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As an employee, we want to work in a job and an atmosphere that make us happy. After all, we spend 40 hours or more each week at work, so we want to make sure that we are not working in a place that makes us miserable. While it is not 100% up to the employer to make us happy, the employer can do things that help keep our attitudes positive and breed more happiness than unhappiness. If you are an employer, here are 5 tips to lead happy employees.
5 Tips To Lead Happy Employees
This is the biggest way employers can help make the work environment a pleasant one. But you can’t just listen, you also have to act. I can’t tell you how many jobs I’ve had where we had to complete surveys about what we like and what we don’t like about our place of employment. Not once did I ever see anyone’s thoughts be put into action.
If you want to breed unhappiness, then ask for opinions and then ignore them. You are guaranteed to create resentment among your employees. So make sure you listen and then act. This isn’t to say you have install the swimming pool or let everyone work from home every Friday, but implement some of the suggestions. And for the ones you don’t implement, acknowledge them. Talk about why you think they wouldn’t be a great idea. While no one likes having their idea shot down, it is better than having them be completely ignored.
Be Aware Of Your Message
This isn’t to say to think more about your slogan or mission statement. Rather it is to remind you to think about the message you are sending to your employees. In other words, work on your leadership skills.
When I first started working at a company, the owner would say good morning all of the time. He would come into my office and just small talk with me for 5 minutes. It was great. It made me feel like he actually cared about me.
Fast forward a few years when the economy turned, I wouldn’t get a hello. Heck, I never even got noticed. I felt invisible, like I didn’t matter to the team anymore. I’m not saying you have to use your entire morning to have small talk with your employees but find ways to interact with them more, to make them feel a part of the team. A simple “good morning” or “good night” is a great start.
If you have a small team, you might even consider buying lunch and eating together once a month as a way to team build. You don’t have to talk work, just talk about your lives outside of work.
When your employees do something good, acknowledge it. Trust me, it will make them work that much harder for you because so many companies don’t recognize their employees. The two best jobs I ever had would regularly acknowledge people. Once, we had a weekly meeting for 10 minutes on Fridays. Management would hand out cards that said “rock on” and on the back, why you earned that card.
There was nothing else tied to it, other than announcing you and your accomplishment during the meeting. Again, it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, just note when they go able and beyond the call.
Don’t Go Overboard At First
While I hope I am giving you good suggestions to implement, don’t jump in head first and try to do them all. Most likely you will fall short on all of them. Also, your employees might wonder what is up. You have to slowly build their trust up. It’s just like any relationship, come on too strong and you appear desperate. Red flags appear and people cut and run.
Finally, once you build up the trust level, find ways to bring on more meaningful rewards and recognition to your team. Come up with some ideas and ask them what would mean the most to them. Additionally, be sure to ask for their input as to what would be good things to include on the list.
When thinking of a list, know that the possibilities are only limited to the general rules of the company. If you run your own small business, then anything really is on the table. But for a larger corporation, this isn’t going to be the case. Some ideas include an extra vacation day, come in late one day a week, a gift card to a grocery store or gas station. Really, there are tons of things you could use to reward your employees. Just remember that this is about them and not you. Don’t pick things you want, but rather what they want.
By taking the time to acknowledge employees and rewarding them, both for big and small accomplishments, they will be happier. And a happier employee works harder and is more loyal which in the end, helps to grow the business and cut down on costs.