The One and Only Guide That Makes Improving Employee Happiness Simple

Have you received customer complaints about your employees? Are your workers not finishing projects as fast as you would like? Are they quiet and distant? 

It sounds like your employees are experiencing burnout. You can bet that the problem workers will soon put in their two weeks notice. 

Maybe they don’t feel like they can grow any further in your company? Maybe they’re having a hard time balancing their career with their home life. 

Either way, you’ve got to get to the source of the problem and increase employee happiness. When you do, you’ll find that everyone will be more productive. You’ll also cut your turnover rate in half. 

Are you ready to get started? Check out this guide to learn how to promote workplace culture and boost your company morale. 

Make Work/Life Balance a Priority

Employees don’t want to feel like they’re always at work. They have lives outside of your company. They need to have time to spend with their friends and families. 

If you don’t allow your employees to have a good work/life balance, they’ll burn out fast. They need to have a chance to unwind, or they’ll always be in a state of stress. 

There are a few ways that you tackle the problem. The first is to offer them a remote work option. If the job can be done with a computer and an internet connection, they don’t necessarily need to be in the office. 

Instead of dragging someone into the office on their days off for a meeting, utilize video calls. That way, they can attend the meeting while they’re still in their PJs. 

Give your employees a chance to disconnect. Don’t pester them because they didn’t answer an email while they were off. 

Provide support for workers with kids. Encourage your employees to let you know when you put too much on them and allow them to decrease their workload. 

Acknowledge Their Efforts 

Part of being a small business owner is encouraging your employees. When someone does a great job, let them know that you appreciate them. Tell them how awesome they are. 

If all your interactions with your workers involve you giving them negative feedback, they’ll feel like they can’t do anything right. It won’t be long before they develop a “why bother” attitude. 

While it’s true that employees can’t improve unless you critique them, there’s a difference between being constructive and being mean. Workers need validation from you. Don’t forget to say thank you. 

Be a Listening Ear

Nine times out of ten, when employees have a problem, they don’t go talk to their boss about it. They’re too nervous to take it to the higher-ups. Instead, they let their issue stew until they put in their two weeks notice. 

To make workers feel more comfortable about coming to you, reach out to them for feedback. If that doesn’t work, assign a manager to each of your departments that employees can turn to. Most people feel more at ease talking to a co-worker than the head honcho. 

You can also open up an anonymous suggestion box. No matter which way you decide to get feedback, make sure that you actually listen to it. Be prepared and open to making changes in the company to promote employee happiness. 

Include Them 

You hired your employees for a reason. If you don’t allow all of them to get involved with basic work operations, they’ll feel like you trust them. 

Tell them what they need to do and allow them to be part of the big picture. We will say that it’s a little trickier to get remote employees involved. WorkBright can help with that. 

Let Them Create Their Work Schedule 

This sort of goes back to what we were saying before about work/life balance. Many business owners are afraid that if they let employees choose their schedules, they’ll never work.

The opposite is true. They’ll be more productive because you’re allowing them to work when they’re the most motivated. 

For example, let’s say that Jackie is a night owl. She does all her best work after the sun goes down.

You wouldn’t put her on the 7 am shift. If you do, she’ll be too tired to get anything done. 

Let an actual morning person take the morning shift. They’ll be happier to do it and chances are, they’ll be a lot better with your customers. 

Create a Reward System

Employees pour a great amount of their time into helping your business function. While they’re happy to receive acknowledgment and the occasional thank you, sometimes it’s not enough. 

That’s where your reward system comes in. People like to get free things. It gives them a small hint of serotonin. 

By offering rewards when employees reach certain milestones, you give them something to look forward to. Your workers will be more productive and work harder so they can reach their goals faster. It’s basic gamification. 

Allow for Development 

The moment an employee comes to the conclusion that they’ve come as far as they can with a company, there’s a good chance that they’ll put in their two weeks notice sooner rather than later. 

People like being challenged. They want to advance and hit special milestones.

Many small business owners promote from outside their company. We’re here to tell you that’s a mistake. Give your current employees the chance to develop and earn the promotion instead. 

To prevent employees from feeling stagnant, have their department manager talk to them about all the potential for growth during their first day.

It gives them a goal to shoot for. Yeah, they might be a cashier today, but if they play their cards right, they could get their own store one day. All they have to do is stick with the company long enough. 

