Please welcome guest blogger Reuben Yonatan of GetVoIP.
Money doesn’t solve everything. We can all look back on jobs that offered us great pay but a work culture that was impossible to deal with. We spend tons of time in the office, and pay raises are no longer the only thing driving employee happiness and employee engagement. Here, we’re going to focus on how to keep employees happy—besides adding a zero to their paycheck.
A great way to keep employees happy is by offering them health benefits. There are a surprising number of jobs that don’t offer health insurance (almost 55 percent in 2016), which ultimately forces employees to turn to much more expensive, private plans. By offering an affordable benefits package for employees and their families, you give them one less thing to worry about and an incentive to stay at your organization.
Employee perks go far beyond health, dental, and vision coverage. One great example is Airbnb, which offers their employees a $2,000 travel budget each year because travel, in one study, appears to decrease the risk of heart attacks. Another is Salesforce, which offers their employees paid time off for volunteering. When employees are living a quality life outside the office, quality work at the office follows.
Sometimes, all it takes is a change of pace to spark employee happiness. By offering employees a variety of work, you can demonstrate why their position in the business matters. If an employee is stuck on a tough project, a new challenge can remove the performance pressure and encourage them see things from a different perspective. In a world where 74% of employees rate their work as either "complex" or "highly complex," employers must be able to provide relief if they are to keep employees happy.
Actually listen to your employees. It’s important to remember that they’re people. If workplace issues are consistently ignored, employees aren't going to be happy. You can listen to your employees by scheduling meetings one-on-one or as a team, offering surveys, and giving employees a channel to voice their opinions anonymously.
These ideas are all great for helping one employee at a time, but how can you keep a large number of employees happy? Organize an event. Show employees that the office is not just a place they work for eight hours. Events like these can improve social capital among workers, which contributes to employee happiness. Remember, the events don't have to be complicated or expensive: pay for a lunch in the conference room, head to the local bar after work, or volunteer as a large group.
People don’t want to be stuck in the same position their entire careers - definitely not a recipe for employee happiness. By demonstrating that your organization can and will promote deserving employees, you give your employees' work purpose (which leads to happiness).
The surrounding environment plays a huge role in creating employee happiness. Everyone should make more of an effort to stay positive and avoid situations that could make others uncomfortable. In order to do this, managers should set the tone by practicing what they preach. For serious issues, like sexual harassment and forms of bullying, zero-tolerance policies set a cultural standard.
Regardless of experience, there’s always a learning curve for new employees. Companies can help alleviate the stress of trying to get up to speed by offering intensive training for new employees. Training can be offered periodically afterwards if employees are interested in doing other important jobs. Intensive, periodic training builds confidence in new employees and helps current ones broaden their skills. It augments employee satisfaction, reduces turnover rates, boosts innovation, and much more that builds employee happiness.
A casual dress code helps employees feel more comfortable in the office by letting employees express themselves. We’re not saying you should come to work in pajamas; jeans and a t-shirt are a great example of an outfit that’s comfortable and accessible. Employees no longer need to stress themselves with buying and maintaining expensive clothes.
Flexible schedules allow employees to work at times that are more compatible with their lives, and this sense of control increases employee happiness. Many people have long commutes that lead to stress, setting a bad tone for the day before it even gets started. Allowing those people to come in later to miss rush hour is an easy way to improve employee happiness. Furthermore, remote work is becoming more and more common. If it’s easier for an employee to work from home one day a week and there’s no change in productivity, this could be a great option.
While there's no doubt that an increased salary will make employees happy, it's not the only thing. Using the ideas above, your organization can keep workers engaged, excited, and smiling.
Have your own ideas about how to keep employees happy? Comment below!