Given the power to create any type of workplace you envision, how would you set about designing one where your employees were happy to be there? There are the obvious strategies—like keeping your workplace free of any activities that might make your employees want to call a quid pro quo attorney—but there’s plenty outside of “not actively harming employees” that often gets lost in conversations about workplace happiness.
That’s why we’ll be delving into the lesser-known factors that happy workplaces have in common. Study these, then implement them in your own workplace, and you’ll be well on your way to creating that office space that employees feel comfortable with.
Work-Life Balance Is Paramount
Perhaps more than anything else, work-life balance is critical to keeping employees happy. Think about it: if work consumed your every waking hour, would you be keen on going there? Even the most dedicated employees have personal lives that require attention, so by proactively helping your team achieve balance you’ll be making work more inviting.
In practice, this means doing more than just giving employees time and respecting their space when they’re off the clock (though these factors help). You can also help contribute to work-life balance by ensuring employees have comfortable workspaces, giving employees tools to manage their time, and helping them prioritize so that they don’t feel overwhelmed.
Maintain Honesty And Transparency
While at work, employees expect leadership to be “straight up” with them. This means providing the truth at all times and not withholding information from your employees that’s vital to their job functions. Especially at smaller organizations, if you’re making a bunch of moves and not informing your employees or asking for feedback, you’re hurting your workplace.
Facilitate Open Communications
Continuing on the above point, you can only have an honest and transparent workplace if that workplace is also putting a focus on having clear and open communications. Whether it’s face-to-face, over the phone, or via telepresence, you should be encouraging communication between yourself and your employees as well as between employees themselves.
One thing you can do, as the workplace leader, is to strike up casual conversations with your subordinates at regular or semi-regular intervals. Encourage other employees to do so as well and provide them with a nice space to make introductions, and you’ll have an effective method for breaking the ice and training your staff on effective, collaborative communication.
Allow For Advancement And Promotion
Stagnant employees are very often less engaged, so it’s vital that you provide yours with ample opportunities to get ahead. When it comes time to hire for that new important role, consider promoting from within. You can also create organizational programs at your business that can guide employees along a career pathway and help them rise through the ranks.
Lead By Example
If you’re the boss, then it’s you who employees will most often turn to for inspiration and leadership. What you do in response will have a profound impact on employee satisfaction within the workplace, and your best bets here are to project an image as a confident principal who is invested in the well-being of their team just as much as their bottom line.