There have been numerous studies over the years into how mood impacts our productivity, and it seems that happy employees are also more industrious. In fact, researchers have found that happy employees are as much as 20% more productive in the workplace. Unhappy staff, however, are equally as unproductive which has an impact not just on the morale of the individual but also on the growth of the business which is a costly problem.
While personality obviously plays a part in how happy someone can be, it’s believed that situational factors can account for as much as 85% of an employee’s happiness. With this in mind, there are ways that HR can ensure company staff stay happy when they’re at work – here are some tips to make sure mood and productivity don’t drop.
Bring in Flexi-Time
A healthy work-life balance is essential for happiness and productivity, so companies need to be able to be flexible about schedules and working hours for their staff. A strict agenda and a lack of flexi-time can lead to resentment among staff, as it can result in missed life events and exhaustion over time. But companies who are more adaptable to the hours their staff work find that their employees are happier and more productive, as they no longer see work as a chore. So, take advantage of modern technology and enable staff to work their hours in different formats or from home. The same can also be said of supporting staff during difficult periods, such as a loss in their family or illness, or just taking an interest in the personal lives of staff. When employees feel supported and cared for by their managers, they’re more likely to give more in return, creating a fairer and happier work culture where everyone benefits.
Cultivate a Positive Company Culture
A positive company culture encourages happier emotions and healthy wellbeing, as well as improving the relationships employees foster with each other. So, what does a healthy culture look like? From benefits such as gym facilities or healthcare to investing in training and having regular performance reviews, there are numerous ways to ensure that staff feel cared for and acknowledged. A HR system that makes it easy to schedule these types of factors in throughout the year and manage staff will keep leaders and business owners on top of maintaining this happier workplace culture to avoid staff burnout and stress.
Keep Communication Open and Honest
One way to quickly see a decline in office morale is to fuel rumours about the company by not giving honest and open answers to staff questions, whether it’s about cutbacks or redundancies or how the company is performing. Depressing news like this can quickly get out of control and can have even the happiest of employees worried about the future of their position at the company. The best way to nip this in the bud is to maintain honest dialogue with teams – answer questions when they are asked and give staff a platform where they can ask things that they are worried about so that no employee has to sit worrying in silence. In addition to halting any fears staff may have, encouraging a trustworthy relationship with your employees also makes them happier.
Carve Out Motivating Career Pathways
One of the main reasons why individuals feel unhappy in their job is that they feel like their career has become stagnant with no opportunity for progression. In order to combat that, businesses need to prioritise career development plans and training for their staff to support them in achieving their goals and ambitions. Working with staff to understand where they would like their careers to progress and helping them to get there will not only benefit the company by keeping skilled employees within the business but will also motivate and encourage staff. Whether it’s upskilling or job shadowing, providing employees with career mentors or helping them move laterally within a team, there are various ways to support staff and ensure they stay happy and challenged in their role.
Hire Positive Players
Building teams of positive and enthusiastic employees can help to foster a happier and healthier workplace environment. It’s not always as easy as simply placing a happy person in a role, as skills and experience play a huge role in whether someone is well-suited for a job. But senior members of staff can create teams around positive players who can lead by example and encourage their colleagues to take a more optimistic approach to their tasks. Exposing staff to infectiously happy employees will lead to a more optimal workplace and can help to influence the attitudes of others for a boost in team morale.
Provide Praise Where It’s Due
No-one wants to work in a thankless environment and a complaint of many employees is that they don’t feel like their contributions at their company are recognised. There’s a lot to be said for praising staff when they do a good job, encouraging them throughout the process of a project or big task, and saying thank you when they have gone above and beyond what was asked of them. It’s a small thing that has a big impact and helps members of staff to feel appreciated for what they do, which motivates them to perform well each and every day.
Workplace culture and placing staff at the forefront of decisions helps to improve productivity and happiness within the company. For many organisations, simply listening to what their employees have to say and keeping an honest and reliable dialogue going with staff is the key to ensuring that everyone working for the brand is happy and motivated to give it all they’ve got. From investing the time and money into training staff to rewarding them when they’ve done a great job, managers and business owners can make sure their company is a positive place to work and somewhere that staff are proud to work for each day.