Every company’s focus for business success has always been to keep clients and customers happy, with employees not being a priority at all.
Research has proven beyond a doubt that happy employees leads to improved productivity and increase in profits. It does not matter, if you are a mom and pop store, an entrepreneurial startup or a large multinational conglomerate.
The same holds true that the more happy and positive your employees are, the more creative they will be and more likely to come up with a new idea or resolve problems not only for a day but on a daily basis.
It is very easy to keep employees happy, and research confirms that it does NOT have to be about salary increases. People leave jobs mainly because they feel unappreciated and undervalued.
Having said that, it does not mean that an appropriate salary is not an important component of recognizing talent and value, just that it is not the MOST important one.
Here are seven ways you can change the happiness level of your employees and improve your bottom line starting immediately.
1. Trust And Respect
Most important for employees is the trust and respect the management has for them.
When employees feel that they are trusted with the responsibility and authority to complete tasks given to them, they feel validated and will give their best to ensure it is justified.
This maximizes and boosts productivity and peps up the moral of others around them too
If employees are not given the chance to use their strengths, then their levels of engagement withers away and their commitment to their job gets diminished.
Research proves that all individuals relate to how respected and admired they are by colleagues and friends and a crucial part of fostering employee relations is communicating and acknowledging to the team, every individual employees talent and skill set.
This not only increases loyalty but also commitment which translates into profit for the company.
2. Sharing Vision
If you want your employees to be a part of your mission, then you need to share your vision with them.
Employees will be more willing to roll up their sleeves and attack the task or projects set out for them if they know what their effort will contribute to in the bigger picture.
Spending time in making your employees understand the business goals and mission, will reward you with increased levels of commitment.
Just sending out bar charts and mission and vision statements and newsletters does not do the trick. Employees need to understand how the tasks they accomplish will add to the overall success of the organization.
3. Feedback is Very Important
Every employee needs to know that what they are doing is “correct” or appreciated as done well or know that there is scope for improvement and how that can be done.
Hence providing feedback on a consistent level will ensure benefits flow to and fro from management to employees.
This way all individuals will also gain a better understanding of where they lack and what they could do to improve their performance while management gets a better idea of routine work flow and office dynamics.
However, understand that feedback is effective only when it is given fairly and as used as creative criticism and not just as something used as a tool to get angry with the employee. Praise at the same time should accordingly be used objectively.
4. Acknowledge Success
Acknowledge tasks performed well and employees will always feel pride in their work and work hard towards going beyond the call of duty. Giving credit where it is due will go a long way in ensuring continued high performance from them.
Although salary is important for employees, public recognition and an elevated social status, increased authority or responsibility, all are great motivators. Along with these of course is the thought process of promotions and designations.
Acknowledging employees is easy to incorporate into any organization. Have end of month reviews, add it into a newsletter if you have one, introduce monthly and quarterly awards (they don’t have to cost a lot--- Just a few goodie bags will do). Some offices have “shout-outs” or ringing of bells at the desk of the employees.
5. Communication Is The Key
Research has constantly proven that managers play a critical role in building open communication and rapport between top management and employees.
We have all worked at one point or another a manager for whom we would have done anything. One of the key differences between a manager who leads and a mediocre manager is effective communication.
A genuinely open manager will not be afraid in telling employees that they can talk to the Boss anytime they want and sometimes even urge them to do so.
Communication is essential in any environment. Ask questions, give information, engage employees in all manner of face to face and “bond” with the employee.
A recent study shows that bonding with others is the most effective way to boost employee’s moral and dedication.
By this I also mean that you need to walk the floor…with our modern digital media, people have stopped communicating face to face.
With conference calls, text messages, emails, people have gotten more and more isolated and employees feel removed from the corporate identity and lose sight of what exactly they should accomplish. To have employees totally engaged, every manger needs to “walk the floor”.
Today, having a quality of life is equally important as having a high salary. The 9 to 5 culture is almost dead because of our digital age.
Employees are expected to justify their work hours and meet all deadlines and complete all tasks…they just don’t have to be strapped to their desks to do so.
Employees can work from virtually anywhere allowing employees to get the job done even when they are not in office is another way of building trust which brings us back to employee happiness and improved productivity.
Research shows that companies that have a flexi-work model have had a huge surge in productivity.
Flexi-work models can be done in many ways… from having compressed work days (work for 4 days for a few more hours each day and get Fridays off), or working from home, or getting more leave for family commitments and activities.
7. Moving Up The Career Ladder
If you want your employees to be productive, adding to the company’s bottom line continuously, then you need to offer career growth opportunities so they are not stuck doing the same mundane tasks day after day and getting demotivated.
You could start having an education program where they hone their skills which would add to your bottom line again, have them attend seminars and conferences or have them mentor or be mentored in the organization.
This shows that employees are important members of your team and are expected to continuously hone their skills and meet and exceed expectations.
Hopefully your company does all or at least a few of these… if not it is easy to start a few of them and see how they boost your productivity and bottom line.