When you think of your company, the first things that come to mind might be your customers, your products, and, of course, your team. There are many ways to describe the ideal team, like productive, loyal, and collaborative. These are all great terms, but from their own perspective, most employees — and people — simply want to be happy.
You know what it feels like to be happy, but what does it look like across an entire workforce? In broad terms, happy employees actually feel like they belong at an organization. They know their company values them and is invested in their growth, and understand that they have a real voice that impacts the whole company.
Boosting employee happiness should be a priority for every employer. Happiness might seem like an abstract attribute, but it contributes to — and is the result of — many other, more tangible positive qualities, from employee engagement, to performance, to retention.
7 ways to boost employee happiness at your company
If you’re ready to realize the benefits of happy employees at your company, here are seven actionable ways to get started.
1. Prioritize work-life balance
Today many commutes are measured in terms of steps instead of miles. This can provide both benefits and challenges to work-life balance. If your team members don’t know how to easily unplug and unwind, you could be faced with a team that struggles with burnout, disengagement, and, ultimately, retention.
Ignoring the wellness needs of your team can hurt both individual team members, and your organization’s bottom line. Seventy-six percent of U.S. employees experience burnout on the job, and 70% of workers worldwide say they’re more stressed than in the past. Stress and burnout can easily lead to missing work, and unexpected absences cost organizations between $2,600 to $3,600 per year for each employee.
Increasing your focus on work-life balance doesn’t have to be expensive or disruptive. If you take the time to gather feedback from your team on what they’re experiencing — and what could help — you might find that you can improve work-life balance through simple changes like increased flexibility, gym membership reimbursements, and rewarding defined, group wellness activities. Leverage a modern employee engagement platform to gather frequent feedback on your offerings, so that you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
2. Enable frequent, meaningful recognition across your company
Recognizing your employees frequently, and in ways they find meaningful, is a powerful method for keeping happiness high. There are many different types of recognition, from showing appreciation through reward points, gift cards, meaningful experiences, and swag to social recognition that gets the whole organization involved. Ask your employees how they’d prefer to be recognized, and select an employee recognition platform that makes showing appreciation on a daily basis fun and engaging for every team member.
3. Listen to your employees and act on their feedback
Giving your employees a voice is critical to organizational success and employee happiness. When you know how your team feels, and your team knows their opinions actually matter to you, aligning business objectives with employee needs and aspirations comes naturally. Keep your finger on the pulse of the drivers of employee happiness and engagement with a solution that includes always-on feedback channels and features the tools needed to guide people leaders from insight to action. Select the right platform, and you’ll find levers to move employee happiness that you never knew existed.
4. Offer amazing incentives
The right employee incentive program will help your company to attract, engage, and retain talent. Incentives are all the benefits your organization offers employees. They include tuition reimbursement, increased time off, sales commissions, performance bonuses, flexibility in work arrangements, and much more. Team members who are satisfied with their benefits are more than twice as likely to also be satisfied with their work. As with your company’s employee recognition program, when deciding on which incentives to offer, take the time to gather employee input, so your organization is spending its limited resources where they’ll make the most impact.
5. Practice transparent communication at all levels
It’s hard to be happy if you can’t trust your organization and its leadership to be honest with you. That’s why consistently practicing transparent communication at all levels of your company is so crucial. Transparent communication requires all employees, especially leaders, to openly and truthfully communicate with one another, even about difficult issues. If your company’s people leaders are open and honest, others will follow suit. But if team members find that leaders practice transparency only when it suits them, expect employee happiness to take a hit.
6. Support professional development and career advancement
An organization with no room for advancement is a breeding ground for discontent, while one that supports employee growth and establishes a variety of clear career paths has built a foundation for long-term worker happiness. Professional development includes all of your company’s activities and initiatives that support employee learning, growth, and career advancement. These activities and initiatives are a way of aligning your organizational needs with your team members’ goals and skills, all while demonstrating your company’s investment in each individual employee.
A well-designed talent development program helps ensure that every employee at your company understands how to expand their skill set, advance within the organization, and achieve their professional goals. Every organization’s professional development initiatives will be different, but common elements include offering training and education for your employees, providing reimbursement for continuing education, and supporting coaching and mentorship.
7. Develop an incredible organizational culture
Organizational culture is the sum of all the values, expectations, and daily practices that guide every member of your team. A great culture makes every employee want to be involved and exemplifies the positive traits that drive happiness and performance. Establish a set of compelling company values, recognize behaviors that reflect those values, and work to build an environment where everyone feels included and knows they can safely express themselves.
Start on the path to happy employees today
Implementing these practices at your company doesn’t have to be a struggle. The Achievers Employee Experience Platform has the tools you need to start improving employee happiness today. It features Achievers Recognize, a recognition and reward platform that makes your company 2.5x more likely to retain its employees. It also includes Achievers Listen, a science-driven employee engagement solution dedicated to capturing and acting on frequent and purposeful employee feedback.