The secrets to employee happiness

By TRISOFT team

No matter what you sell, build or invent, your company cannot move forward without people. And moving forward together at the same pace, as an unique organism, is the most precious goal of any respectable manager, as it eventually draws the line between success and failure.

Contrary to common belief, employee happiness is not mainly tied to salary and benefits. According to extensive research on the topic, around 80% of people stick with their current employer and job because they like their jobs! Of course, rewards and recognition are very important to building a trustworthy environment for your employees, as well as breaks, allowing them to socialize or listen to music during work hours.

What is a sure fact is that employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, more involved and more loyal to their organizations. So let’s see what are, under the circumstances, the best ways to ensure employee happiness — this way attracting new hires and retaining top talent at the same time.

1.Build Ownership Among Your People

One of the first things you could do is get your employees to think about their workplace like their own business. This way, everyone will feel responsible and more engaged in the company’s affairs.

One way to do this is to familiarize each member of your crew with the work done by other team members. As far as this is possible, of course. You may have them collaborating on projects, encourage them to ask questions and offer each other feedback in order to contribute to the improvement of processes within the company. It all adds up to the feeling of ‘it’s mine’ and we know that most people go the extra mile for what is ‘theirs‘.

2. Be transparent

This one is simple — beyond money and promotions, people want the truth: the truth about the company, where it stands, where it’s going. As a business owner, you aren’t looking at an expensive investment of money or effort, as transparency doesn’t cost a dime, but it requires a permanent dialogue between management and staff.

Leaders need to start sharing the bigger picture with their employees. From time to time it pays off to give your people an update on future plans, road-blocks or maybe new ideas, products or services you are looking at. Your teams will this way feel that they are important enough for the organization that they are kept informed.

3. Allow for a better communication among your people

Closely connected to the transparency matter is the need to create spaces where employees can easily communicate among each other as well. They will talk in break rooms, in front of the building or on their way home, so you might as well make these talks more pleasant and even productive for your own good, by putting together a space with nice & cool furniture, vivid colors, maybe even snacks and beverages, if possible.

4. Help and trust people to leave their comfort zones

As proficient as a person can get at something, there is, at a certain point, the risk to fall into the comfort zone, a dangerous spot for a professional of any kind and not only. The trick is for a manager to try to prevent these situation by granting their most experienced employees new responsibilities as they go along. This will allow them to grow and become more confident in their abilities while making them feel more valuable to the organization.

Some managers might feel that this can misplace people and lead to more issues, but generally if you know your team well enough you know what they might be good at and what could be out of their reach. In our opinion, this risk is, by all means, way less significant than that of having employees get burnt or bored.

5. Treat your employees like adults

Any work space is an unstoppable source of news — of any kind. The more the employees, the bigger the risk for news (aka rumors) to spread uncontrollably. In the absence of knowledge, people make things up and we all know rumors are usually worse than reality.

The best way to fight this as a manager is to offer your people the complete picture — good and bad news altogether. Be straightforward, people can handle it!

6. Allow flexible working

Where possible, flexible working schedules as well as remote working have proved to be real bliss for both employers and employees, maximizing happiness and minimizing burnout. More and more people are looking to balance their work and personal life, and blend them together more efficiently. Working unconventional hours, but getting the job done at the end of the day seems to be the future for many businesses.

As soon as you can develop the trust that things will not only work, but even improve along with this strategy, you will be able to benefit from its perks and discover a great way to keep your employees happy.

7. Money matters (but not as much as you think!)

Of course money matters! The salary should ideally make the employee feel comfortable enough to do his/her job as agreed and stretch even further from time to time, when the situation requires it. The motivation however soon shifts from the money onto the challenge of work, its purpose, the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to contribute and many others, so don’t rest assured that a big paycheck will keep your employees satisfied. At least, not for long…

8. Offer benefits beyond the basics

Besides the monthly salary, there are quite a few ways to assist your employees in other areas of their lives. Many appreciate having private health insurance, others go for the benefits of pension plans or life insurances. There are people who would need other ancillary benefits, such as dental, optical or wellness. Just find what your people would benefit from the most and try to make it happen for them. This way they will know that you truly care about them and their families.

9. Perks matter (but not as much as you think!)

On top of the bigger perks (health and life insurance, for example), some companies offer massages, free lunches, foosball tables or childcare facilities. But, just like money, these things tend to lose over time their power of motivation. A modern and informed manager will know that although those perks are great and release burdens from employees’ shoulders, they are not a substitute for prime sources of professional inspiration.

Bonuses and company perks under various forms aren’t enough to keep employees happy. Showing an employee how much the company appreciates, respects and values them on a personal level is much more gratifying.

10. Recognize and reward employees

As we have seen, the highest motivations for employees are, at the end of the day, achievement and recognition. For every great idea and risk they take, you should be able to offer them some form of recognition. Even a day off after a difficult period can bring sparkles into their eyes. It’s good to remember — the small stuff adds up!

Conclusion

At TRISOFT, we have always placed importance on employee happiness. We like to focus on the positives and explore what is good in people. We’ve learnt that finding and keeping a particular balance between material and non-material incentives is the perfect recipe, and when you offer your team a professional, comfortable environment and the motivation they need to thrive, then you too get back exactly what you need in order to keep your business on top.