How often do you hear “happy employees mean better productivity”? I am betting we have all heard it
at one time in our working lives. And if asked, I am sure we all believe that to be true. I mean, there is
nothing more important to a business than its employees………right?
Then why are so many managers left scratching their heads wondering how to truly make their
employees happy? And why are there still some skeptics around insisting it is not up to them to make
their folks happy?
Simply put – somewhere over the last many, many years we have been led to believe that foosball, ping
pong and on-site yoga instructors were are only option. You do not need grand (and often empty)
gestures to engage employees. Implementing smaller (and more impactful) changes can drastically
increase the employee experience creating much happier – and more productive – people.
Here are a small, but impactful tips to get you started:
Efficiency. One thing I hear often is that many employers want their folks to work efficiently, tasking
them to find ways to change how they work to make things better. Remember though, as leaders we
must be open to looking at how WE work and how our employees interact within our systems and
Why not ask:
Is there a better way of doing things? Do our systems enhance how our employees’ function? Do our
people have proper functioning tools and equipment? Do they have enough of what they need to get
the job done? By automating a task have we decreased or increased the amount of effort required to
get it done?
Clear Direction. A common problem facing managers, supervisors and employees alike is not always
understanding what is expected from them. Or worse yet – not knowing at all. By offering clear
direction, complimented by realistic goals and well-defined job expectations, organizations can
eliminate poor communication leading to poor performance. Employees have clear focus and managers
can easily identify performance issues before they become a problem. You would be surprised how
often this is an underlying problem in many cases of dissatisfied employees.
Appreciation. Inspire employees to work toward success and cultivate a sense of fulfilment by simply
acknowledging and appreciating them and all they do. Tell employees when they have done a good job
or when they have gone above and beyond to solve a problem. Recognize their efforts and provide
feedback (constructively) so they can grow and learn. Sure, you can offer tangible rewards, but never
underestimate the power of a single “Thank you” or “We appreciate you”. Letting employees know how
much they are appreciated, valued, and respected goes a long way. The gift card is nice but showing
someone, you really see them is much more valuable.
And last but certainly not least - if you want to know what would make your people happy……..just ask
them! Start a dialogue and see what small ……but impactful…….changes you can make today.
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