From finding employees’ purpose to providing the benefits they need, these tips will help you build a workplace everyone can enjoy.
Help People Find Their Purpose
People who feel like they do something meaningful and important are more likely to be happy in their jobs. And when employees are happy with where they work and what they do, they’re more likely to stick around and continue doing great work. As the people with the closest relationships with individuals, managers carry a lot of responsibility for helping people find their purpose — so be sure that managers have the resources and support they need to make that happen.
Encourage team members to think about what they’re passionate about. What gets them excited? What makes them feel fulfilled? When people feel like they’re using their talents and doing what they love, they’re more likely to be happy in their work. Nudge managers with conversation prompts to help open this discussion with their teams.
Help team members see how their work makes a difference. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day grind and lose sight of the bigger picture. But when employees understand how their work contributes to the company’s success, they’re more likely to feel proud and motivated. Train managers to help connect the dots between an employee’s daily tasks and the company’s larger goals.
Ask team members what they want to achieve in their careers. What kind of impact do they want to make? What kind of legacy do they want to leave? When people have a clear idea of where they want to go — and the resources they need to get there — they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work. Here, too, managers play an important role in helping their teams not only understand their options for growth within the company but also find the right resources to help them take the next steps.
Foster an Inclusive Company Culture
If you want to improve employee happiness at your organization, one of the best things you can do is foster an inclusive company culture. An inclusive culture is one in which everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued for who they are and what they bring to the table. It’s about creating an environment where everyone can be themselves without fear of judgment or discrimination.
At the company level, organize events and initiatives that celebrate the diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives of your employees. These activities foster a sense of belonging through shared respect for the differences that make us unique, and provide opportunities for employees to connect with and learn from people who are different from themselves. Employee resource groups can connect people with communities they care about within the workplace, which supports greater inclusion.
Consider how your policies could affect inclusion, too. Flexible working arrangements, for example, let employees better balance their work and personal lives — which can be especially important for working parents or people who don’t have access to steady transportation. Adjusting your policies and practices to help people work better creates a more inclusive, respectful culture.
Culture often shows up most strongly in day-to-day interactions among employees. Support company culture by connecting people across the organization, creating a community of people who share the same values and learn from each other’s behaviors.
To foster an inclusive culture, make sure team members feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas. Encourage debate and constructive feedback. Train managers to set a good example by asking everyone for input during team meetings and considering the ideas employees bring up. Bring people together, through an all-hands meeting, a focus group, or another forum, to generate dialogue around cultural norms and expectations, so that employees can feel a sense of ownership over the company culture, too.
Recognize and Celebrate Achievements
To achieve workplace happiness, it’s important to recognize and celebrate each employee’s achievements. Recognition helps employees feel more appreciated (which supports employee happiness) and also drives motivation and engagement in the work.
Employers can recognize and celebrate employee achievements in a few ways, including through a public recognition system, such as an “employee of the month” award. This is a great way to show your employees that you notice and appreciate their hard work. Another way to recognize achievements is through more informal means, such as by verbally acknowledging someone for a job well done or sending them a handwritten note.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to be genuine in your recognition and make sure that you give it in a timely manner. Employees should feel like their efforts are being noticed and appreciated in real time, rather than being forgotten about or taken for granted.
Encourage Open Communication
A happy company culture relies on effective communication between employees and management. To encourage open communication, employers should create an environment where employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions and suggestions. This can be done by establishing an open-door policy, encouraging feedback through surveys and focus groups, and holding regular town hall meetings.
It’s also important to listen to employees’ concerns and act on them in a timely manner. This shows that you value their input and are committed to creating a positive work environment. If employees feel like their voices are being heard, they’re more likely to be happy and engaged in their work.
Provide Benefits People Need
An important part of employee happiness is feeling like the company they work for cares about them as a whole person, not just an employee. One way to show employees you care is to provide benefits that meet their needs.
Common benefits employees want are health insurance, paid time off, and retirement savings plans. However, employers can offer many other important benefits, such as expanded mental health benefits, child care assistance, student loan repayment assistance, pet insurance, and health and wellness subsidies.
It’s important to survey employees regularly to find out what benefits they’d most appreciate. This can be done through an anonymous online survey or by holding focus groups. Once you know what benefits your employees want, make sure to communicate the details of the benefit clearly and make it easy for them to enroll.
By providing benefits that meet the needs of your employees, you can show them that you care about their well-being and improve employee happiness.