One principle all business leaders should keep in mind is this: a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Employees who are content and feel valued in their job are more productive. In contrast, those who loathe dragging themselves into work not only get less done, but bring down the morale of those around them too. Either way, the results are reflected in a company’s bottom line. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to keep staff happy.
Treat them like adults
Nobody likes to be micromanaged or have someone constantly looking over their shoulder, so it’s important to give employees responsibility and autonomy. Not only does this foster trust and contentment within a workplace, but it gives employees the chance to deliver a role in a way that suits them, which only serves to further improve morale.
It goes without saying that making employees work long hours without any let up is going to dent morale, so it’s important to ensure that staff have adequate time to themselves, even in industries where long hours are a given. However, work-life balance isn’t just about what time employees can leave the office. As much as anything it’s about recognising that people’s personal lives don’t stop outside the office door. Employers must recognise that sometimes employees need last minute medical appointments, have plumbing emergencies at home or need to pick their kids up from school. Having the flexibility to accommodate these things is a big bonus for many employees.
The hopelessness of a dead-end job is so widely recognised that the concept is engrained in our culture. No-one wants to feel like they have no way to progress and providing training to employees gives them a sense of development. Ironically, by giving employees the skills and expertise to move on, you may find that they are less likely to do so, instead being content that their place of work is willing to invest in their future.
Benefits above and beyond
Finally, providing benefits that are beyond the bare minimum is another way to keep employees happy (and reaps rewards for employers too). These might be common benefits like medical insurance or life assurance, or more unusual things like free meals, tickets for events and duvet days. Of course, you could offer a cycle to work scheme, which can save both employers and employees money, while making for a healthier, happier workforce!