As, on average, we spend in the UK in excess of 40 hours, paid and unpaid hours at work each week, it's fundamental to ensure our work environment is a happy one. Let's face it, as an employee, if you're not happy, it's going to have a significant impact on your everyday life and well being and as an employer, with unhappy employees it's going to impact the productivity of your business and your own time potentially dealing with excessive staffing issues caused by disgruntled under performing employees. So a happy environment is clearly key for all.
Research indicates happy employees are better employees and the shift in the generations in the workplace is placing ever growing emphasis on ensuring happiness is high on the agenda. Recent Surveys from Robert Half, Gallup and Horizons Workforce Consulting back this up in that :-
Happy Employees are more Productive
Happy Employees are more resilient, committed and loyal
Happy Employees are healthier
But, what makes for a happy work environment ?
Here's 7 Key Steps we have identified which contribute to this.
1 Successful Onboarding
Firstly, create a clear and accurate message of what the role entails as we advised in the Job specification article to greatly reduce the risk that the selected candidate ends up feeling surprised, let down or disappointed once they take on the role. Have skilled Interviewers conduct in-depth and relevant interviews, something we have covered previously in earlier blogs, thoroughly check references and do the psychometric testing when appropriate.
Getting the right people in place to start with is vital because if you recruit the wrong people, happiness falls flat very quickly and the other steps we discuss below can become somewhat futile. So, take time to get this stage accurate and working for you.
2 Take The Time to Listen
Periodically, take the time to listen to what your team want, whether their skills are being utilised effectively and what their individual and collective aspirations for the future are. This will inevitably improve buy in, reduce the risk of employees leaving and allow you to address any issues that may occur as the employer, early in the process before they become significant and potentially damaging. Common sense ? Yes, but frequently overlooked in busy work environments.
3 Give Empowerment.
Empowering your Staff to have responsibility in the decision making process has proved hugely beneficial in several ways. Well know writer Daniel Pink has suggested 5 minute weekly one on ones with all staff and "genius" hours which allow employees to spend an hour each week thinking of new ideas whether that be changing a process within their role or a suggestion which could benefit the organisation as a whole.
The benefits of employee empowerment are twofold:-
-It allows them to develop their skills and feel more invested in the role as valued and key people in the decision making process of the business.
-It allows them to develop confidence as they make the right decisions and to then use this to challenge decisions and suggest further improvements. These employees become more robust to any future change within their organisation subsequently.
4 Show Appreciation.
Dr Christian Carter has described how "fostering positive emotions through gratitude is easy and powerful." Makes sense, we all like constructive feedback and delivered in a productive, constructive manner is proven to have significant impact upon employees. A simple "Thankyou for that report it really helps me" or "Guys, you've really worked hard this week to meet the deadline , thankyou" can go a long way.
5 Share the Vision
This is a key driver for employees and particularly within the millennial age group if you remember from our earlier blog. They want to understand the Corporate vision and how they can and do contribute to it.
Workers who are happy within their roles, tend to have a clear understanding of the importance of the tasks they perform at all times and how they relate to the bigger Company Objective. So relaying this to them and explaining how they contribute to the overall success of the business is seen as vital, particularly within smaller organisations where this can be seen as a very powerful tool. The benefits are often seen in times of varied individual workload or when economic factors impact the organisation.
6 Create a Positive Work Environment
This is an extremely powerful factor in happiness at work. Owners and managers principally set the tone here by creating a welcoming, friendly environment that provides opportunity for positive social interaction between employees, teams and divisions both within work related times and outside of these as well. Positive managerial attitudes feed down and combined with events such as Team huddles, team goals, team lunches, away days, quiz nights it should hopefully foster, providing you have the on boarding right, employees to have friends within the workplace which will nurture as indivduals a sense of happiness and positivity with their workplace.
7 Appropriate Remuneration and Reward
Very few of us work for the fun of it, so the need to have a suitable remuneration package and a structure in place for development is critical in ensuring the well being of employees. This may be supplemented depending on your work environment by incentivised payments from individual or team targets set around personal performance. Additionally, their is an increasing trend amongst employees to place considerable value on other non financial benefits such as flexible working hours, early finishes and discounted store and online benefit cards such as perkbox
Lucy Walker Recruitment are an Award-winning Commercial Recruitment Consultancy who operate within the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Areas.We specialise in connecting quality Business Support Staff with Permanent and Temporary Opportunities in Growing SME’s, working principally within the specialisms of PA, Office Support, Sales & Marketing, Graduate, Legal Support, Supply Chain, Procurement and Logistics. If you require any assistance particuarly with regard to the first stage of this , the successful onboarding , call us on Leeds 0113 367 2880 or Manchester 0161 661 4421 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org