As a business leader, you understand the importance of your making your employees happy. In addition to making your team more efficient, it’s also something you value, knowing that everyone on your team feels 100 percent satisfied working for you day in and day out. Whether your team is remote or based in an actual office, whether you’re a startup leader working crazy hours on weekends or you’re an accounting firm running ordinary nine to five hours outside of tax season, you’re always looking for new strategies to improve the happiness of your employees.
So if you want to be sure that your team is as happy as possible, you’ll want to follow these strategies.
Allow flexible work
According to Entrepreneur.com, “more than a third of small-business employees reported that flexible schedules would increase happiness and minimize burnout. In order to balance the rising demands on both work and personal time, small businesses need to allow employees to work flexible hours and remotely…The underlying force behind flexible schedules is an inherent trust from employers that their employees will get done what they need to get done, in the time frame they need to do it, even if that’s not traditional 9 to 5 hours.”
If you’re more of a traditional business leader, this may not be the most comfortable shift for you. But if it works for remote teams, then it should work for you. In fact, in 2016, 43 percent of employed Americans spent at least some time working remotely, and it’s becoming more common as the US economy becomes more freelance work-based. You can start slow; for example, you can allow your employees to work from home on Fridays. When you’re meeting with employees one-on-one, you can ask them if there’s a way their schedules could work that would make them more productive. You might be surprised, and learn that a night owl will be more flexible coming in later in the workday and leaving at 7 or 8 p.m.
Have clear communication
Clear communication is more than simply checking in with your employees every six months for a one-on-one meeting. Clear communication is opening lines of communication from the very beginning. For example, having an orientation and training every time a new employee is hired, so that they understand rules and regulations. Additionally, transparency is incredibly important. You want to communicate with your employees regularly not only about company policies but also about how the company’s doing.
According to Business News Daily, you’ll want to “create a culture of transparency so that all your employees understand the goals, plans and challenges confronting the company. This will not only make them feel like they’re an important part of the team, it gives you the chance to receive ideas and input from people who otherwise might not have felt empowered to speak up.”
Additionally, encourage your employees to speak with you when there are any problems, or if they have any needs (for example, a medical leave of absence). They aren’t going to be comfortable with this overnight, but by sending out anonymous surveys to find out how you’re doing and having communication workshops, they’ll soon feel like they can be open with you about any work-related concerns they may have. Considering that, from June through December 2017, three million employees left their job voluntarily every month, it’s important to open up communication channels if you haven’t done so already.
Create career mobility opportunities
According to Fortune, “When employees, especially millennials and Generation Z’s, aren’t able to advance at work, they immediately start searching for other opportunities. That is why companies are offering more career mobility opportunities, which support employees who want to move across different departments or even change their occupation. In a study by Cisco and Future Workplace, we found that this mobility helps increase engagement, productivity, and teamwork.”
In a way, this goes hand-in-hand with having clear communication. Because if you listen to your employees and allow them to tell you what they think, you’ll know even before they do when they’re showing potential for a new position. Get creative, think about where your company is headed down the line and how your employees can grow into new roles with you. In addition to giving employees the opportunity to make more money (which is a guaranteed way to keep them happy), you’ll also make them feel appreciated.
By using these strategies, your employees will be happier, and your business will do better, too. What strategies are you currently using to make your employees happy?