Happy employees work harder, according to a 700-person experiment conducted by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy. When happy, the studied worker’s productivity increased by 12 percent, and at one point reached a 20 percent high. Other studies back these findings and have shown that happy employees take fewer sick days, are less likely to quit, and that happy salespeople produce 37 percent more sales.
So, what makes an employee happy? The following lists some tips and tricks you can use to improve your company’s culture, thus increasing the happiness quotient of your workers and your bottom line.
- Hand Out Recognition Rewards
According to “The Happiness Study,” conducted by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, only 42 percent of employees are happy with the recognition and rewards currently offered by their companies. Rewards are an incentive to work harder because receiving an award feels good. Custom awards celebrate victories, teamwork, leadership, and long-term commitment.
Semi-annual award ceremonies are a great way to boost company morale, but throughout the year think about small rewards too. Award your team with backpacks, water bottles, pens, and other branded merchandise as a way of saying thank you. These small incentives don’t cost much, and you’ll be rewarded with priceless employee satisfaction.
- Relax Your Workplace
The Global Benefits Attitude survey asked more than 22,000 employees in 12 countries about their stress levels at work. Stress at work is a leading contributing factor to low productivity. It was determined that stressed out employees were disengaged and lethargic at work. They couldn’t relax there, but a few upgrades to your business can provide a more relaxing work environment so your employees don’t fall into the same trap.
Try upgrading your breakroom to include multi-media, such as video game stations or cable television packages. Implement a health and fitness program, a creativity hour, and comfortable seating at all workstations. These things will allow stressed out employees to take the edge off with a bit of fun and relaxation, so they’re primed for more productivity when they head back to their workstations.
- Feed Them
“Providing employees with nutritious snacks should never be viewed as an unnecessary business expense,” warns an Intuit article. Unhealthy snacking can lead to health issues, as well as it decreases motivation and productivity. The article warns that when employees eat at their desks, they tend to eat quickly and more than they need. Instead of encouraging an unhealthy workplace, tempt your employees to a communal snack area.
Free food is considered a workplace perk, and perks increase happiness. Google and Facebook both use snacks to award their employees, and you should do the same to keep your team happy. Plus, communal snacking encourages communication, which promotes teamwork. Stock your snack area with fresh fruit, nuts, protein bars, yogurt, and other delicious and healthy options.
- Offer Flexible Work Options
Is it possible your employees could do their job from home? Mobile devices and WiFi have made it possible for a lot of business to be conducted remotely. By offering your employees telecommuting options from time to time, you’re offering them more relaxation and time with their families. Flexible work options also include “compressed work weeks and taking extended leave time,” says How Stuff Works.
Georgetown Law School and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation discovered that 80 percent of employees appreciate flexible work options. Their research caused them to develop an initiative that encourages businesses to think about how they’re scheduling, and what they can do to improve the schedules of their employees. If you’re curious how flexible work options would affect your employees, just ask.
In fact, it’s prudent to survey your employees and ask them exactly what would make them happier. Chances are, they’ve got more ideas for you than just what’s on this list.