This era belongs to the entrepreneurs, as the business industry is no longer under the monopoly of only a few particular corporates. The Internet has opened the doors of numerous possibilities, allowing a budding entrepreneur to reach a large number of people through social media and other forms of digital media.
There are various reasons why so many people are leaving their cushy high-paid jobs for small businesses, but the biggest of them all is company culture. Many multi-billion dollar companies just don’t get the importance of workplace culture. Even those who do tend to overlook it nonetheless. It is no surprise that they are losing the top talent by failing to keep their employees happy.
In the Staples Advantage Workplace Index Report(based on a survey of 2,000 American and Canadian workers)almost half of participants reported that they don’t feel they can even have the time to get up for a break, and four out of 10 employees acknowledged that burnout is a motivator for a new job search.
Significance of Employees’ Happiness
No business can prosper without talented and passionate employees who care about it. And employees care when they are happy with their job and their work environment. The following are some of the reasons why the happiness of the employees affects their companies too:
- Performance: It is not hard to understand how productivity can be directly linked to an individual’s happiness. If the employees are happy and satisfied with their job they will be more focused, creative, and committed to their work.
- Talent Retaining: Businesses thrive on talented employees. In fact, a single top performing employee can bring more value to a company than five average-performing employees. Thus, it’s important to retain these employees, which is again based on how happy they are with their existing jobs.
- Team Players: Happy employees care for their job and the company they work for. When needed, they will take the role of a leader and give the push their colleagues need in difficult
The Secrets to Keeping Employees Happy
There are many simple yet effective things a company can do to keep its employees happy. These are:
- Flexibility at Work
The society was quite repressive until a few decades ago. Jobs were scarce, and those who had them would keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves. However, the employees of today have become quite open minded and independent. They don’t want to slog through 10 hours a day and live in a rut. In fact, that can’t be right for their company either. Thus, by offering flexibility in their work hours, a company can drastically improve their level of happiness.
Another thing that the companies need to understand is that the employees have lives outside of work too. Many of them are married and have a family. Thus, simply things like allowing an employee to take a break from work to watch their kid’s play at the school, or to show up for a dentist’s appointment can ensure their personal lives are not affected due to their work life.
- Encouraging Fun
Many employees complain that they feel trapped in their cubicles with a never-ending inflow of work. On the other hand,some employees go an extra mile and do more work than they are required just to create a good impression on their “boss.” Either way, the habit is dangerous for their physical and mental health. Offices are meant for business work, granted, but they don’t have to feel like a prison. Leaders should encourage their employees to take frequent breaks from work. It is also a good idea to have a recreational zone in the building itself. Dabbling in some fun activities is a great way to boost creativity and productivity. Google’s zany office design in California (that has a bowling alley, climbing wall, scooters, and bikes for the employees) is an excellent example of how an office space can also be afun place.
- Making them Feel appreciated and cared for
One of the biggest requirements for an excellent work culture is creating an environment where everyone feels like they’re a part of a family. Most employees spend as much time, if not more, with their colleagues than they do with their families. Thus, it’s important that they feel as comfortable at the workplace as they feel at home.
It also pays for a leader to learn about their employees on an individual basis. Ground floor employees felt encouraged and appreciated when top-level executives come to have a talk with them, or better still- acknowledges their efforts. Small things like these go a long way in making the employees happy and more productive.
There has been a significant shift in the typical workplace culture in the past few years. The traditional HR management tactics that were once super-efficient are now decent at best. One of the biggest noticeable changes is how the employees perceive monetary perks today. While cash bonuses and incentives are still effective in keeping the employees motivated, what they want is flexibility at work and a sense of fulfillment. They want to make a difference through their job. They want it to mean something. Thus, money is not the problem. If the employees are allowed to try their hands in the areas they are interested in, and voice their opinions and ideas freely, it can have an incredible impact on their level of happiness and thus productivity.