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7 ways to make your employees happier at work

This September sees the return of International Happiness At Work Week. It’s something we’re huge supporters of but we know some people still ask: ..

This September sees the return of International Happiness At Work Week. It’s something we’re huge supporters of but we know some people still ask: “Why does happiness at work matter?”

Look at this way; if you’re happy at work you’re also much more likely to be happier in life. If we enjoy our work-lives we tend to have more energy, more drive, a bigger bounce in our step, and we become the best versions of ourselves.

Happiness is like a magic potion. It sparks creativity, it makes us more productive, it helps us grow and develop, and it creates a mindset where we look for solutions rather than seeing problems.

It gets better. Happy employees are fun to be around! They dish out kindness like candy, they’re quick to laugh and smile, and they’re happiness spreads. 

Of course there are business benefits too. Teams with happy, engaged employees have lower turnover, greater profitability, higher productivity, and higher customer satisfaction ratings.

From better rewards and recognition through to building the right culture, there’s many different business strategies you can adopt to promote happiness at work.

But underneath all of the big picture ideas there’s some super simple things we can do to make employees happier at work.

Let’s take a look at them:

1. Start a ripple effect

Happiness is contagious. Never underestimate that. If you do something that makes one person happy, the chances are they’ll pay it forward. All of a sudden, the ripple you created with a small, simple act of kindness reaches much further than you ever dreamed it could.

It might be helping someone, asking them how they’re doing, or having open ears if they need to talk. Whatever it is, small acts of kindness every single day (especially when everyone is encouraged to be kind) will compound to have a huge impact on employee happiness.

2. Find the way to their hearts

We’re not talking about coming over all Cupid here. It’s much simpler than that. They say the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach so embrace this! Bring in donuts, bake a cake, arrange a pizza party, or even commit to providing your employees with a free meal - whatever it is, food (and especially sharing food together) can strengthen team bonds, help people feel appreciated and put smiles on their faces.

3. Set their pulses racing

Running, walking, yoga, HIIT… basically anything other than sitting still releases endorphins (those little chemicals that make us happy!). Not only does getting the heart rate up promote happiness, it encourages a healthy workplace (see you later sick days!). Finding ways to get your employees active and encouraging it is a win-win for everyone.

4. Get the party started

Share your success and celebrate together. Both company and individual milestones should be celebrated. Whether it’s hitting quarterly targets or simply rolling the balloons and cake for a birthday, celebrating together is a sure-fire way to give happiness at work a boost.

5. Encourage self-care

Don’t forget to remind your employees and reinforce the importance of self-care. Create an environment where self-care is valued, talked about and actioned. Self-care looks different for everyone but if you can encourage mindfulness, build respect in your teams, give your employees flexibility and have regular ‘check ins’ with your team you’ll be showing your employees you care.

6. Let them know it's ok to stop

Breaks are super important if you want your employees to be happy at work. Overworking isn’t good for anyone. Tired employees are grumpy employees and this will quickly be picked up on by your customers. Make sure proper breaks - including lunch breaks - are in place and taken.

7. Surprise them

There’s few things in life that will bring smiles to faces than a well-timed surprise. Be unexpected. Do something for no reason at all other than to make your employees happy. Doing something impromptu and out-of-the-ordinary is a great way to leave your team grinning from ear to ear.

We hope you join in with us celebrating International Happiness At Work Week but let’s not make it just for a week, let’s make it a way of being. Let’s make heroic high-fives, friendly faces, caring colleagues and enriching environments part of every single day at work.

After all, a happy workforce means a happy business!


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