10 Secrets to Employee Happiness

Want to ensure you do your best to retain employees, and build a strong culture of employee engagement? You’ll want a happy team. Here are the 10 most important factors in employee happiness.

A survey of a whopping 203,756 people from 189 countries by Boston Consulting Group last year reveals some interesting factors in employee happiness and it’s a fascinating read (you can take a look over here). In this article, we’ll cover the ten most important factors, and how you can easily contribute to them.

One of the biggest takeaways from the top ten factors is that unsurprisingly to many, relationships, company values and work-life balance all appear.

Many traditional business owners make the wrong assumption that employees are only after the most money in their pockets, yet they could not be further from the truth.

In the results below, you’ll find that salary comes in as the eight most important factor; in fact, company financial stability is in fifth place, showing that employees are happier knowing their employers are financially sound, over their own salary expectations.

Ready for the list of employee happiness factors? Here they are…

10. Company values

Does your organisation have a set of defined values and do you actually utilise them? The worst environment for an employee is have a set of values which everyone in a company outright ignores. It’s worse than not having a set of value at all, in our opinion.

If you don’t have values, or have a set of values or mission statement that is not reflective of your culture, we recommend creating them, in conjunction with your team.

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9. Interesting job content

Doing the same repetitive tasks day in and day out is hard work. Consider breaking up your employees week by having them ‘buddy’ up with someone from another department, or get them working for a few hours a week on something charitable.

A great question to pitch is ‘If you could remove one part of your role, what would it be?’. This quickly highlights employee pain points.

8. Attractive fixed salary

This one is tricky, unless you have a very healthy profit margin. Obviously, we should do our best to pay our team what they are worth, and what we could afford as employers.

When it comes down to money, employees are shy to broach the subject, so take it by the horns and discuss their concerns openly.

Employee happiness

Image: Angie Garrett, Flickr

7. Job security

Who wants to feel nervous about their position each week? Having a regular discussion around the company direction, and where you hope everyone with you will be in the future.

This does great things to set a positive tone and also reiterates that you want them to stick around.

6. Learning and career development

To get the most of your employees, you need to regularly invest in your team’s knowledge. There are many options here, from conferences to in-house training, webinars and more.

Even mentoring where you pair less experienced team members with senior people has been shown to be highly effective to continually challenge and grow the knowledge of your people.

5. Company’s financial stability

Most organisations are reluctant to openly share their financials with their whole team, yet the profitability and therefore longevity of an organisation is often questioned by those within the team.

We suggest perhaps sharing a rough guide; an example could be ‘Sales are up 5% on last year, and we look good to do even better into the next financial year’.

Your employees trust you to do the best; you should expect the same confidence in return.

4. Good relationship with superiors

We’ve all been in that position; being subservient to someone you can’t get along with, no matter how hard you try. Whilst employees don’t need to be absolutely best friends with their supervisors and colleagues, it is expected that people can remain respectful, honest and open with one another.

Look for small signs that there is conflict among your team, and speak privately to those involved; it’s quite often just a case of clearing the air in a respectful and dignified way.

Image: Unsplash.com

Image: Unsplash.com

3. Good work-life balance

For many people, flexibility with work hours and location is now a large component of what they consider when looking for employment, or changing careers. Do you have the ability to allow for remote working, or allow for flexible hours in your organisation?

Related: Building Culture in a Remote Team.

Demanding employees put in 70 hour weeks is a great way to ensure they end up burned out, and not productive. Keep a focus on ensuring your team work hard, but for a reasonable period, and have a good life and work balance.

2. Good relationships with colleagues

As stated with point four, relationships are tantamount for a good working experience. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a team with someone whose personality completely polar opposite to yourself!

This is hard to judge of course, and there is no easy grading scale to show how relationships among your employees work, however be mindful of how everyone treats each other.

Ready for the most important factor in employee happiness? It is by far one of the easiest to address!

1. Appreciation for your work

This does not need to be a solid gold expensive watch either; a simple thank you, particularly publicly is free to do, and very positive. S

mall gestures as buying an employee a lunch, or saying thank you via email to the team can also be great avenues to show appreciation and lift morale.

The next time you are considering employee happiness, grade yourself and the organisation against these ten factors; how do you feel you and your organisation rate?

Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees in the New Year

Photo: reynermedia, Flickr

In Summary

So, there you have it; ten secrets to employee happiness, according to detailed and extensive research.

Taking note of these will ensure happier employees and better, more productive teams. Keeping a focus on these will ensure you retain your top talent and build a fantastic company culture.

Miles Burke

Miles Burke

Miles is the founder of 6Q. He is passionate about peer-to-peer recognition, company culture, employee engagement and wants every workplace to be the happiest it can be. Miles is also MD of Bam Creative, an author and public speaker.