Many employers are beginning to realize that ensuring that their employees are happy can go a long way in helping the company reach their full potential. However, it’s about more than just giving employees raises or bonuses. No amount of money can “compensate” or “pay” someone to work an environment in which they are just completely miserable.
Providing an overall pleasant place to work matters more to employees today than ever before. Not only will a pleasant work environment keep your employees content, it will also make others want to work for your company. A pleasant work environment can help you attract high-end employees with the skills that you need to help your company succeed. This matters more to businesses than ever as the market for the top talent in any field or line of work is more competitive than it has ever been before.
The following are some great tips to help ensure that your company is a pleasant and comfortable place for your employees to work:
1. Offer A Pleasant Working Environment
This may seem like a more obvious way to keep employees happy, but offering a pleasant work environment will keep your employee morale much higher than employees who are working in a miserable environment. This can include everything from providing an office that is kept at a comfortable temperature to providing adequate space for each employee to do their work. Moreover, providing a variety of spaces to work in different settings will also be useful. This includes rooms for group meetings, individual cubicles for individual tasks, computer stations for corresponding with clients, copiers/printers for printing off necessary information, shredding stations for personal information, etc. ensuring your employees have properly-working tools in an adequate space allows them to do their job to the best of their ability.
2. Provide Employees With Training & Resources
Provide your employees with adequate training in how to do their job. Ensure that your employees have the resources at their fingertips to succeed, which will make them more confident in doing their jobs. Employees who are trained to do their jobs properly will be under less stress and will perform better than employees who are left to “feel out” the job for themselves with little to no guidance from management or the company as a whole.
3. Provide Authentic & Consistent Feedback
Providing employees with quality feedback on their performance. Constructive criticism can help employees do their jobs better. Genuine praise when employees do their job well makes them feel recognized and appreciated for their hard work. Almost all employees want to do their jobs well, and providing feedback can help them do that (in a constructive way) is helpful.
4. Create Open Lines Of Communication
Create ways for employees to communicate effectively with one another. If communication issues exist, create a protocol for addressing the problem before a simple misunderstanding boils over into a bigger problem that affects how everyone is able to work together and produce as a team. Allowing each employee to feel like they are heard and cared about helps everyone get their “side of the story” out and feel like they are respected and valued by the company and the management.
5. Say “Thank You”
Simple just thanking employees for their effort, energy, and dedication to the company can make a huge difference in how the employee feels about going to work every day. Knowing their efforts are appreciated and that they do not go unnoticed means they are more likely to put more effort into their jobs in the future knowing how much it means to management.
6. Offer Flexible Scheduling
When at all possible, allow employees to “set their own work hours” at least to a certain extent. This is especially true for many employees who are salaried and work the hours they must to “get the job done”. Nothing will irritate someone who works hard 40-50 hours per week for your company than nitpicking the fact that they may have turned up 3 minutes late one morning or left a few minutes early to meet a family obligation another afternoon. These are adults and long as they get their work done and are able to meet the job requirements, allowing some flexibility in hours worked, where possible, will not go unappreciated.
7. Understand Family Obligation/Issues
Many people will be caring for small children or elderly parents, sometimes they will have to leave to take a loved one to a doctor appointment or may have to take a few hours off if a caregiver is unavailable for their family member at a certain time. Family emergencies will come up as well. Being understanding and gracious in your scheduling will relieve a lot of stress from employees, will help them be much more satisfied with their work-life balance, and will likely lead them to give you a lot more effort than if you were to nag them for every single minute they leave early or arrive late.
8. Offer Extra Vacation Time
Offering adequate vacation time provides employees with enough time away from work to “recharge their batteries” so that when they come back they are rested, relaxed, and ready to get the job done. Extra vacation time can also provide a better work-life balance, which is important to many employees as they want to ensure they have adequate time for not only rest and relaxation but also to spend with their family.
9. Offer Competitive Wages & Pay Increases
While it’s not the most important thing to most workers, it is vital that your company offers adequate wages for the work that employees are doing and that the wages compare to what is offered by other companies. Moreover, increases in pay need to keep up with cost of living increases, which average about 2-3% per year (depending on how inflation is affecting the costs of living). If wages do not increase the cost of living the employee’s standards of living may suffer, which will definitely not help increase employee morale.
These are some of the best ways to help keep employee morale up. Ensuring that employees feel like they are part of something bigger than just themselves helps ensure that they feel valued and appreciated while also still having the tools to do their job successfully.
Also, ensuring that employees have adequate flexibility and time to spend with their families helps create the work-life balance that ensures that employees are not facing burnout or that work is not controlling their lives.