Simple and Effective Tips that Help Keep Your Employees Happy

Tips on Keeping Your Employees Happy

Study after study concludes that happy employees are more productive and more likely to stay at your company.

The path to happy employees at your small business isn’t always about bonuses and pay boosts, though those are always welcomed rewards. There are non-monetary things you can do too.

“Recognition is the heart of a human workplace because it shows people the significance of their actions,” says Eric Mosley, CEO and cofounder of what began as Globoforce and is now Workhuman, a social recognition and continuous performance management platform.

“People crave authenticity and acceptance. They want to feel safe, energized, and valued by the community that is the workplace,” Mosley recently wrote in Forbes.

Here are a few simple, but effective tips on keeping your employees happy, in honor of Employee Appreciation Day.

Thank them.

Seems simple – just saying thanks to an employee – but it can mean a lot. Whether it’s taking them aside for a verbal thank you or writing a personal note, the gesture is a great way to show employees you’re noticing their hard work and appreciate them.

A lack of appreciation is reportedly the No. 1 driver behind an employee leaving a job.

“When companies fail to recognize or thank employees for their work, it can result in the loss of great talent and ultimately damage the culture with a high turnover rate,” says Yuri Brown-Cruzat, vice president of workplace rights at Workhuman.

A recent Workhuman survey found that over half (53%) of respondents wished their employers would offer more recognition for what they do.

Nearly half of the 1,000 workers surveyed said they are thanked by their employer or colleagues only sometimes, rarely, or never. Since the pandemic, the respondents said, their work culture has less human connection (59%) and low morale (30%).

Recognize their work and commitment. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed by Workhuman reported that recognition has a direct impact on their motivation to succeed. Nearly one in four report that recognition from either a peer or manager enhances their productivity.

“The correlation between employee experience and business results is unmistakable by our data—to put it simply, happier humans lead to less turnover and higher quality of work,” says  Brown-Cruzat.

Also, giving recognition to a team or a subgroup who worked on a successful project -- sometimes called “recognition at scale” -- shows your appreciation for their commitment to a shared purpose.

Promote time off. The pandemic, longer hours and the virtual work experience have left some employees struggling with stress, including burnout. That’s not good for them or your business.

The travel restrictions have meant less planned vacations and fewer reasons for employees to take off.

“People are really emotional about not being able to take trips and use their vacation the way they want — it’s causing a sense of disenfranchisement,” says Jackie Reinberg, national practice leader of absence management at advisory firm Willis Towers Watson.

“It’s really important for their overall well-being to take that time to recharge,” she said in an Employee Benefit News story by Kayla Webster.  

In response, the EBN post says, some companies are launching new benefits to encourage workers to take “staycations.” They’re finding ways to encourage time off, by giving employees extra paid time off or let them carry a portion of their unused vacation into the next year.

Continue remote work and provide the right tools. Keeping employees happy at your company may mean letting them continue to work remotely if they want and making sure they have what they need to do so effectively.

Data collected by Nitro Software found that three-quarters of workers plan to work from home more frequently after pandemic restrictions lift, “which should be a clear message to businesses that better access to productivity tools will be a necessary part of keeping remote workforces happy in 2021 and beyond,” says a TechRepublic post by Brandon Vigliarolo.

Cleveland workplace consultant Matthew Stegmeier told WKYC that companies are realizing that a more flexible schedule for working parents is working and they want to keep it going after the pandemic.

In the story by Maureen Kyle, Stegmeier said, “A lot of organizations have been reaching out to us recently to kind of formalize those programs knowing that they can see some degree of success with it and they want to keep that going moving forward.”

Keep it up. Find ways to sustain your employee appreciation efforts, beyond Employee Appreciation Day. One day isn’t enough.

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