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5 Keys to Growing a Happy Workforce

hr best practices hr certification hr department hr management Sep 28, 2020

If employees aren’t happy, they aren’t going to stick around. They know they have options and they aren’t afraid to make a change if their work environment isn’t meeting their needs. Turnover is costly, both in time and money, so organizations should always be thinking about improving the workplace and growing a happy workforce.

This is not to say that every business should shower employees with perks and treats. In fact, things like snacks in the break room, a foosball table, and fun team events are great, but they’re meaningless if employees aren’t treated respectfully, given opportunities to help the company succeed in a meaningful way, or paid fairly for the work they do.

5 Tips for Improving the Workplace

Ready to improve your workplace? Here are the 5 key factors that contribute to employee satisfaction.

  1. Using Skills and Abilities – The days of micromanagement are over. Employees today want to be given a task and then use their skills to complete it. Train your employees to do their jobs, then let them do it. You’ll need to understand what skills are needed and how your employees can acquire them, but once they’re up to speed, let them get to work.
  2. Growth and Development – Everyone wants to do a good job, but they also want the ability to grow. Don’t just think of growth as a promotion or a raise, though. Growth can also mean cross-training to support another department, being a buddy to new hires or being a brand ambassador for your products. Provide opportunities for employees to engage with the team and the product, and show them you’re all in it for the long haul. Support their development and they’ll support you.
  3. Respectful Treatment – Years ago, the attitude was “I give you a paycheck; what more is expected?” That doesn’t fly today. Employees want you to see them as people, give them a workspace that is clean and bright, and allow them to respond to personal obligations. Ask how their weekend was or allow them to make a quick call to be sure a sick mom is OK. You’ll gain a lot of goodwill from your employees when you treat them as people.
  4. Trust – Employees want to be trusted. They want to be given the information they need to get their job done and understand where the organization is headed. You can talk to your employees about a bad sales month, expenses that are over budget, or a key client you’re afraid to lose. By being vulnerable, you show your team that you trust them and want their help to solve problems.
  5. Compensation and Benefits – Employees care a great deal about the things above, but if they can’t meet their basic needs with the salary and benefits you provide, they can’t and won’t stay. Look at market rates annually to confirm you’re paying a competitive wage. Provide insurance, paid time off, and flexibility, and assure employees that we understand their need to meet commitments outside of the office as well.

Improving the workplace to increase the happiness of your employees will ultimately lead to better engagement. Your employees are people who want to be a part of your success, but they also have lives outside the office once the work day is done. When you address these concerns, looking at the whole employee, you’ll have a productive workforce that drives profits to your bottom line.

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