Employee Happiness In Three Steps
Three simple ways to maximise employee happiness in your business
Your employees are your most valuable asset. Their happiness will affect effort, productivity and retention rate – the latter is particularly important from a cost effective perspective, as the average cost of replacing a member of staff is more than £30,000. Research by TTii Global, a full-service market research organisation, has also found a correlation between employee happiness and efficiency, quality, revenue and customer satisfaction. Therefore, creating a positive working environment now will play a vital role in the future success of your company. Here’s how:
Provide flexible working hours
The latest ‘Opportunity Now Project 28-40’ report by PWC found that 65% of men and 74% of women agreed that flexible working has enabled them to achieve the work-life balance they desire. A balance is important for workers in order for them to consistently achieve their best and hit company targets, and it will encourage them to stick with your company rather than look for a more attractive option further down the line.
The traditional approach to business practices an 8-hour working day with little room for flexibility. However, more and more successful start-ups are considering the benefits of working fewer hours but at a higher output. Setting clear targets for your team will ensure they know what is expected of them and as long as this is achieved and the company as a whole is progressing, the amount of time they actually sit at their desks becomes less relevant.
Give rewards and celebrate successes
Small rewards can go a long way – take some chocolates into a particularly arduous meeting, remember employees’ birthdays and organise office trips or team building activities. All of these small gestures contribute to an overall sense of value. Team incentives are also a brilliant way to keep your employees motivated, but remember to consider all and be fair when setting the targets – exclusion or constant target missing will have a negative effect and could upset the team balance.
Maybe your sales team have done particularly well this month and you feel they deserve something extra to celebrate. Hosting a surprise office party in the middle of the day can be a great way to break up the working routine and re-energise your employees. Don’t make the mistake of seeing these sporadic activities as a waste of time.
Promote health and happiness
“Corporations pay a heavy cost for stress-related illnesses, such as hypertension, gastrointestinal problems, and substance abuse,” says business consultant and author of The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin.
Desk jobs are set to be the new smoking and although, in many ways, this is an unavoidable by-product of office-based jobs, there are ways around it. Invest in decent chairs and educate your employees on exercises and stretches to relieve tension and retain energy levels. Moving during the day makes a lot of difference: perhaps a mid-day yoga session or an encouragement to leave the office at lunchtime would work in your business.
Make use of the other businesses around you: perhaps you can make deals with local gyms or exercise classes to get good deals for your employees. Make healthy living an important part of your company ethos and it will inevitably filter down into working conditions and employee attitudes. Why not have a nifty bowl of fruit in the kitchen and herbal tea in the cupboards?
An important question to keep in mind when addressing employee satisfaction is ‘what do my employees tell their friends and family about where they work?’ Your employees are your most important asset, but they are also key to brand identity and loyalty. Put employee satisfaction at the top of your business plan, make them feel invested in the future of the company and you can work together to make your business a success.
Sophie Turton is assistant web editor at Crunch, an online accountancy firm for small businesses, contractors and freelancers.