Attracting top talent is more challenging than ever. It is no longer enough to just have a non-toxic work culture — employees want more. They want to be happy and engaged at work, to be treated kindly and respectfully, and recognized as an integral part of the team, not just a cog in the wheel. Leaders that strive to create happy engaged workplaces are investing in their organization's greatest asset-people.
According to research from Oxford University's Saïd Business School, organizations with high employee engagement are 13% more likely to exceed their performance and productivity goals than those with low engagement numbers. Understanding the connection between happiness and engagement in the workplace is only half the battle. Putting it into action is more complex but well worth the time and financial investment.
Happy and engaged employees are more productive and generate good ideas. They achieve at a higher level, are more efficient, and are willing to share knowledge with their colleagues. Engaged employees are also able to effectively manage difficult situations. Here are a few significant reasons why employee contentment should be the topmost priority for any organization:
Engaged employees are better collaborators. They share information and ideas across teams and departments, which helps everyone on the team move faster and work together toward a common goal.
All workplaces experience change from time to time. Employees that feel a strong connection to their organization's purpose are better equipt to handle unexpected changes at work and easily adapt their schedules to meet new demands or shifts in their workloads. When the individual and the organization's purpose align, people are happier and more engaged.
Emotional & Physical Well-Being
When employees are under a lot of pressure, it can affect them emotionally and physically, which in turn can contribute to absenteeism, disengagement, and reduced productivity. Workplaces can mitigate the stress of their employees by creating psychologically safe spaces for people to express how they are feeling and coping.
When workers are happy and feel cared for, they are more enthusiastic about coming to work and being productive, which maintains a positive company culture.
Satisfied employees are highly committed. When people enjoy what they do for a living and feel valued by their employers, they are more loyal and dedicated. When employees feel cared for, they are 3.2 times more likely to be happy at work and 3.7 times more likely to recommend their company to others, according to LinkedIn research.
An organization's greatest resource is its people. Businesses can reap the benefits of quality work and high productivity if they can create an environment where workers are happy and engaged. Additionally, organizations can save money on recruitment and training costs when current workers are enthusiastic advocates for the company.
As your business grows, you'll inevitably have to hire more people to keep up with the influx of work. The challenge here, however, is keeping your employees happy and productive in their roles. Achieving that goal involves more than just giving them a paycheck every month; it means ensuring they're engaged in their jobs and motivated by their purpose at the company.
Here are some ways to create an employee-friendly culture:
Employees who can strike a good work-life balance are extra invested in their jobs, satisfied with their lives, and better driven to excel in those roles. If you want to keep your employees happy and motivated, prioritize their work/life integration.
Caring for an employee's emotional needs makes them feel valued. Extend policies to help support employees' families and make adjustments where you can. For example, offer flexible work hours for an employee that handles school pickup and dropoff or allow an employee with a sick family member to work remotely.
You should also support employees' physical and mental health. Refrain from putting an immense workload on only a handful of employees, which risks frustration and burnout. Encourage your team to unplug at the end of the day and avoid sending or responding to emails outside of work hours.
If you understand your employees' needs and wants, it will be easier for them to feel their voice is being heard. You must take feedback as much as you give it and encourage employees to share ideas, opinions, or suggestions. Show enthusiasm and keep every employee involved to let them know they are a valued asset to your organization.
When you actively listen and then take the required action, you demonstrate that their perspective is recognized, valued, and, most importantly, implemented.
Providing employees with growth opportunities helps to retain top talent in an organization rather than driving them out. Your employees are your company's greatest asset; therefore, investing in their professional development makes sense if you want to boost loyalty, retention, and output in the office. Investing in your employees' future helps your organization keep up with industry trends, new techniques, procedures, and technology.
According to statistics, 73% of employees feel their flexible work arrangement contributes to their happiness and engagement at work. They felt content and motivated to support the organization's goals.
Employers who offer more leeway in scheduling recognize that their employees have commitments outside of the office and are working to accommodate them. A flexible arrangement shows employees that their employers trust their abilities and competence to get the job done, no matter where or when the actual work is taking place.
Any form of gratitude is generally received positively, so never underestimate the power of showing genuine appreciation. Praise and acknowledgment are crucial in establishing a humanized employee experience and promoting friendly competition among employees. When people know they are valued for what they bring to the table, they are more likely to put up their best effort in whatever they do.
Feedback is a powerful tool that can help build a more cohesive team and create greater employee satisfaction. It helps us learn from mistakes, improve communication skills, and increase motivation. Regularly giving feedback shows that you value your team's contributions and believe in them to improve over time. They will feel part of a team rather than isolated individuals expected to get things done quickly and efficiently.
The company culture is what makes a company stand out from the rest. When employees can align on values, behaviors, and purpose, they become more engaged and committed to the work they are doing. Culture is a top-down initiative. When leaders are living the culture, employees feel more empowered to promote it, creating a win-win where everyone is on the same page working towards the same goal, and feels connected to something greater than themselves.
As an employer, you can't create happiness. Yet, providing benefits, rewards, and opportunities for your employees to help them navigate and thrive under your company's leadership makes an environment that nurtures happiness.