Be Honest With Them 

Employees aren’t dumb. When there’s something bad going on, they can tell.

If sales are down, it’s better to be honest and tell them than to try and keep it from them. This way, they’re not panicking over the unknown. 

Being transparent isn’t only the best course of action in an emergency. Your business doesn’t have to be burning to the ground for you to be honest with your workers. 

If someone has a bad performance review, be transparent about what they’re doing wrong. Don’t be mean, but don’t beat around the bush either. 

Talk to them about the problems that you’re noticing and let them know how they can fix the errors. They’ll appreciate you for being honest and giving them the chance to improve. 

Create a Positive Environment 

Your workers should enjoy coming to work. It shouldn’t be something that they dread doing Monday to Friday. Nobody is going to be productive when they’re trying to brut force their way through their day. 

Part of business ownership is creating a positive work environment. When your employees are allowed to have a little fun with their work, they’ll produce better results, and their collaboration will improve. 

Allow everyone to get lunch together. Let employees take on new challenges if they want, and give people the chance to go on fun business trips. 

If you have a problem employee that’s creating drama for your other workers, address the problem. Your company doesn’t need that kind of toxicity. 

Be Empathetic 

At the end of the day, your employees are people. They aren’t mindless robots. They have needs and feelings that need to be addressed. 

You might be able to work three open to closes during the weekend, but that doesn’t mean that your employees can. You shouldn’t saddle someone with that kind of workload without having a conversation with them first. 

If someone needs a day off to go to their younger sibling’s birthday, do what you can to give it to them. If you can’t give it to them, at least give them a good explanation as to why. 

If your employee’s child gets sick at school, let them leave to pick their kid up without raising any fuss. 

Offer Benefits

Any employer can offer basic benefits like health insurance and vacation days. If you want to stand out and attract more employees, you’ll need to go the extra mile for your workers. 

Again, remote work is something that all employees can benefit from. It gives them the chance to get their job done from the comfort of their couch and spend more time with their family. 

Do more than offer basic medical insurance. Include vision and dental coverage as well. 

The first few weeks after a person gives birth are crucial as far as care and bonding go. Allow your employee to spend time with their new family without worrying about having their job when they get back. 

Some bigger companies are starting to offer four-day workweeks for their employees. We recommend following suit. It gives workers more time to rest, so they can come in refreshed and ready to go when Monday comes along. 

Paying back student loans is stressful. If your company offers assistance in this regard, you’ll attract a ton of younger workers. 

Offering gym memberships will keep your employees fit and healthy, so they’ll call out of work less. 

Honor Their Vacation Time 

There comes a time when everybody needs a good week away from work to recharge their batteries. That’s why vacation time is so important. Give everyone a chance to build up a week or two of vacation that they can cash in when they need it. 

When they write down their vacation in the book, honor it. Don’t attempt to call them in during it or try to force them to come back early. 

Chances are, it will be impossible for them to make it back without catching a flight, so your ploy to get them to come in will be unsuccessful. All you’ll do is annoy them and ruin their good time. 

Allow Regular Breaks

Working hard is important for productivity, but it’s not everything. If you force your employees to work through their lunch or eat at their desks, they’ll start to drag before the day is over. 

Encourage your employees to stand up every now and again to stretch their legs. Allow them to leave the office to get lunch or at least go for a walk during their shift to get a little fresh air. 

Let them go to the break room to get a drink of water or eat a quick snack. Their mental health will thank you for it. 

Set a Good Example 

The last tip we have for you is to set a good example. If you come into work every day with a bad attitude, it’s going to rub off on your workers. 

Smile even when things are going wrong, and don’t let the little things get to you. If you’re nasty to everyone, it will encourage your employees to be just as nasty to each other. 

It might be hard to be nice some days. This is especially true during shifts where your staff pushes you. We recommend clearing your mind with deep breathing exercises and meditation. 

Improve Employee Happiness Across the Board

The best way to improve your turnover rate and make your workers more productive is to work on employee happiness. 

Doing so isn’t as hard as you may think. As you can see, a little understanding and respect go a long way. When you take care of your workers, they’ll take care of you. 

For more ways to make your employees happy and grow your company, visit the business section of our blog.