and improve the occupant’s happiness.
Collaborative workspaces are a must, encouraging team working and improving the social aspect of the office space. Whilst it will remain a place of work, where most employees work at their own desks, a collaborative workspace is great for any team meetings, projects and if someone needs support.
Break out spaces are also vital in any modern workplace, and if you do not yet have one, it’s definitely time to think about getting one. With so many employees working from home in recent months, the adjustment to office life can be quite a difficult one, so providing a more relaxing space away from their desks or workstations will help with this transition. It’s also a great space for employees to take mini breaks when they need five minutes away from the screen. Add some fun and social aspects to your break out spaces with football tables, ping pong tables, sofas and a little snack bar. Offices are becoming less formal, creating an atmosphere of enjoyment rather than stress.
Ergonomic furniture is a must, with a good quality desk chair being a vital element of any work set up. Ergonomic furniture reduces the likelihood of pains and strains and promotes better posture. If employees are uncomfortable during the work day this can certainly take a toll on their happiness after a whole day trying to ignore their discomfort, which only makes working harder. By providing your employees with a comfortable, relaxing office set up you are showing them that you prioritise their comfort and value their work.
We fully encourage you to put each of the above suggestions into practice, as every employer should recognise that their employees are human beings who deserve to be in a happy and comfortable work environment. Talk to your employees, find out what they need to work productively, efficiently, and most of all, happily. If you need any advice on what your office might benefit from furniture wise, feel free to give us a call on 0845 0737230 or take a look at our quality office furniture online.