With the economy improving and as a result an increasing number of employees saying they plan on looking for a new role in 2015, it’s more important than ever to do what you can to retain your best employees.
Multiple studies suggest that two of the main factors that contribute to employee retention is happiness and the relationship between the employee and their manager. By focusing on employee happiness, not only will you improve the relationship between yourself and your team but it will also make you a better manager.
Here are some quick wins you can implement to improve the happiness of your employees:
1. Review your office space
bright office spaceBe aware of your office space and the effect it has on your team. Make the space work for you and your team: if you work in an open plan office consider having some offices for when people need some peace and quiet, consider the layout to make collaboration and communication more natural and have a break/relaxation area where people can switch off from work for a few minutes.
2. Keep your promises
Employees expect their manager to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. So if you make a commitment to an employee do everything in your power to keep that promise and show that you care about your team.
3. Recognise and appreciate
More than anything employees want to have their efforts recognised and appreciated. Even if your organisation doesn’t have a formal recognition scheme you should make appreciation part of your everyday routine: take time to notice what employees are doing, say thank you or leave a hand-written note, celebrate life events such as birthdays and weddings, or treat them to a free lunch for achieving a team goal. Nothing says ‘thank you’ like an instant reward for a job well done.
4. Organise exercise breaks
Exercise can greatly improve a person’s mood, mindset and productivity. Organise informal exercise sessions for your team – these don’t have to be team sports it could be a lunchtime yoga class. Alternatively introduce walking meetings; just let people know in advance so they can bring appropriate footwear.
It’s important managers know not only how to communicate but also what to communicate. Employees want to know and understand how their roles contribute to the organisation’s goals and what are the vision and goals of the organisation. Share the vision and goals of the organisation and disseminate information from board meetings. It’s also important that managers listen as well as talk so ask your employees for feedback and suggestions and where you can act on it.
6. Have fun
You’ve heard the saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ so take it to heart. Occasionally having fun in the office reduces employee stress, improves productivity and increases employee happiness. Have a Friday afternoon off, buy in lunch and do a fun team activity or perhaps an inter-department competition.
Brighten up your workspace to lift the spirits of your employees. Paint walls bright colours, create a mural or put up some posters – just not the cheesy motivational ones. And don’t stop at the walls, research shows that having plants around the office helps alleviate stress and has a positive effect on employees’ health. Choose plants that don’t need too much maintenance and suit the light conditions in your office.
8. Get comfortable
Invest in ergonomic office furniture that helps employees feel comfortable whilst working. Comfortable desks and chairs can make a big difference to an employee health and happiness, as can making the most of the natural light.