On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy do you think your team is? According to Jobstreet’s 2017 Happiness Index report, Baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) have the happiness quotient of 5.63. Its young counterpart, Generation X, however, has barely managed to score above the neutral line, which is at 5. Conclusively, Boomers earned the spot as the happiest group among four generations.
But how is this data crucial to your business?
Several pieces of research equate happiness for productivity. An IZA World of Labor study, for example, highlighted that positive mood stimulates creativity and performance. And high performing organizations have seen a significant increase in profitability.
In simple words: it does pay to invest in your people—which is more prevalent now that the war for talents has become more and more rigid. In fact, companies with a happier workforce have lesser churn rates.
For this reason, leaders are shifting their retention strategies from developing wellness programs to offering extensive perks and benefits. But how exactly do you hit the right happiness spot?
5 Steps to Boost Your Employees’ Happiness
1. Give up a little bit of control
Trust is critical in the workplace. One of Google’s studies reveals that top-down trust from the management helps employees feel psychologically safe. The lack of it can erode happiness, affecting not only the morale but also how your employees perceive their jobs.
In his Global Summit 2018 talk, author Simon Sinek accentuated that when your teams feel unsafe, they will likely show up to work every single day, “…lying, hiding, and faking.” It means they will be afraid to ask questions or suggest ideas as doing so will impose a threat to their roles (e.g. getting shortlisted).
Furthermore, a lack of trusting teams will transcend to poor customer service. The Association for Consumer Research affirmed that employer-employee trust has a direct correlation to improved customer satisfaction.
One way to build trust is to avoid micromanaging your teams. Start encouraging autonomy in tasks and when making decisions and acknowledge mistakes as a way to facilitate growth.
2. Celebrate all contributions
Fostering a culture of recognition and feedback is pivotal in every workplace. In fact, a U.S. based staffing firm Robert Half has found that it is a second driver of employee happiness.
Your employees need to feel that their work matters. Gallup data highlights that unrecognized employees are twice as more likely to leave their jobs.
Whether it be a small-scale or big achievement, a simple way of acknowledgment can bolster their morale and improve their engagement at work. Regular constructive feedback is also significant. It will provide your teams with an overview of the areas they excel in and weak points that need improvements.
3. Provide growth opportunities
Two of the top three sources of unhappiness are the lack of career development and limited training opportunities. Hence, organizations that fail to invest in these aspects have lower engagement rates.
It is true, especially for the younger workforce. A Gallup poll cited that 87% of millennial workers enlist professional development as imperative in their jobs. They are not fond of stagnant practices and more likely to shift industries in search of greener pasture.
Investing in a culture of growth elevates employee happiness. The best way to cultivate it is by providing your teams with a clear track of career progression. Subsidize employee development through facilitating on-the-job training, varying tasks, and developing their potential for leadership roles.
4. Build Strong Relationships
According to Jobstreet’s 2017 Happiness Index report, having a good colleague tops the list of motivators of happiness. In fact, tight-knit relationships among workers can supercharge performance according to several Gallup studies.
Positive relationships across employees nurture harmony, which is supplemental to creativity, teamwork, and collaboration. It can also highly contribute to your employees’ resilience, especially during these difficult times.
Hence, organizations should move forward in building authentic bonds in the workplace. You can foster high team spirit through team-building activities and social events. Another way is to dedicate an area wherein your employees can unwind or hangout freely during break time.
5. Offer meaningful perks
Contrary to popular belief, employee happiness is not only about a salary increase. A 2015 Glassdoor survey reveals that 4 in 5 workers prefer additional benefits over a pay rise. While another study further amplifies that 48% of the job hunters will consider company perks in their decision.
Flexibility option is an ongoing trend, especially among younger workers. Incorporating fluid working hours allows your employees to have a contrast between life and work. It will also curb the risk of getting burnout among your team, which can lead to permanent health effects.
Another way is through a financial wellness program. Financial stress in the workplace is a growing concern among employers as this results in higher churn rates. Staff turnover is hurting every company not only because it is time consuming but is also downright expensive.
Providing your employees the right financial options and education can mitigate financial worries. It can also help reframe their money mindset allowing them to invest in the value of saving.
For example, a BPO company like Sitel has ensured the financial security of its employees by equipping them with the right financial options. Through their partnership with Uploan, they were able to improve their employee engagement, which has contributed to its robust growth.
Watch the testimonial below:
The pursuit of happiness in the workplace is a constant journey. One for a fact: happiness is subjective. As a leader, you have to carefully tailor the perks and wellness programs that fit each of your team’s needs. It will not only create happier teams but is also pivotal in your company’s long-term success.