As an employer, it is crucial that you keep your employees happy within the workplace. You may not have considered this before, but it is an hugely important part of your role; after all, unhappy employees are not productive, they don’t go the extra mile, and they don’t offer a good overall impression of your business to prospective clients, customers, and others who might be put off working for you.
Keeping your employees as happy as possible should definitely rise in priority on your to do list. The good news is, with just a few minor changes, it’s a relatively easy thing to get right. Here are five of the best ways to do it.
The location of your business is something that can keep employees happy or make them utterly miserable, so it’s vital that you think about it carefully. Is it somewhere that they can get to easily (ie, is there nearby public transport links, or is there good – ideally free – parking should they choose to drive?)? Is it located somewhere close to amenities, giving them a good choice of places to go to lunch, to go for a walk when they need some fresh air, to enjoy some time after work with their colleagues?
Picking somewhere that is going to make working for you a pleasure and not a chore, particularly when the brightest and the best employees will have a choice as to where they work, should be something you think about carefully.
Depending on the kind of business you run, a co-working office can be an ideal way to ensure employee happiness. It’s good to get your employees to be on friendly terms with one another, and keeping them all separate is never going to allow for that. Co-working also means that everyone feels involved in the business – they are all part of one big ‘family’. This lessens the chances of gossip and rumour, and keeps everyone much happier.
Training should not be a one off job that you do when someone joins the company. Training is something that should be ongoing, as it benefits everyone involved. The employee feels happy because they are getting the training they need to do their job well (plus they know that their boss cares about how happy they are and is taking their learning seriously), and the employer is happy because everyone is learning better, more efficient ways of doing their job.
When an employee asks for training, make sure you listen. Find out the reasons they think it’s necessary, and look into what courses might be available. You may not always be able to help them, but when you can it’s certainly a bonus.
Give them what they need
An employee who is frustrated because they don’t have the right tools and equipment (or knowledge, as mentioned above) won’t be happy at work. Neither will they be productive. Their work will suffer, partly because of the lack of equipment and partly because they will often think that if you, the boss, doesn’t care enough to give them what they need to do their own job, why should they?
In order to have happy employees who will work more efficiently and to a higher standard, you need to provide them with the tools that will help them to do just that. It might be specific tools such as certain types of machinery, or it could be more generalised office equipment such as printers and laptops. Remember, just providing this equipment is not enough if it is never checked over and upgraded when necessary. Keeping everything up to date will help with morale.
As a business owner, you know that communication is key – you need to communicate well the clients, customers, and suppliers. You need to be able to communicate through advertising, through meetings, and through email and phone calls.
Had you considered that you also need to communicate well with your employees? Keeping everyone up to date with what is happening in the business is something that will help to keep them happy, plus it will motivate them to do more. You can choose to arrange a weekly meeting, or send out an internal newsletter, for example. How you do it is less important than the fact you are doing it. Answer employee questions, take note of feedback, and ensure that you are open and honest at all times, and you will keep everyone much happier.
By Ella Hendrix; written in collaboration with Cornerstone Office Search