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“If the Great Resignation has taught employers anything, it’s to not take their workers for granted. Yet many companies risk doing exactly that—whether it’s by not paying close enough attention to skilled workers who are at elevated risk of quitting, by failing to support workers who seek personal fulfillment and meaning at work, or by missing opportunities to build the trust that so often leads to positive outcomes at the personal, professional and even societal levels.”
–PwC’s 2022 Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey
Not taking workers for granted is just one piece of the happiness puzzle. And thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, keeping employees happy and productive is more important than ever. In fact, employee happiness and engagement are vital factors when it comes to running a profitable organization. When employee morale is high, they miss less work, make smarter decisions, provide better customer service, offer creative solutions, perform better, become loyal to their employers, and are less likely to quit. This, in turn, equates to company success and higher profits, its a win-win.
Keeping Employees Happy
Employee satisfaction clearly matters, but how can organizations achieve this? One way is to look at other companies who are successfully employing team members. For example, Apple. With more than 500 retail stores and 154,000 employees around the world, Apple has a difficult task of keeping so many employees loyal and happy. But the giant technology company has managed to succeed at this mission. Not only has employee retention recently grown to 89 percent, but Apple has consistently been named to Glassdoor’s 100 Best Companies to Work list.
So what’s Apple’s secret to success? Not only does the company unite employees around a very strong vision and mission, but Apple does not undervalue any individuals, consistently stays in tune with employee sentiment, keeps employees informed, hires the right employees for each role, and continually trains and develops staff.
Google is another company with high job satisfaction. With more than 95 percent of employees maintaining that the technology company is a great place to work, Google has a strong focus on keeping employees happy, well-compensated, and supported. Paid parental leave, as well as free meals, gym, laundry, relaxation pods, and onsite childcare all help to keep employees happy and content.
Building a Happy and Productive Workforce
While your organization may not compare to the powerhouses of Apple and Google, there are numerous ways to achieve workplace happiness. Let’s take a look:
Prioritize work-life balance: Work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where individuals prioritize the demands of their career with the demands of their personal life. According to Chris Chancey, career expert and CEO of Amplio Recruiting, a good work-life balance has many positive effects, including less stress, a lower risk of burnout, and a greater sense of well-being.
“Employers who are committed to providing environments that support work-life balance for their employees can save on costs, experience fewer cases of absenteeism, and enjoy a more loyal and productive workforce,” explains Chancey. “Employers that offer telecommuting or flexible work schedules can help employees have a better work-life balance.”
Offer lots of vacation time: While small businesses can’t always compete with large organizations that offer their employees hefty salaries, they can attract top talent with strong vacation policies for their entire team. “Reward your highest performers with incremental vacation days,” explains Stacia Pache, founder and CEO of ItBandz and Managing Director of Hoopla Consulting. “These employees are your superstars, so you can be confident they will get their work done, as well as enjoy a few extra days of well-deserved time off with family and friends.”
Create a positive and flexible work environment: The future of work lies in flexible working environments. And when employees have greater flexibility at work, they can better balance their professional and personal lives, which equates to positivity and happiness. Simply put, flexible working schedules help employees feel less stressed, as well as more energetic, creative, and refreshed. Offering a flexible work schedule allows employees to work on their own schedule, which in turn, increases productivity for the organization.
In addition, happy employees make a happy company. “Within the office, we publicly acknowledge accomplishments, provide a group lunch, reserve a prime parking space, or change a title,” explains Jakki Liberman, president of Bumkins, a designer and manufacturer of baby products. He also explains how employee engagement is vital to the company culture “We’ll also help employees to grow and develop, whether by taking on new desired responsibilities or challenges, taking courses to learn new skills, or furthering knowledge of the company by traveling on company business trips.”
Consider your benefit offerings: One of the most effective ways to keep employees happy is through a strong benefit package. The reason is quite simple: employees are more likely to feel content and productive when they believe their company cares about their well-being and takes care of them.
The key lies in giving employees what they need, and the best way to do that is via communication. Companies with strong benefits packages use office-wide surveys to discover what benefits are most important to employees. For example, do employees want maternity and paternity leave? Do they want low deductibles? Do they want extensive mental health benefits? Because the needs of your workforce vary, it is helpful to find out what is important and meaningful to them.
Keep in mind that when employees feel like leadership listens to them and strives to meet their needs, they will be much happier, which motivates them to work harder.
“There are many ways to supplement salary by assisting employees in other areas of their lives,” explains Bobby Hotaling, owner of Hotaling Insurance Services. “You can offer an extra level of life insurance or disability insurance for employees to protect their incomes. And other ancillary benefits, such as dental, optical and wellness, are all well received by employees. Gym memberships and transit benefits are great perks to keep employees happy and healthy. It is important to provide higher benefits, so your employees know that you truly care about them and their families.”
In the words of Doug Conant, former Campbell’s Soup CEO, “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” As CEO, Conant believed that the bottom line of building a great organization was developing great people. And the key to developing great people in today’s working world is ensuring their happiness.
We know the value of a happy team but we are also dedicated to making you a happy business owner in no time. Start your business with confidence, knowing that Inc Authority is here to answer all your questions. Form your free LLC today!