Studies have shown that the happiest companies are also the fastest growing. The formula is simple: Happy workers boost your bottom line and make for happy customers. Investing in employees — and working hard to retain them — pays off in the long run. Not only will you be creating a positive work environment, but you’ll also be building a team of loyal, engaged employees who care about being productive at their jobs.
A comprehensive employee engagement study conducted by Gallup in 2014, the most recent available, found that engaged employees make the best colleagues. “They cooperate to build a team, a company, or an organization, and they are behind everything good that happens there,” the report noted. “These employees are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work.”
Praise and thank employees often for a job well done. Don’t wait for annual reviews to let them know that you’re paying attention to their achievements. A simple “thank you” can go a long way as can recognition at a weekly meeting or a short email message.
Know Their Name
This one may seem obvious, but it points to a leader or manager who is involved with his or her employees. Knowing your employee’s name means also knowing about their families, interests and passions. It’s easier to engage and connect with someone when you know what’s going on in their life and what motivates them.
Create Social Opportunities
The Gallup poll found that employees who have friends at work are 50 percent more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, and people with a “best” friend at work are seven more times likely to fully engage in their work. Building a culture of teamwork and collaboration can help create a social atmosphere and give employees the opportunity to engage with each other. Corporate challenges, game days, shared meals and volunteering together are just some of the ways to foster teamwork.
Support Health and Wellness
Gallup also found that employees who are invested in their work are healthier than those who are disengaged. Healthy employees tend to have less chronic health problems and thus take less sick days, eat better and exercise more. Offering healthy snacks in the break room, breaks for exercise or even a discount on gym membership, along with social activities that promote wellness, can go a long way toward motivating workers and keeping them happy.
Give Them Time Off
Flexible work schedules, time off for volunteering and opportunities to work remotely have all been shown to increase employee happiness. Extra vacation days are always nice, but time off must come with encouragement from leadership to relax and disconnect. Workers who return well-rested and recharged will be even more productive.
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