There is a profusion of research that shows that a happy staff helps create a successful business. Happy workers put in extra effort and pay attention to the details that make a business great. People who feel a part of a company and that their employers care about them will put in an extraordinary amount of effort. While it seems a higher salary would naturally make an employee happy, that isn’t always the case. There is some truth to the saying, “You can’t buy happiness” at least for some employees. Employee happiness is no big mystery. More often than not, it’s about respect and building a positive relationship between employee and employer. So, what are some of the things to consider when thinking about employee happiness and how it affects your business?
An Exchange of Regard
One of the basic reasons that a happy staff makes for profitable business is that when the staff feels like the employer is valuing them, they, in turn, value their employer. Clearly, it’s a tit for tat affair. And it makes sense. Common respect is the key to any great relationship. When an employer shows that he respects and cares about the employee, the employee feels motivated to return that respect and caring. And how does an employee do that? They show their respect and caring for the boss by doing the best possible job that they can. And when employees are doing the best job they can, businesses tend to thrive.
Another way that employees are made happy is when their employers show them enough respect to keep promises they make. If, for example, the boss promises the staff new equipment that will make their job easier and doesn’t deliver, the staff feels robbed and cheated. However, if a boss keeps his promise, they feel respected and important. They feel like their boss takes them seriously. Again, the natural result is a more productive and happier staff.
The Power of T-shirts
Simple recognition can also go a long way. Anyone who has been at a conference where t-shirts are given out for doing something or answering a question correctly know how powerful a simple symbol recognition can be. Adults have been known to put in an amazing effort for the simple reward of a t-shirt. However, we all know it’s not about the t-shirt. It’s the recognition. It’s a story. It’s a way for someone to say “thank you” and “I appreciate what you’ve done”. Work places that use recognition and achievement ceremonies report happier and motivated personnel. There is a basic human need to feel appreciated. When behaviour results in recognition, people tend to be happy and repeat the behaviour.
When an employee feels like a part of a team rather than just a cog in a machine, they are generally happier because they feel invested in the business. They don’t feel like they are some outsider brought in to help. They feel like their presence matters and they are important to the company. So building “team spirit” contributes to employee happiness and thus productivity.