How Happy Are Your Employees, Anyway?

Author: Justin Reynolds | April 27, 2015

Business owners beware: If your employees seem miserable, they probably are—and it’s in your best interest to make sure they’re smiling. While the bottom line is always important, profits alone shouldn’t drive all of your decisions, particularly when those decisions adversely affect employee morale.

According to Gallup, unhappy and disengaged American workers account for nearly $350 billion in lost productivity each year. On the other hand, companies flush with happy employees notice great returns. Studies show happier employees are 12 percent more productive than their downtrodden peers. In other words, decision makers who invest in their employees realize considerable dividends down the road.

The good news is that you have the power to make your employees happier, and it’s not that hard to do.

4 Easy Ways to Boost Employee Morale

If you want your employees to love coming to work, consider whether any of these four tips make sense for your business:

  1. Embrace flexible working. Technology has evolved to the point where there’s no reason your workers need to report to an office during the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Letting your employees work where they want when they want is an easy way to boost their morale. After all, as long as they’re doing their jobs, what’s the difference? Employees can’t miss meetings or deadlines. But beyond that, it shouldn’t really matter when or where they work as long as things get done. Just ask Sir Richard Branson, who embraces a flexible approach to work at Virgin.
  2. Give your office a facelift. Sitting at a cubicle day in and day out can get pretty depressing. That news shouldn’t be shocking, as science tells us humans brains are wired to be most productive in nature. You certainly don’t have to set your team up in the middle of the forest, but you should consider embracing a more modern, open workspace with as much natural light as possible. In doing so, you’re able to rejuvenate your existing staff while having an easier time attracting new talent.
  3. Open the floor to suggestions—and listen to them. Research reveals that the primary reason employees don’t show more initiative at work is because their bosses fail to consider or even ask for their input prior to moving forward with decisions. Bosses who include their employees in the decision-making process and listen to their concerns and suggestions are more effective leaders. As a result, business booms. Here are some tips to consider should you decide it’s time to start listening to what your employees have to say more often.
  4. Take your employees out. Don’t forget those team building exercises, either. Whether it’s just going out for happy hour once a month, planning a trip to a museum on a random Friday afternoon or cooking a meal together for the less fortunate, team building provides businesses with a wealth of benefits, including improved communication amongst team members, better problem solving and stronger relationships. When done correctly, team building creates engaged employees, who in turn are more productive, more committed and more innovative.

You know what they say: You’ve got to spend money in order to make it. By investing financially and emotionally in the wellbeing of your employees, you’re putting your business in a better position to succeed—it’s as simple as that.

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