We spend the majority of our time working, and thinking about work—even when we’re doing other things. If you want your employees to be productive, pleasant members of the team, it’s important to focus on creating a happy workplace.
Turning your organization into a happy place to go to work is an essential component to a successful long-lasting business. Making employees happy at work is one of the biggest achievements for a leader and a reliable way to increase productivity. A happy work environment attracts good people and helps the people who work for you do the best for the company. To create that kind of environment, it takes a strong top-down and bottom-up approach. It also requires proper hiring practices and clear expectations.
Cultivating a happy workplace isn’t a straightforward process, but it does require managers to ensure their employees are supported, challenged, listened to, and treated with immense respect. After all, people define a company’s culture.
There are many things you can do to make a sustainably happy organization. Here are 6 effective ways to cultivate a happy workplace:
1. Hire happy personalities
Hiring people who are going to help make your workplace happier will take a little thought and preparation. It is natural to focus on relevant experience and past achievements when interviewing a candidate. And you are right to want those things for your company. But ignoring the personality is a mistake.
The greatest candidate on paper might be the worst person to bring into your office. Look for the intangibles. Be very aware of how you feel around the person. Do they seem like they focus on the positives or negatives? They laugh/ smile often? Do they seem like they create and nurture relationships? While their track record in terms of performance is very important, a person that brings gloom and doom to the workplace will kill productivity and motivation.
2. Reduce stress in the workplace
Stress negatively impacts our health and well-being and detracts from workplace happiness. Statistically, the vast majority of stress in our lives comes from the workplace. Everything from the workload, which makes up about 46% of workplace stress, to juggling work and life (20%) affects how we feel in and out of the office.
Therefore, it is important to minimize stress in the workplace. Encourage employees to have a healthy work-life balance. Keeping a more relaxed atmosphere will help keep stress levels down and help prevent employees from burning out.
3. Promote mindfulness and meditation
In many offices, workdays are fast-paced and full of distractions. It can be hard to minimize stress and improve concentration under these conditions. That’s why promoting mindfulness and meditation can be a powerful office-wide tool to help create a happier workplace.
Meditation can help increase productivity by improving a person’s ability to resist distraction, while yoga has both mental and physical benefits. It may be useful to offer perks like guided meditation or yoga classes right in the office—and to dedicate office space to mindfulness. Another key aspect of promoting mindfulness is allowing employees to cut out distractions and be unreachable for periods of time.
4. Create a caring environment
Humans operate on feelings. If we don’t feel an emotional attachment to a product or company, we probably won’t buy. It’s been shown that emotional response has a far greater influence on consumer purchases than the content of an ad. If we don’t feel valued at work, we won’t feel happy in the office or loyal to our employers.
Therefore, it is important to create a caring environment and show each employee that their contributions are valuable. Honesty, compassion, and respect, especially from management, go a long way toward creating a happy workplace.
Ever hear of the Hawthorne effect? It is – the increase in workplace productivity when people feel that they are cared about. It makes people happy to be asked how they are and for you to take a little time to find out how things are going in their lives.
5. Provide work flexibility
Running an office with a tight schedule with no breaks may be a mistake and a factor in making employees miserable. It’s unfair to expect workers to perform better if they are unable to give time to their families. Flexible hours allow employees to have more control over their work-life balance.
Research by the Wharton School of Business finds what great leaders already know – that employees are happier when they are allowed latitude in their jobs and flexibility from their supervisors. People who are given the flexibility to focus on what’s most important in the current moment live happier, healthier lives. Employers can help people achieve this balance by setting clear expectations but giving employees the flexibility and trust to set their own priorities and schedules. As long as the employees complete their work, and the productivity is higher, then the typical 9-5 timing does not really matter. Hence, this freedom can help to cultivate a happy workplace.
6. Appreciate your employees
A workplace is likely to be a much happier place when there are HR policies to make sure that people are regularly appreciated for the job they do. When employees feel that their happiness matters at their workplace, they tend to be more productive. Recognition and feeling their work is meaningful is key to workplace happiness. Employees want to know that their work is having an impact and that they are making progress toward a common goal. Hence, appreciating your employees on a regular basis will boost their morale, invoking a positive environment and will help them to stay happy.
To Sum Up
Creating a happier workplace will lead to a more pleasant work environment, greater productivity, and ultimately, reduced turnover. Changing your current systems to promote empathy and a culture that helps people sustain health, happiness, and balance can be difficult, but it’s a worthwhile effort. These changes can boost morale and encourage people to show up and love their job almost every single day.
We spend a lot of our time at work, so let’s work happy!