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Success at Work with an Engaged Workforce
A happy and engaged workplace is a successful workplace. However, if your employees are disgruntled and have low morale, it could be disastrous for your organization. According to a recent SHRM survey, although 83 percent of respondents felt satisfied in their jobs, only 68 percent of those felt passion and excitement about their work, and only 52 percent of respondents felt completely plugged in at work.
So, when the majority of employees have a decreased level of engagement, while at the same time little excitement, morale is likely to fall. When that happens, operations go flat, goals aren’t met with the same vigor, and company culture wanes.
Seven Tips to Increase Happiness at Work
However, there are some easy ways employers can increase happiness at work, which in turn can improve the business overall. Check them out:
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- Be clear and transparent. If your employees aren’t aware of organizational news, team shakeups, and how they need to operate, don’t throw it in their face when they are going in the wrong direction. Be clear and transparent with what you expect from them.
- Know how they work. If an employee works better in groups or with flexible work schedules, encourage this behavior. If they are the loner type, that’s okay, too. Don’t force them to change how they perform; it’s essentially ingrained in them and will likely backfire and decrease their morale. Adjust to them.
- Real-time feedback. In conjunction with the first point, offering employees real-time feedback helps them with their individual goals. This gives employees the answers they need now, rather then later (you don’t want them going down the wrong path unknowingly, do you?) Don’t wait till yearly or quarterly performance reviews to offer advice and direction. By the time those roll around, that feedback doesn’t really matter anymore since it’s probably old news.
- Encourage strengths. Say you have a star performer who’s great at hands-on presentations. Well, don’t stick them in a back room and have them only work on preliminary research. This isn’t what they’re good at and it’s not what will make them the happiest. Rule of thumb: if employees are doing work they’re passionate about, the output will probably be positive. Encourage their unique strengths.
- Let them take the reins. It may be in your nature to micromanage, but sometimes employees want to be the ones in control. Don’t stand over their shoulders all the time! This doesn’t help them grow and certainly doesn’t boost morale. Let them come to the table with their own ideas and encourage your employees to execute them if it will help your business. They’ll likely put more into their own work since they’ll be steering the ship.
- Incentives. Don’t look at incentives as bribing. Look at them as a motivator. They don’t have to cash, either. Incentives can be half-days, parking spaces, free lunches, or even working from home. It stimulates employees to perform better, while at the same time helping them feel appreciated by the organization.
- Room to grow. Some employees feel stagnant because there’s no upward movement. Give them something new to chew on! Even if there’s not an open spot, there are alternatives — upward movement doesn’t have to be a new job title or more money. It could mean more responsibility, leadership, access to new resources, industry events, etc. This can help them grow professionally since they are doing new and interesting things, while at the same time decreasing frustration and unhappiness due to boredom.
What do you think? What are some other ways to improve employee morale?
Morgan Norman is the Founder and CEO of WorkSimple, the social performance application that works the way you do — focused on Social Goals, feedback and recognition for you, your team, and company. Connect with him and WorkSimple on Facebook and @getworksimple on Twitter.