According to the Well-Being Index, only 47 percent of those surveyed were happy in their workplace. That’s less than half of all employees! Are your employees among that 47 percent or are they actually satisfied at work? Your employees’ satisfaction should be important to you because happier people do work harder.
So how can you tell if your employees are satisfied, and how can you help improve their happiness in the workplace?
Make sure they know their full impact in the company. If your employees feel like their work has no significance, they will grown discontent. Coming to work will begin feeling unbearable without having anything to look forward to — or at least that’s what your employees will feel like if they don’t understand their impact in the company. Yes, they’re working on spreadsheets, but what does the information on that spreadsheet do for the end result? Make sure they know exactly how they fit in and how their work impacts their coworkers, other teams, and the company as a whole.
Keep lines of communication open. The lines of communication across the company should be open, including the one between a manager and the employees who work under them. If an employee feels like they can’t talk to their team leaders about concerns, they’ll start bottling up their frustrations, which may have an impact on their productivity. Your employees want to know that they’re being heard — and that their opinions on their work and the company culture matter. Be sure to have an open-door policy, and encourage them to increase communication and collaboration with each other.
Provide and encourage opportunities for professional growth. Your employees don’t want to feel like they’re running in place. They want to grow professionally, and the more opportunities you provide them, the more productive they will be. Especially in this day and age with technology constantly evolving, your employees want to stay on top of the game. Don’t just throw training videos and books their way. Consider real training and education opportunities through workshops, cross-functional projects or even via alearning management system if your company has one. Really pay attention to their strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to how they approach their projects, track their goals and encourage them to grow professionally. Ask them the right questions: If they could have their dream job in your organization, what would it be? What type of projects interest them the most? Where do they see their career path going? If you ask the right questions, and can help them get there, you create loyalty in your relationship.
Recognize employee performance in a timely fashion. Your employee finished a project and did a great job on it, but they don’t know this because you didn’t give them timely feedback. If, in the rush of things, you shoot off a finished project to a client without recognizing the individual employee’s contribution, your employees will grow discontent. They’ll feel like their work doesn’t matter. Don’t wait until a scheduled review to give them feedback. Send them an email, or make a note on their completed goal in a place where the recognition becomes more public.
Encourage goal-sharing between employees. Your workforce isn’t a collection of multiple one-man armies. Your employees are all part of a team, and they should be sharing their projects with each other for collaboration. You, as a manager, can’t keep up with every single project every minute of the day, and there may be valuable feedback that can change the course of a project. The future of performance is social and this is why social goals in a workforce are vital to collaboration and performance. Make sure that every individual knows what their co-workers are doing and communicate with one another.
Are your employees satisfied? What would you add as a tip to improve their happiness in the workplace?
Morgan Norman is the Founder and CEO of WorkSimple, a Social Goal management program, and is passionate about building the first performance management designed for all employees. Connect with him and WorkSimple on Facebook and Twitter.