Happy Employees Are Good Business
The Secret for Having Happy Employees
Happy employees are good business. Common sense tells you that a company's most important asset is its human capital. Lots of studies show that happy employees are good for business and profits. Happy employees get more satisfaction on the job. Happy employees are productive workers who go the extra mile for you and the customers. Happy employees are cost effective in any business. Your turnover is less, and financial results improve. Happy employees are easier to manage. Experience shows that happy employees equal happy, loyal customers. That means everybody else, including the boss and the shareholders, will be happy, too.
Are These Your Employees?
- Are Your Employees Happy on the Job?
- The Four C's for Happy Employees
- Will Compensation Make Happy Employees?
- Realistic Work Goals Make Happy Employees
- Reduce Job Monotony for Happy Employees
- Hire Happy People to Get Happy Employees
- Good Communication for Happy Employees
- Corporate Culture Encourages Happy Employees
- Happy Employees Want Control
Are Your Employees Happy on the Job?
Are your employees happy on the job? Jason, who works in a call center, says "You get paid to do your job, not to like it." This highlights the growing tension between employers and employees. Is this the attitude at your workplace? Some employers are using economic conditions as an excuse to overwork and underpay their employees. Unhappiness at work affects employee health, while it causes stress and depression. As companies deal with external changes, employees develop fatigue or burn-out from a lengthy period of stress, uncertainty and confusion brought about by the economy and their company's decisions. Employees who hate their job are a serious problem for business.
A good job can make employees happy. It can give them success, professional achievement and personal growth. It can let them contribute meaningful results. It can be a source of good relationships with both managers and co-workers. A good job can, really, be a lot of fun!
Some companies are famous for their happy employees. Think about Google, Southwest Airlines, Disney, IKEA, or NOKIA. Their business models encourage fun on the job, good customer relations, technological creativity, and personal responsibility. Workers who love their jobs result in more efficiency and innovation which results in more profits.
Unenlightened companies treat employees like expendable commodities, no better than paper-clips. At these jobs, workers deal with stress, overwork, bullying, poor communication and bad management. When CEOs are profit-driven with no regard for their employees. everyone feels the pressure. And the corporate culture becomes a toxic waste dump. Not a happy place.
Companies like Sears, PNC Bank and Nortel have studies to show that when they improve employee happiness, they see better customer satisfaction and loyalty. The good news is that happier employees bring results to the bottom line, because they are more motivated, productive, innovative, and engaged. It is a simple story. Happy companies make more money.
The Four C's for Happy Employees
Now let's get practical. What makes employees happy on the job? Employee job satisfaction and happiness starts with the four C's: Communications, Culture, Commitment and Compensation. Great workplaces don't develop by accident. Consider the following improvements in your workplace.
Will Compensation Make Happy Employees?
If you ask your employees, they will mention compensation as the number one factor in job satisfaction. Money is an easy way to measure what you get from a job, and it is on everyone's mind, particularly when times are hard. Most employees feel that they are entitled to pay raises to cover the increased cost of living. You will have happier employees if you offer fair working conditions and above-average pay. Compare the pay and benefits you offer to what upper management receives and to what your competitors have.
Employees are also very concerned about job fringe benefits like medical insurance. If your company does not yet offer medical insurance, think about it as a tool to reducing job turnover and improving employee health. A retirement plan like a 401K company sponsored plan allows the company to contribute a small amount to match each employee's contribution. Medical benefits and retirement plans are tax-deductible expenses for the company and nontaxable for the employee. When your company can offer a benefit package, you will recruit employees with better skills.
Realistic Work Goals Make Happy Employees
Do you try to do more work with fewer employees? Have you increased the employee workload? One large data processing center in my town uses employee attrition to cut costs. Employees who leave the job are not replaced, but the workload is divided among those remaining. Here employees are working unpaid on their lunch hour and weekends to meet unrealistic deadlines. No one can afford to complain, but job turnover is up. Burnt out and disillusioned employees are not a permanent solution to jack up business profitability.
