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How to Keep Employees Happy and Increase Profits
When it comes to employees’ happiness it turns out the old adage was right, “money doesn’t buy happiness”. But more importantly, it also does not encourage employees to work harder and have a sense of loyalty to the business.
So, while you may think that employee productivity is motivated by money, in reality, when companies care and invest in employee support, satisfaction and happiness in the workplace - productivity rises.
In fact, a thesis study on the Factors Influencing Employee Retention in Public Organizations in Tanzania found that:
" Job security, training opportunities, salary amounts, working environments, participative decision making, availability of allowances, relationships at the workplace, retirement benefits plans, and promotion opportunities are some of the factors" that encourage employees to stay with an organization and work hard.
This is important information for all businesses, but especially for Tanzanian ones, where employee performance and productivity tends to be encouraged through strict measures and instilling fear.
So how can you create a happier workplace that makes employees never want to leave, and in return, make more money? Here are ten ways to start:
1. Don't reprimand. Do provide constructive criticism:
Everyone makes mistakes, and your employees are bound to make some. The best thing that could happen is that they learn from their mistakes and grow. The worst is that they fear making new ones and stop taking risks. What outcome you get depends on how you address the issue.
People should feel like they have the ability to voice their opinions without fear of being ridiculed or bashed for their beliefs.
Employers should know how to provide constructive criticism in a way that will help employees solve their challenges rather than keep their work-related problems to themselves or fear making mistakes.
2. Acknowledge effort
Employees want to feel like their efforts are valued and recognized by their bosses.
For many businesses, it's common practice to publically praise and highlight employees that achieve all their KPIs and perform the best. However, very few actually reward these employees with prizes and perks. And even less acknowledge employees who may not be performing the best but show improvement from previous months.
So while having an 'Employee of the Month' program can encourage employees to work harder, it's even more beneficial to praise all employees for their individual efforts and offer constructive criticism as to how they can improve in the future.
3. Hire good and competent employees:
This is pretty straight-forward. People who can’t do their jobs well will be stressed, less happy and even less productive.
4. Pay fairly:
Do not underpay your employees, give bonuses based on KPIs or when company profits soar. Employees should feel like they are adequately compensated for their work and that they benefit from the business's success.
5. Offer fair benefits:
This could include a variety of things such as health care, childcare facilities, transportation stipend or a fitness center. However, for employer's serious about increasing worker productivity, it could also include amenities that encourage socializing and build work solidarity, like free Friday lunches and an after-hour work bar.
6. Recreational spaces are important:
The importance of businesses creating comfortable spaces where employees can openly discuss ideas should not be underestimated.
Making staff break rooms appealing with nice furniture, light snacks and beverages can go a long way. This creates the right atmosphere for free-flowing conversation that can shift to work projects and ways to improve them. After all, two heads are better than one when it comes to developing future collaborative projects.
Moreover, most full-time employees spend most of their week at work. The office is their home away from home. It's not asking for much to ensure that there are spaces that they can relax at in the office.
7. Create a career pathway:
Employee turnover costs businesses greatly. When an employee leaves, the business has to spend time and money recruiting people to fill the position. They may also have to train the new employee, and all this takes time away from other profit-generating projects.
Luckily, employee turnover is greatly reduced when workers are confident of their skills and can visualize their future at a company. This can be achieved by offering resources such as training opportunities, career mentoring, tuition reimbursement for courses taken to improve job skills and discourse about future career options at the company.
8. Make employees part of the big picture:
It might be considered a cliché, but in truth we all want to feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
So, maintaining constant communication about developments in the business and emphasizing how employees play a role in achieving company milestones and future goals, will enable employees to feel like their work is making a significant contribution to the company. This gives them purpose and builds loyalty to your business.
9. Ask employees for input and feedback:
This not only provides you with valuable input but also makes your employees know you appreciate and consider their opinions and also holds them liable to keeping you informed of different projects, challenges and wins.
10. Work-life balance matters:
This does not need to be with after work parties every single day but with incremental things, such as:
- Seasonal work mixers
- Occasional outdoor activities
- Special office celebrations (especially after projects that took some time to achieve)
By rewarding your workers when they have earned it you encourage them to progressively work diligently while simultaneously having fun and staying happy.
Put your money where your mouth is
While many businesses claim to care about reducing employee retention and increasing worker satisfaction, they still don't invest an adequate amount of resources in making it happen. The thing is, while increasing salaries is not a sustainable solution to increasing employee happiness, spending money on better benefits ( health insurance, paid leave), perks ( weekends off, training programs) and other things that will improve the quality of life for employees at work, is necessary if you want to create a work environment of creative, innovative, self-motivated and hardworking people. Simply put, you have to put in the effort and resources to get your ideal worker to want to work for you, and stay at your company.