Studies have shown that happy employees are more productive in the workplace, but sometimes there is a misalignment between what managers think will make their employees happy and what actually makes them happy. Some companies assume that awesome perks like ping pong tables, free coffee and flexible work schedules are sufficient for maintaining their employees’ morale.
But some perks might be masking more serious problems when it comes to your employees’ feelings towards your company’s goals, its leadership, workplace culture, and ease of communication with bosses and colleagues. Rather than assuming your employees must be happy, it’s important to regularly check in with them. Unhappy employees are more likely to leave their jobs to find more fulfilling work elsewhere if you don’t strive to meet their needs.
Here are a few places to start:
- Provide enough feedback. Use empowering phrases in electronic and face-to-face interactions to let them know you’re noticing the good work they’re performing. When it comes to criticism, make sure it’s constructive rather than harsh with no proactive feedback from which they can learn from their mistakes.
- Encourage your team members to share their ideas: Be willing to listen and genuinely consider their opinions and ideas. Don’t make them feel that you’re the only one who matters in the decision-making process because then they won’t bother sharing what might otherwise be valuable insight.
- Be more patient and flexible: If an employee is struggling with an assignment or perhaps dealing with a personal crisis at home, be willing to accommodate them, within reason.