Keeping employees engaged and happy is a different world than it used to be. A few short decades ago, companies could provide a basic safe workplace, and employees would remain committed for their entire careers. Basic benefits, camaraderie, consistency and a pension plan were enough to keep the attention of many. The times have changed, as they do, and it’s become a world of possibilities and imagination to keep employees engaged, happy and productive, as well as recruited in the first place. Benefits go beyond insurance, paid time off and office coffee, they go farther into nuanced perks like pet insurance and adoption assistance, remote working and exercise reimbursement. Let’s take a look at a few ways to increase employee morale, engagement, and happiness:
- Communication. This goes beyond top-down communication once a quarter. I’m talking about the type of communication that makes each person feel valued, seen, heard and appreciated. Ask what each person values – whether it be time with family, money, verbal praise, flexible working schedule, quiet space, music on Fridays … each person is different in their needs, but chances are, multiple people crave and feel valued with similar feedback or rewards. Knowing which employee will work 50% harder for an extra bonus, and which one will be your most loyal employee for their entire career if you simply say “good morning, how are you today?” and “thank you, you did a nice job” will pay in exponential volumes.
- Technology. Some employees value technology to do their jobs in a savvier manner and some simply enjoy receiving a bonus. For a tech-savvy crowd, a great prize to offer is a brand new TV with a TV wall mount. Just about anyone can enjoy a new TV whether it’s at the office or in the comfort of their own home.
- Raises. There’s nothing more gut-wrenching than finding out you won’t be getting a raise, again, yet seeing executives get massive bonuses. Raises mean more to the everyday employee than bonuses matter to already paid high earning executives, and giving fair and respectable raises should be calculated into each year’s budget. Most companies give a standard raise of 2-3%, which hardly keeps up with the standard of living and inflation. Pay your employees well and they will treat the company like their own.
- Paid time off. Poll your employee base to understand what they value the most – time on vacation, time with family, caring for loved ones, time away to study, time to do special projects … everyone has something. If you can work into your benefits packages extra time allowances to spend with loved ones, whether new babies or adopted children, a puppy, or caring for an elderly relative, employees will feel like their lives matter to the company, not just their presence in their desk, producing work.
- Host regular events. Companies that host regular giveback events, parties, celebrations, milestone events, festivals, picnics, trips, meetings, conferences and the like are the ones that keep employees on their toes, and excited about the company culture. What types of events can you start including in your quarterly rhythms to improve employee engagement, happiness, and morale?
Employees are the lifeblood of any company. No company exists without people working at it, and the more employee-centric a company is, the healthier its top and bottom lines will be. Incorporating technology, better benefits and company events are some of the most common ways to improve employee satisfaction scores, as well as the health of your balance sheet.