From an entry level employee to a veteran executive, every member of the workforce is constantly striving to find a job that makes them happy. Even in the same industry, company work environments are endlessly diverse. While the most obvious factor in work satisfaction is good pay rates, the reality is much more complicated. As a business owner, you have a duty to listen to your employees and ensure that they are getting the most out of their job—they’ll be more productive, and appreciate your communication with them.
Listed below are several of the less obvious ways employers can improve the happiness of those working for them.
Trust Your Employees
While it’s true that different individuals prefer different management styles, you may be surprised what your employees can accomplish when given a bit of creative leeway. Give them guidance, but resist the urge to micromanage too thoroughly.
Similarly, a sympathetic ear can make a huge difference if an employee has an idea to improve business or productivity. Work with them to foster new ideas in the workplace.
Be honest and transparent
While some measure of transparency is standard for most companies, some companies have taken things a step further and released full spreadsheets of employee wage information, along with a set formula for determining wages.
This, though far from the only example of corporate transparency, is a great way to build trust and ensure that every member of a company is being paid fairly.
Too often, companies only use transparency as a response to a crisis to restore faith; but practicing it all of the time will satisfy stakeholders and employees alike.
Give Good Feedback
Honestly, this one is worth dedicating a whole article to (my wife actually wrote about this recently), but I’ll just give some of the basics.
When it comes down to it, employees tend to appreciate receiving feedback more than employers want to give it. While criticism can seem harsh, being realistic with your employees about how they can improve their work can go a long way to preventing major mistakes further down the line. Just be sure to empathize with them and focus on the ways they can do better.
Create a strong office culture
Employees are far less likely to enjoy their jobs if they feel isolated from their coworkers. Planning social events outside of office hours can build camaraderie in a company and keep employees coming back—after all, you can hardly expect them to enjoy their jobs if they don’t enjoy their coworkers.
The office should also be a fun place, or at least as fun as it can be. Humor goes a long way in putting people at ease and making them more comfortable in the office. I’m not saying you have to go out and buy a joke book, but addressing your employees on a more casual level can go far in reducing their stress in the long term.
Promote employee health
Employee health programs have become increasingly trendy as of late, and it’s not hard to see why; if you’re healthy, you have the energy to work better. Companies are approaching this in a variety of ways, from issuing gym passes to providing health consulting along with insurance to even building fitness centers on site.
These programs generally work best when they are multifaceted; healthy eating must be combined with consistent exercise to make a lasting impact on employee’s lives.