How to Keep Your Employees Happy

How to Keep Your Employees HappyAccording to one survey, most people are unhappy with their careers. When a worker isn’t happy, you can’t expect them to stick around. Some 71% of employees said they are so dissatisfied with work that they’re looking to change employers.

As a business owner or manager, you understand the importance of retaining skilled employees. Finding a replacement can be difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Avoid the process altogether by developing new ways to keep your employees happy.


1. Open Communication

Be transparent with your employees at all times. If an issue comes up, don’t brush it under the rug. Instead, share with your workers what you’ve learned and the plan of action you created to address it. Talk to your workers about areas of success as well as improvement.

On the flip-side, allow open communication between coworkers as well. Many businesses try to prevent chatter in common areas, believing it will tank productivity. However, casual conversation is a great way to collaborate and spark new ideas. After grabbing a drink and talking to a peer, a worker might feel more refreshed and ready to get back to work.


2. Workplace Incentives

Rewards and incentives can have a lot of benefits in the workplace, leading to employees with improved morale, productivity and satisfaction. Non-monetary incentives are a popular tactic to boost employee performance. These rewards might include work-from-home opportunities, training courses or more independence.

Monetary incentives are the most common rewards, often arriving in the form of bonuses, cash and paid time off. Other incentives include stock options and profit-sharing plans that instill a sense of company community and ownership. An incentive lets employees know they’re doing a good job and deserve to be compensated well.


3. Inviting Break Rooms

For many employees, the break room is the only spot in the building to take a seat, grab something to eat and take a load off. If you want to keep your employees happy, upgrade your break room and make it enjoyable and usable year-round. Add essential appliances like a refrigerator and microwave to store and heat lunches. Include a pop of green with a plant or two — ideally something that can thrive in low light, such as ivy, air plants and succulents.

For caffeine lovers, add a coffee or espresso station ideal for that mid-afternoon slump. Supply everything needed to make a steaming cup, including coffee beans, cups, filters, cream and sugar. Incorporate different forms of entertainment, too, such as TV, radio, books and magazines. Plus, don’t forget to take advantage of natural lighting.


4. Random Holiday Parties

Everyone needs time to kick back and relax, including at work. Even the best employees can feel burned out when they focus on a task for too long. Give people a reason to celebrate by scheduling parties for random holidays. Consider the day an excuse to let off steam and eat some cake.

On January 4th, invite everyone to partake in the hot chocolate bar and separate into teams for Trivia Day. Ask industry-related questions, or keep things lighthearted and silly. On March 23rd, ask employees to bring in their dogs for National Puppy Day. Maybe even host a costume competition and bring in homemade dog treats.


5. A Competitive Salary

Let’s face it — we all need to pay bills. An attractive and competitive salary will get new employees in the door and keep the old ones where they are. A good income can lead to overall happiness in one’s lifestyle, which is something employees need to feel content in their careers. Plus, a better income means more money to spend on lifestyle improvements, like a newer car or a bigger house.

Pay your employees what they’re worth based on the industry and their experience. In addition to a salary, you should offer benefits like health insurance, sick leave and a 401(k). Some employers also offer perks like free food, pet-compatible work areas, unlimited vacation time and fitness classes.


6. Development Opportunities

No one wants to feel stuck in one spot. Allow your employees to thrive and feel proud of themselves with learning and development opportunities. According to one survey, 54% of workers said skill development training throughout their career is essential. If a business is unwilling to promote from within, don’t expect employees to stick around.

Allow workers to volunteer for new responsibilities so they can take on different tasks and learn new skills. Encourage workers to attend local training events in the area, such as workshops, courses and conferences. If possible, reimburse tuition expenses for employees who go back to school for a relevant degree.


7. Flexible Work Options

Today’s employees are willing to put their nose to the grindstone — but they also want a good work-life balance. To attract the best talent and keep their top workers, more businesses are allowing flexible work opportunities. With the additional freedom, employees feel a better sense of control over their lives.

According to experts, flexible work opportunities — like compressed work weeks and telecommuting — result in more productive and engaged employees. Around 70% of organizations offer some type of telecommuting benefit, either full-time or part-time. As a bonus, flexible work arrangements can result in a reduction of office space costs and the ability to meet 24/7 customer demand.


Keep Your Employees Happy and Keep Them Around

It’s essential to keep employees happy in the competitive hiring market. If you don’t offer what people want — whether it’s competitive pay, upgraded break rooms or flexible work opportunities — they will look to your competitors. Learn how to keep your employees happy by following the seven tips above.


Lexie is a web designer and UX strategist. She loves taking her goldendoodle on long runs and checking out local flea markets. Visit her blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner

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