10 Top Tips to Create a Happy Workplace & Boost Employee Engagement
Mind-blowing fact: The happier your employees, the more successful your company.
Happy employees are more creative, innovative and dedicated than their unhappy counterparts. And, they’re more likely to stick around long-term.
In particular, a study cited by Harvard Business Review is part of a growing body of research on the impact of a positive organizational environment on benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.
Not to mention, the cost of disengagement. HBR explains, “engagement in work – which is associated with feeling values, secure, supported, and respected – is generally negatively associated with a high-stress, cut-throat culture.”
Going further, the research explains that disengaged workers had:
- 37% higher absenteeism
- 49% more accidents
- 60% more errors and defects.
Now that sounds like it could get expensive.
When you couple the benefits of having a happy workplace with the overall improvement to your coworkers’ lives, making conscious upgrades to your culture is a no-brainer.
Here at SnackNation, we want to help you create the happiest workplace possible so that you and your team can thrive.
We’ve laid out the top tips for taking your workplace vibes to soaring heights.
With these 10 tips, a little love and some elbow grease, we know you can elevate the happiness of your team.
1. Greet Your Team
A little hello goes a long way in the workplace. Your team members want to feel and be happy, so give them a little nudge in the morning with a big old smile that says, “I’m happy you are here and I want you to love your job.”
Pop around the office periodically and see how everyone is doing. Ask your team how their weekend was, and check in to see if anyone needs assistance with ongoing projects.
We can’t stress enough how creating an environment that makes everyone feel comfortable equates to happy employees. Creating a positive workplace atmosphere is crucial in terms of both workplace happiness and your team members’ productivity and energy levels, and that all starts with you setting a cheerful tone.
Something as simple as a smile and a “Good morning!” can be enough to turn Andrea’s bad day right around. Being upbeat and genuine in your approach boosts your team’s self-esteem, causing them to be more motivated and reminds them that working with you is pretty great.
As you make your peppy office debut a routine, you will find your team members begin mimicking your welcoming gesture to one another, putting everyone in a better mood and snowballing into a long-term vibe increase.
2. Deliver Praise and Recognition Often
Were you aware that feeling underappreciated at work is the #1 reason Americans leave their jobs? Number one! Beating out low salary, limited vacation days and not enough flexibility for life outside of work.
A statistic as powerful as that one needs to be front of mind for managers and leaders.
By offering consistent praise and recognition, your team will be excited and eager to contribute to company-wide initiatives.
Ask team members how they want to be recognized for a job well done. Send out a quick email or commence a team huddle to get their feedback on how they prefer to be recognized or complimented when and where credit is due. For some, it may be a quick “You did it!” shout-out during a meeting. For others, it might be a one-on-one positive feedback session.
The key is to be consistent. If a team member deserves to be recognized for outstanding work, tell them right away: Don’t wait for their “review.” The days of annual reviews are ancient history.
3. Make Work Fulfilling
Everyone wants to feel like what they’re doing at work matters.
In order for team members to feel good about the work they are producing, they need to fully understand the company’s mission and purpose. So, it’s your job to make sure they know what that looks like.
Give a rundown of what each department does and why they do it. When employees see the inner-workings of the organization from all angles and perspectives, they feel better connected to the business and therefore more committed to making it a success.
Happiness expert Shawn Achor said it best in an interview with Forbes:
Shawn says, “The greater access to inner happiness, the greater your experience of success throughout your life.”
Translation: Finding new ways to access happiness on an ongoing basis generates more success in our lives. Success does not breed happiness – it’s the other way around.
Heed Shawn’s advice and develop a habit of expressing gratitude on a daily basis.
Thank Tom for coming in early to make a deadline and let Hana know that her diligence with a difficult client is not going unnoticed.
Another way to make work fulfilling? Get your team members involved in partnering with a local charity. Giving back to the community opens team members’ eyes in realizing work for the greater good is really what it’s all about.
At SnackNation, we partner with Feeding America to donate 10 meals to a hungry family in the United States. To date, we’ve donated over 2 million meals!
You can do something similar by checking out places and programs near you that cater to children in need like No Kid Hungry which provides meals for children in need.
4. Make Work/Life Balance a Priority
The concept of work/life balance has become a priority for many workplaces. Team members need to have a clear understanding that you value them as a loyal employee and as a person who has a life outside of work that is just as important.
Make it known that work/life balance is a priority by offering work-from-home Fridays, unlimited vacation days, discounts on surrounding health and wellness programs, or childcare options. Offering incentives that improve a team member’s overall quality of life show that you care about their wellbeing.
If you’re struggling with what to come up with to instill the importance of work/life balance, think about what makes you happy outside of work and what perks you personally would want. Your team members probably want the same exact things.
