It doesn't take a big raise or lavish gifts to make employees happy. Instead, bosses and managers who foster a culture of inclusion and openness with their employees will reap the benefits of an engaged and happy workforce. One of the simplest ways for businesses to ensure the happiness of their workers is to make sure bosses and managers use certain words and phrases when talking to their workers. These are some of the best words and phrases bosses can use.
1. "That was my fault."
"You can guarantee your team already knows who is responsible for failure; you will gain more respect by owning up to your mistakes than by ignoring them." — Brad Lomenick, president of Catalyst and author of "The Catalyst Leader" (Harper Collins, 2013)
2. "I'm glad to have you on the team."
"This is one of the most powerful and motivating phrases employees can hear from their boss or superior." — Robert Denker, managing partner at rd&partners
[Read related article: 6 Signs You've Got a Good Boss]
3. "Here is a road map of our company and our future goals."
"Employees want to know what is going on, and organizations need to clearly communicate with workers before final milestones hit." — Halley Bock, CEO and president of Fierce Inc.
4. "Thank you."
"The words 'thank you' make people happy — but to make employees even happier, bosses should tell them specifically why the thank-you is due. This shows that the boss is paying genuine attention. For instance, saying 'thanks for handing in that financial report a day early' or 'thanks for working late yesterday to solve the computer problem' can go a long way." — Gordon Veniard, founder and training and development consultant at The Ven Works
5. "This is why."
"Employees want to know why companies are doing what they're doing — in an open and honest way. Sometimes, the 'why' can be difficult, but they need to hear and understand it. Other times, the 'why' is big, and they'll be motivated and excited by it." — Reid Carr, president and CEO of Red Door Interactive
6. "I know I can always count on you for ____."
"The key is to be specific. People (not just employees) love to be recognized for their unique strengths and talents, for those things that we notice they do better than anyone else. Any phrase that can hone in on the specifics of the employee's gifts is going to be a winner. It sounds simple, but you would be amazed at how difficult it is for bosses, managers — those in charge — to pay close enough attention to the employee to give those specifics." — Liz Trotter, owner of American Maid Cleaning in Olympia, Washington
7. "I believe in you."
"As in 'believe in you and will work with you through the good and difficult times.'" — Scott Ragusa, president of WinterWyman Contract Staffing
8. "What do you think?"
"As a 10-person firm, everyone's contributions are important. Since we all work on many projects simultaneously, it is vital to get input and feedback from multiple team members, so asking others' opinions is crucial." – Hassan Bawab, founder and CEO of Magic Logix