Happy employees are productive employees and productive employees are what make a successful and flourishing business. As a small business owner, ensuring your employees are happy is an essential part of ensuring you achieve your objectives. Here are some strategies you can implement to boost employee happiness in the workplace.
Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle
There is a direct correlation between our health and how happy we feel. Employee health is in the interest of small business owners because a healthy lifestyle promotes a more positive outlook and also reduces stress and anxiety. There are many different ways you can encourage healthy habits in your workplace.
Regular exercise releases endorphins and helps with stress management. Support your employees working out by offering discounted gym memberships or organising team fitness groups. A healthy diet is another aspect of lifestyle that impacts our day-to-day mood. By offering healthier eating options such as healthy snacks or fresh fruit in the office, you can prevent employees from reaching for sugary or fatty food options that will leave them feeling glum and lethargic. Promote a healthy work-life balance and encourage your employees to get enough sleep. All of these things will help to make for a happier employee.
Flexible Working Hours
Part of a healthy work-life balance and boosting employee happiness is implementing flexible working hours. Research shows that the 9-5 office culture does not make employees happiness and leads to employee disengagement. By not tethering your employees to their work desk and giving them some freedom in choosing their houses, you will make them happier and more productive. Employees appreciate flexibility as it allows them to do more things that make them happy, like spending time with their family and this will show in their attitude to work. Flexible working hours could mean allowing employees to work remotely or giving people more choice in their hours depending on their schedules.
Make Employees Feel Like They’re Part Of One Team
Social interaction and strong relationships are two things that make humans feel happier. For this reason, promoting positive social interaction and encouraging social activity amongst your employees will lead to a happier office environment. Allowing your employees to form friendships and stronger bonds will help to foster a feeling of belonging and make them feel more involved in the business. Often, employees feel unhappy because they feel isolated or alone in their work experience.
Organise social activities outside of working hours and team bonding exercises so your employees have a reason to interact with one another. Design your office environment so that employees have a chance to talk to each other. Communal and open-plan office spaces foster social interaction.
Provide Opportunities For Growth
Opportunities for learning and development help to make an employee happier as it makes an employee feel valued and satisfaction levels increase from improving one’s skillset. It’s important, therefore, as a small business owner to provide development support, such as training courses, mentoring and regular check-ins about career progression. Being interested in the goals and objectives of your employees will help you be able to ensure they are happy in the working environment.
One way of improving morale and boosting employee happiness is as a simple as recognising the successes of your employees and thanking them for it. Whether this is verbally saying ‘thank you’ or in the form of some sort of reward, acknowledging the achievements of your team is an important part of ensuring you have happy employees. Showing appreciation to an employee is seen as an authentic expression that the small business values their workers - don’t underestimate the joy of praise!
Focus On Mental Health
A big contributor to someone’s happiness is their mental health and too often this is ignored by companies. You can promote good mental health by encouraging open communication, having an open-door policy, offering rebates for counsellors, being aware of harassment or bullying issues within the office and suggesting weekly mindfulness activities or reflection exercises. Practicing mindfulness, exercises that help you focus on the present moment, will help employees to regulate their thoughts and reduce their stress and anxiety. Mindfulness in the workplace can help to reduce conflict and boost employee happiness.