5. Encourage Workplace Wellness
As “living a well life” has become integrated into people’s daily lives, working professionals are not just hoping, but expecting, their employers to provide wellness practices in the workplace. Whether through food, physical exercise or mindfulness tactics, incentivizing wellness is a brilliant idea.
Many new programs have been developed specifically to improve the work environment so it’s easier for employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. A couple examples include:
You can create a culture of wellness by implementing these strategies:
- Prepare and distribute a list of healthy dining options in a 2-mile radius of your office so your team isn’t wasting time Googling “healthy lunch near me”
- Arrange for bike racks and provide “bike to work” promotional materials
- Negotiate corporate discounts for health club memberships
- Hire a yoga instructor or mindfulness specialist to come into the office once a week or month to reduce team members’ stress
Showing your team you want them to live happy, healthy lifestyles is another way of showing them how important they are to your company.
For even more wellness program ideas, check this article out.
6. Hire Happy Personalities
A happy work environment attracts good people and in turn, promotes a culture of productivity and accountability. A person that brings laughter to the workplace will improve productivity and motivation for the whole office as that happy, optimistic outlook is contagious.
Happy people create a happy company culture, so it’s important to take the time to study facial expressions, responses and genuineness when interviewing potential candidates. These are the people who will make your workplace happier.
If you’ve already done a good job recruiting happy teammates, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
It’s not an easy goal, and neither is keeping your employees operating on an empowered and engaged level. Keep reading for 4 additional tips for keeping your workplace mojo.
7. Refrain from Micromanaging
Employees who feel trusted and supported, without being hovered over, are statistically more relaxed and confident in the job they do.
I think it’s safe to say that not one working person likes to be micromanaged. If employees feel like they are constantly on their boss’s radar, they are not going to perform the way they normally would, and they will begin to resent their job.
It doesn’t help anyone if half the day is spent recording and reporting what tasks were checked off and which ones weren’t, so, give your team the trust and creative freedom that they deserve by setting clear expectations and fair boundaries.
You are the one who hired your irreplaceable team members. Remember why you hired them and trust that they will make the right decisions without your hovering. Doing so will keep their confidence high, further contributing to the success of your business.
Let a team member lead the next marketing meeting, and give team members the go-ahead to make executive decisions when you aren’t around.
8. Launch an Individual Development Plan
For those unfamiliar, an Individual Development Plan, or IDP, is a tool to assist employees in career and personal development. Its primary purpose is to help employees reach short and long-term goals and improve current job performance.
You can use an IDP to develop a better understanding of your team’s professional and personal goals including their strengths and areas they want to improve on.
Per our CEO’s recommendation here at SnackNation, launch a company-wide IDP where employees come up with four personal and four professional goals that they want to achieve by the end of the year.
This shows your team that you are serious about investing in them as individuals and puts everyone on an even playing field of reaching customized goals.
You can learn all about training and development of IDPs in this article.
9. Use Feedback as a Mini-Mentoring Tool
Effective leaders understand the power of feedback. Using it to offer constructive criticism and positive recognition clears the air of confusion and communicates how an employee’s behavior aligns with company results.
Senior Partner at Partners in Leadership, Brad Starr offers 5 tips to help you give impactful feedback that cultivates more engaged, empowered employees.
Starr states that when offering feedback from a place of respect, a leader can “move an employee away from undesirable behavior and cement the thinking and behavior that lead to personal and professional excellence.”
Incorporating Starr’s tips, you will treat your feedback sessions as two-way conversations, and invite team members to ask questions. If team members feel afraid to ask a question, that is a big problem. Make sure you are transparent and open in your approach so both of you get the most out of your “mini-mentoring” session.
The key to effective feedback? Communicate it at regular intervals (weekly or monthly) rather than all at once (semi-yearly or yearly).
10. Get out of your Work Routine (Occasionally)
Sitting at a desk all day or conversing with customers for long periods of time, day in and day out, can no doubt become mind-numbing.
Surprise your team by holding your next meeting outside or at their favorite lunch spot. Tell them that instead of coming into the office on Monday, they have to do one thing that brings them joy like writing, getting a jump start on their side hustle or playing with their kids.
This will actually make team members ultra-productive during the following workdays as they should be well rested, refreshed and more than ready to tackle projects.
Bonus Tip: Have Meaningful Conversations with Team Members
This one should come naturally, but many managers don’t see the value because they are afraid of “crossing the line” into unprofessional territory.
That is simply not true. Getting to know your team is one of the best things to do to create a happy culture and a happy workplace.
Make a point to learn something new about your team members every week. Finding out that Lucy is a wedding singer may give you a new respect and appreciation for her, in addition to her professional skills.
To ensure these implementations are long-lived, practice them daily and remind your team often that they are an integral part of the company.
Incorporate these ideas into your workplace and report back with the results!