No boss wants a miserable staff. So how do you keep your employees happy and excited about their jobs?
It may seem like making sure your employees are happy is hard work, but there are actually plenty of easy ways to keep your staff content. And, no, employee satisfaction is not all about salary, benefits and expensive perks — it's about making employees' jobs easier and more meaningful, and supporting and respecting them as people both in and out of the office.
Business News Daily asked business owners and experts for their best advice on keeping workers happy. Here are 10 ways to make sure your employees love coming to work each day.
Give employees autonomy
"Let employees have some autonomy over their work areas, work flow and work conditions. One of the main things that drives down employee satisfaction and happiness is the feeling one is being micro-managed and controlled by a boss. Customizing one's work area, being able to work on self-chosen projects for an hour or few a week, and telecommuting or flextime are all ways to boost employee happiness and productivity." – Frank Niles, co-founder and managing partner, Scholar Executive Group
"Show that you believe in employees by giving them new assignments that will challenge them, motivate them and push them beyond their previously perceived limits. There is nothing more rewarding to an employee than earning the trust of the boss." – Lawrence Polsky, co-founder, Teams of Distinction
Engage with your staff
"Ask the right questions and then listen. Having an open door is great in theory but it puts the onus on the employee. Instead, make time outside of standard reviews and ask questions that dig in to what the employee actually values. Spending that time, over lunch or a cup of coffee, and digging in with your team helps with engagement and retention." – Jill Moriarity, employee experience manager, ÄKTA [The 4 Things That Keep Employees Interested In Their Jobs ]
"Happy employees are ones that know the direction of the company and where they fit within it. Being somewhat transparent about what is happening within the business can help employees feel more valued and trusted." – Josh Burnley, director, Shweebo
Support employees' ideas
"Show you value your employees by including them on key business decisions and listening to their input. You don't have to implement every suggestion, but you should listen to them. Constructive criticism is one thing, but don't ever publicly condemn an idea, which would kill a creative environment." – Simon Slade, CEO and co-founder, Affilorama
Acknowledge employees' accomplishments
"People love to be respected and acknowledged when they do something well. I like to have a weekly meeting/conference call with the whole team and mention items that took place the prior week, and mention some staff by name with their accomplishments." – Bill Fish, president and founder, ReputationManagement.com
Treat employees individually
"Don’t approach a happiness initiative with a one-size-fits-all approach. Encourage managers to spend time one-on-one with their directs. Encourage them to ask their team members for the top three things they need from their leader, colleagues and organization. Also, ask how they like to be recognized and rewarded. Treat employees how they want to be treated based on their answers to the direct questions as opposed to a broad-brush approach." – Jackie Breslin, director of Human Capital Services, TriNet
"Frequently bringing employees together for team activities, competitions, offsite events and retreats and healthy happy hours helps foster critical connections and social ties between employees that keeps them both happy and engaged at work." – Dr. Rajiv Kumar, co-founder and CEO, ShapeUp
Provide the right resources
"The first thing I do to keep employees happy is remove any obstacles to their work success. Sometimes this means eliminating distractions by providing a more private work environment; sometimes it means improving technological tools to eliminate frustrations." - Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa, president and principal consultant, Harvest Development Group
Watch your body language
"Those in leadership and management roles should look inward at their own behavior and body language; are you sending out the right optimistic and positive message? Leaders set the tone for the culture, which will create a happy or unhappy staff." – Laurie-Ann Murabito, speaker and author, "Rethink Leadership: 4 Lessons to Make You Remarkable" (CreateSpace, May 2011)