Keeping your employees happy is about more than just reducing the complaining that happens around the office water cooler. It can help make your team more productive, more creative and even turn them into better leaders. Here are eight tried-and-true tips and tricks to help you make your employees happier in the long run, in no particular order.
- Build a Community
If your employees feel like they belong at work, they'll be more comfortable coming to the office every day. Building a community for your employees gives them the ability to make friends that can support them, which is vitally important when the day gets stressful, or something doesn't go according to plan. That support can come in handy in the high-pressure business world.
- Foster a Healthy Work/Life Balance
It can be hard to keep work at work, especially when we've got a cell phone in our pockets that keeps us attached to our email and work chats. Take the time to foster a healthy work/life balance — allow your employees to disconnect from work when they aren't on the clock.
- Stop Keeping Score
Numbers can be useful to track production and employee skills, but putting too much focus on those numbers can be detrimental to your employees' happiness — especially if those numbers come from things they can't control, such as customer reviews.
- Employee See, Employee Do
Doing everything you can to make your employees happy isn't worth much if you're miserable yourself. Set a good example for your employees by taking steps to be happy too. Your position might be stressful, as a business owner or CEO, but allowing yourself time to de-stress and to enjoy life outside the office can encourage your employees to do the same.
- No Micromanaging!
It can be tempting to micromanage your crew to get things done precisely as you would like them to be, but it's counterproductive. It erodes your employees' trust, both in you and in their team leader. If you need people to do things a certain way, provide instruction, then let them handle it. You might be surprised — they might even find a better and more efficient way to get the job done.
- Positive Reinforcement Isn't Just for Children
Everyone loves to get rewarded for their hard work, regardless of their age or the work they are doing. Offer positive reinforcement for a job well done, and if people make mistakes, constructive criticism can turn a negative into a positive and help your employees become better at their job.
- Change the Environment
Cubicles and fluorescent lights might be stereotypical office fare, but they aren't the most comfortable option. Instead, go with natural light and green plants in the office. Even updating your parking lot with new paint and a more efficient design can make it more comfortable for your employees as they're heading into the office in the morning.
- Don't Forget the Fun
They say all work and no play makes for dull people — but it can also make it harder for your employees to be happy. There's room for a little frivolity in the workplace, so don't be afraid to make your office fun!
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