You already know this intuitively, but happy employees stay longer, are more productive at their jobs and are your best brand managers. But how do you create a happy environment? Team leaders need to show it by example and vision.
Here are 5 examples of what you can do that was inspired by an article I read from The Guardian today titled ” Five steps to jumpstarting worker happiness at your company.”
Five Steps to Happy Employees
Step 1: Create a Vision and Tell Your Story
Having a vision statement may seem a bit passe, but they really are not. When I think of Rotary International (an organization I am deeply involved in), they have a 3-word vision: Service Above Self. When I think of IBM (an organization I used to work at) they have a 1-word vision: Think. Your vision statement doesn’t have to be long, but it has to be something everyone has on the tip of their tongue and most importantly, believes in.
A story is a description of all the company characters, how your organization was founded and what makes it tick today.
Step 2: Give Employees Access to Every Product and Service You Offer
You want them to be happy and be your best brand ambassadors? Give them access to all your products and let them take them home. If they are low-cost items, give them an item every month. If they are higher cost, sell the item to them at cost or let them borrow it for a weekend.
When they take the products home, they are telling their family and friends these are products my company offers and I am proud to be a part of this organization.
Step 3: Survey Often and/or Have an Open Door Policy
Everyone is busy; including managers. So perhaps the easiest way to determine what employees want and what will make them happy is to survey them about what they like and dislike at the company. Have them prioritize what they want changed and work toward that goal.
However, sometimes it isn’t appropriate to fill out a response on a survey – for example if someone is experiencing workplace bullying you want them to come to you. Engage your team by letting them know you are always available to talk to them about a serious issue.
Step 4: Hire For Attitude as much as Skill
You want to hire the sharpest most driven person for the job, but what about all the other important things that go along with it? What is their attitude like? Are they a team builder or one that might tear your team apart? What about emotional intelligence? What is their propensity to learn new things?
I volunteer for an organization and we have a paid staff person who is very uncomfortable with computers – so she will do the basics. But when I ask her to do something outside of her comfort zone, she is extremely resistant and won’t do it. Therefore, many of the innovations that are important to the other volunteers in the organization are left unfulfilled because she won’t learn a new skill.
Step 5: Ditch Annual Reviews and Move Toward Monthly Check-Ins
Monthly check-ins allow for course corrections by either the employee or employer. In addition, employers can find out what is really bothering an employee and what can be done to improve the situation. It also shows you care enough to communicate on a regular basis.
Fun Team Building by Larry Lipman is All About Happiness
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