Happy Workplace: 8 Things to Do to Keep Your Employees Happy
October 25, 2022
In July 2022, a global fintech startup launched a program for new parents to help them cope with parenting challenges while maintaining a work-life balance. The program partnered with a local charity and pledged a modest sum to help the cause of workplace happiness for parents at large.
Several of its employees showed interest and signed up for the program. It was a massive hit. It is just one of the many ways through which employers ensure the well-being of their employees.
While the program in this example may or may not be relevant to you, there are other, easier ways to create a happy workplace that your employees will love being a part of. Here we have listed eight effective ways to help you turn your workplace from drab and dreary to lively. From dull to happening. Or “happyning” if you will.
8 Ways to Create a Happy Workplace: A Guide for Employers
Paying your employees fairly, being candid with them, and encouraging off-time are the basics that should already be a part of your work culture. This is why this list only focuses on actionable items that are unordinary.
1. Respect the wisdom of the crowd
After working from home for nearly two years due to the global coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020, several companies around the world shifted to a hybrid model. The health protocols and politics of work aside, the companies that saw the need for a working model reset largely failed to consider what their employees wanted. This resulted in high attrition and an overall slump in employee morale, aggravating a global phenomenon that is now known as the Great Resignation.
Such shifts in company culture highlight the need to have a constant dialogue with your employees. Listening to them and acting on their feedback can be key in ensuring a healthy and happy workplace.
What to do: Survey your employees before making a decision that affects them directly.
2. Set time boundaries
In 2021, Portugal thought after-office calls and emails were a bad idea and banned them. The idea was to ensure workers had enough time to switch off from work. Knowing that one doesn’t have to be always online or available on phone can boost morale, improve mental health, and make work more fun. Setting boundaries is a great way to start talking about work-life balance in your workplace.
What to do: Set boundaries that allow employees to completely switch off from work.
3. Improve work conditions
If there is one thing that new hires hate, it’s poor workplace ergonomics. It could be a squeaky chair or a desk that’s too high. And it’s not enough a reason to retract from the job, thus sticking out like a sore complaint throughout their tenure.
Good ergonomics – which is a critical part of every workplace – means your employees can work comfortably from anywhere in the office. Other areas to focus on include wireless internet, cafeteria, and IT support. In a hybrid model, you can go a step further and ensure your employees have all the means to work from anywhere efficiently.
What to do: Ensure working conditions are met, both in and out of the office.
4. Give out freebies
Everybody loves free corporate merchandise. Regular gifting with an element of surprise is a sureshot way to show your employees that you care. You can give something as common as a vacuum flask with your logo imprinted on it and most folks will lap it up.
But why settle for a water bottle when you can give out useful stuff like power banks, wireless earphones, and sweatshirts that are de facto employee appreciation gifts?
Pro Tip – Fitness-related corporate gifts are in vogue.
What to do: Regularly give away corporate freebies to employees.
5. Talk about health
One way to shed the industrial vibe off a workplace is to engage in discussions about health. Send out reminders about taking vacations, plan health awareness programs, and have a perennial mental wellbeing program. These will help your employees address health-related concerns and value the office as a place where they can be themselves without inhibitions.
What to do: Make discussions and programs on physical and mental health a norm.
6. Do better at policy
An advertising professional took to social media recently to share how he was unable to tend to his spouse and their newborn kid because of his agency’s strict one-week paternity leave policy. He was not even allowed to take days off without pay because it went against the diktat.
Drafting employee-friendly work policies that are well thought out and logically permissible are paramount to workplace happiness.
What to do: Carry out surveys to create “employee-first” work policies.
7. Engage in non-work-related group work
Teams collaborating in the office means business. But working together for a single, non-work-related cause can be relieving. Companies that host social events and do voluntary charity work together tend to do well professionally. Such actions help cultivate relationships and make the workplace look like a big, happy family.
What to do: Arrange parties, social work, and non-work-related programs.
8. Praise publicly…
…and criticize privately. It’s the good old maxim that applies to a corporate setting too. Rewarding employees beyond what they are entitled to is another great way to boost morale.
What to do: Send shout-out emails and host fun award sessions periodically.
A backhanded gesture aimed at employee wellbeing can often backfire. So, make sure that you plan these strategies well before executing them. Start slowly and gauge employee response as you strive to create a happy workplace.