Work can be serious business, but focusing on tasks and goals doesn’t have to preclude having a happy workplace. Satisfied, productive and fulfilled employees are the key to good morale in a company. Create a sense of shared purpose, with management and employees working in tandem toward company goals, and reward people for accomplishments. You don’t necessarily have to spend much on rewards and perks. The goal is to let employees know they are valued, which can help create a happy atmosphere.
When you hire new employees, bring people on board who fit your company culture and who are enthusiastic about the company goals and mission. Assess a potential employee’s personality through pre-employment tests and interviews. Personality traits such as optimism, resourcefulness and cheerfulness can help create smooth working relationships among co-workers. People who smile regularly tend to contribute to a happy atmosphere in the workplace.
Allow employees the freedom to make decisions and be responsible for their work. Monitoring every move an employee makes can cause dissatisfaction, low morale and low productivity. Delegate tasks and trust employees to be responsible for completing them. People who feel valued and that they are doing meaningful work contribute to a happy workplace.
Keep the lines of communication open between management and employees. An open-door policy allows employees to air concerns or complaints before they become serious issues. Offer a way for employees to make suggestions for improving the efficiency of the company and make it clear that suggestions will be considered. Be as transparent as possible about company goals and initiatives to prevent rumors and speculation from running rampant in the office.
Employees are increasingly concerned about work-life balance and companies that offer flexibility in working arrangements often find increased levels of satisfaction among employees. If it is appropriate, consider offering employees flexible work hours, job sharing, time off to attend family events or the ability to work from home on certain days.
While raises and bonuses are traditional ways to reward employees and shouldn’t be overlooked, there are other ways to show workers that they are appreciated. Celebrating employee accomplishments could be as simple as a blurb in a company newsletter or a note from a manager thanking the person for a job well done. Reward employees for good performance with an extra day off or celebrate the completion of a project with a company luncheon.
People work hard and a few lighthearted moments can help ease tension, relieve stress and create a happy atmosphere. Throw a party once a month for every employee who is having a birthday in that month, complete with cake and ice cream. Take the office out for bowling or to the movies once a month. Offer an informal breakfast gathering once a week. Put up a bulletin board in the break room with funny pictures and jokes. Work hard to make your employees smile and laugh, and they will reward you with a happy workplace.