The Secret to Happy employees? Show Your Staff Some Love

Do you have trouble maintaining serious, long-term relationships with your employees? Do your employees seem to have problems making a commitment to you? Is your company always spending time and resources looking for someone else?

Maybe, the question should be, do you show your employees the love?

Keeping your workforce happy is a lot like keeping a marriage or relationship happy. It’s not always rosy and it’s a ton of work. But, somehow, you have to keep the love alive. So what are your employees looking for in this relationship? Well, it’s not only money – it’s not as easy as that. They want compensation that goes beyond just their salary. Employees are looking for recognition, motivation, and encouragement.

So what can you do to keep your employees happy and committed so they don’t develop a wandering eye for new opportunities? Here are some ways to retain your employees and keep them as happy, efficient and as productive as possible.

Encourage career development.

There are different ways you can embrace and emphasize the importance of career development and education to your employees. Offer tuition reimbursement to employees for courses related to their position, or provide seminars for them to brush up on and expand their skill set. In the end, investing in your employees will lead to higher productivity, competency and overall job satisfaction, resulting in a win-win for you and your employees.

Recognize and reward hard work.

Approximately 79 percent of employees who leave their job do so because they don’t feel they are receiving enough recognition. Obviously, employees want to be acknowledged for their hard work. So take the time to recognize their efforts. If possible, offer incentives like trips, bonuses, gift certificates, home computers, an assigned parking spot, extra time off, etc. to increase morale. Often, a simple “thank you,” a handwritten note, or recognition in front of their colleagues will go a long way in helping employees feel appreciated.

Focus on teambuilding.

Most individuals like the feeling that comes from being a part of something bigger than themselves. Developing a team-oriented environment promotes a sense of unity and collective ambition. Encourage teamwork whenever possible because, in the end, teamwork results in more productivity and higher efficiency for your company.

Also consider team-building exercises outside of work. Encourage bonding with fun, casual gatherings such as planned lunches, games and other events. This allows employees to get to know each other on a personal level while building trust and familiarity within your organization.

Make communication a two-way street.

Many companies conduct performance reviews once or twice a year. This limits the opportunity you have for direct one-on-one communication and feedback. So consider holding reviews more frequently. In addition, check in with your employees on a regular basis and set aside time throughout the year to speak with them individually. In these discussions, make sure to clearly communicate the expectations and goals you have for them as your employee. If you don’t tell them, you can’t expect them to know.

And, just as importantly, afford your employees opportunities to speak with you. Get a better understanding of their expectations, goals and concerns. After all, employees want to be heard just as much as you do.

Encourage work-life balance.

Happy employees often have a balance between their professional and personal life. Too much work can lead to stress and overall dissatisfaction with their jobs. To combat this sense of fatigue and unhappiness, offer flexible schedules or allow employees to work from home if possible. A study of American workers by the Gallup Organization found that a vast majority of employees consider flexible hours an important part of a job. Another study found that two-thirds of the workforce would reject a promotion if it took time away from their families and consider flexible hours an attractive option. By developing a work schedule that meets both your needs and the needs of your workforce, productivity will increase, absenteeism will decrease, and employee morale will soar.

Even something small, like encouraging employees to step away from their desk during lunch, can leave them refreshed and rejuvenated.

Provide advancement opportunities.

Everyone wants to know they’re working towards something, right? If employees know their hard work can eventually lead to a promotion, they tend to work harder. Try to promote from within whenever possible and let your staff know about advancement opportunities available to them.

Encourage vacation.

Many employees end up feeling burnt out because they don’t use their vacation days. And most of them don’t expect their employers to encourage vacation. If your employees are at work and don’t take any time off, they’ll get more done, right? Wrong. In fact, studies show successful, productive employees are those who take vacations to relax and reenergize.

Remember, employees aren’t only looking for cash – there are more ways to reward your top performers. The point is: employees want to feel the love!

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