Employee retention rates seem to shrink each year. In a tight talent market, it is important to focus on employee happiness to boost retention and keep productivity and profits high. Happy employees are productive employees, but they are also loyal employees. So, what makes employees happy in their job?
Now, more than ever before, Americans are putting real value on work-life balance. They don’t want to feel torn between work and home life. They want to work for organizations that understand people need to feel fulfilled. By offering flexible scheduling, telecommuting and other remote opportunities, it helps workers strike a stronger balance.
Connection to The Bigger Picture
People want to know that their work has meaning. That doesn’t necessarily mean they want to feel like they are changing the world, they just want to know that what they do has value. Connecting each employee’s job to the companies overarching mission and vision helps them see how even their most mundane or tedious tasks contribute to success.
A Healthy Culture
Corporate culture has a direct impact on employees’ happiness every day and nothing erodes happiness like a toxic culture. Create a culture that reflects your brand and corporate personality, but that culture should foster a positive and supportive work environment that allows employees to do their best work. Focus on raising up talented, engaged employees and if necessary, coach or even eliminate poor performers and those with toxic attitudes.
Provide Opportunities for Development
Talented employees want to grow in their careers, and they will feel happier when they work for employers that value their desire for professional development. Provide training, sponsor employees who want to attend valuable conferences, consider offering tuition and certification reimbursement and mentor those who want to move forward. By helping employees see a clear path for growth, you can foster happiness.
Recognize and Reward Achievement
Everyone wants to feel valued and providing positive feedback in the form of recognition and rewards helps foster happiness. To be effective, recognition and rewards should be ongoing rather than end-of-year activities. It also helps to simply say “thank you” when employees go above and beyond, solve a complex problem, pitch in to help someone else or tackle a project no one else wanted to handle.
While a paycheck is certainly not the only factor that contributes to employee happiness, it is still important. If a high performer is paid below market value, they will not feel valued and they will not feel happy. Ultimately, they will seek out a new job that pays a higher rate. Make sure your compensation structure is in line with the market and offer performance-based raises to say thank you for a job well done.