Reduce Job Monotony for Happy Employees
Many jobs are repetitious. In the interests of efficiency, the work never changes, whether it is chicken processing, data entry, harvesting tomatoes, or assembly line packaging. The workers are often paid for piecework to keep them motivated. You can reduce the monotony of the job by providing relief workers, by alternating assignments, or by providing chairs. You might allow personal music players. Short contests with prizes can relieve the boredom. If your shop is still not air conditioned, consider this improvement to help your employees. Newer tools and upgraded machinery can make their job easier. Fewer shutdowns and better quality control will improve employee performance as well as corporate profitability.
Hire Happy People to Get Happy Employees
If happy employees are the key to success, start hiring happy people. Before you hire, consider the personality, optimism and personal happiness of the job candidate. Avoid the sour grapes who might rock the ship and cause discontent. One disgruntled employee can infect an entire work force. Select happy people for your team of employees. And fire the people who aren't happy with their job.
Good Communication for Happy Employees
Better communication can smooth the way to job satisfaction. The truth is that people don't leave their jobs, they leave their managers. Many employees leave their jobs because they are unhappy with their immediate supervisor.
To improve communication, get to know your employees. Clarify your expectations. Understand their concerns and listen to their complaints. Be accessible when an employee has a problem for you to solve. Accept suggestions, even from low-level employees.
Start off with an employee survey to see what will make your employees happier. Let the employees help design the survey questions and evaluate results. Employee surveys can measure employee satisfaction, pinpoint internal issues and enhance communication between employees and management. A survey is a good starting point when you want to make changes.
Would a company newsletter or employee website build happy employees? It could include job highlights, employee accomplishments, and personal achievements. Consider mailing the newsletter to the home address so every family member can feel connected to the company.
One advertising company held the employee Christmas party at a restaurant. After everyone was seated at the dinner table, the CEO announced that the usual Christmas bonuses had been canceled this year. You could have heard a pin drop. Communication is not only what you say, but when you say it.
When managers listen to employee ideas and try to treat workers as partners, they develop more motivated employees. When managers provide feedback, whether it is a simple thank you, praise for a job well-done, or a token of appreciation, employees are happier on the job. As one hotel housekeeper said, "It seems that this company cares about us more," she said. "They try to do what we say."
Corporate Culture Encourages Happy Employees
Corporate culture can make employees happy, but each company is different. Some employees will be happy with a pool table in the lunchroom. You do have a lunchroom, don't you? Other employees want more training and the opportunity to learn more.
You can create a friendly work environment. Friends on the job are important to a happy employee. It's more fun to come to work if you have genuine friends there. Some companies like the online shoe company Zappos.com encourage workplace camaraderie with office parades, costumes, and impromptu wackiness. Good relationships, friends and mentors on the job contribute to employee happiness and low turnover.
You can create an employee-friendly workplace by paying attention to what the employee needs. Little things, like the cleanliness of the restrooms, show that you respect your employees. Are employees allowed to take comfort breaks when needed? Is the work environment clean, safe and comfortable? What happens if an employee has a family emergency or an illness? When you put employees at the center of the corporate culture, you build a happy workforce.
Happy Employees Want Control
At the end of the day, the employee should have a feeling of accomplishment. Your workers have non-monetary needs that must be satisfied if they are to be happy employees. Employees want to feel they are appreciated and that management is open to their ideas for improvement. Employers should look for ways to expand the responsibilities of motivated employees, to allow them more control of their job. Give an employee the power to make a customer happy and the authority to solve problems.
At a sales center near me, employees are paid a small bonus for each upsell, when they encourage customers to buy additional products. But the company does not explain how the bonus is calculated, and it doesn't even count the upsells correctly. Employees have little control of their bonus, which amounts to only about twenty dollars on a paycheck, and are further discouraged by management's lack of respect.
Employees who have some control over their working hours are happier. Flex time on the job can make work easier for employees. Telecommuting, that is, working from home, does away with the long commute and makes it easier to balance the needs of work and family. Other employees, like Alicia who is a nurse, happily choose the option to work a ten-hour day and a four-day work week.
When employees are happy and motivated at work, they feel like they are making progress. They can excel, advance and achieve on the job.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.
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