Six secrets for keeping employees happy and productive

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A happy workforce is a productive workforce. There is no new wisdom in that, yet many companies cannot seem to keep their staff happy. Fundamental errors are made that spoil the fun and make going to work each day a chore rather than a challenge. That benefits nobody. So how can you realistically keep employees happy and productive?
Here are six proven ways of doing just that!

Set the scene

Creating a good working environment is key to creating a happy and productive one. As a boss, you have to be fair, predictable and transparent. Have clear rules and boundaries, clear expectations, clear rewards for achievement and clear consequences for failures.

Transparency about the business as a whole and how it is performing in the marketplace is also useful. There are no such things as secrets and the business that embraces that reality is the one that makes its employees feel part of the family.

Two-way communication

Having a two-way dialogue with staff as well as a genuine open door policy will have a huge influence over how happy your people are. The ability to influence how they work, offer creative solutions or ideas for further development make employees feel incredibly valued. The benefit of that is simply incalculable.

Communicating down the chain is also important, but only when necessary. We get enough emails as it is without pointless ones from our boss. Keep communication open but relevant and you will achieve much more engagement.

Work and life

Helping your staff maintain a fair work life balance is fundamental in staff loyalty and productivity. Many employees will willingly work longer, work late or at the weekend if there is a rush on, but only if it is the exception, not the rule. Expect too much, demand too many hours and you will erode your workforce. You will also increase staff turnover, sickness and absence which all costs money.

Offer innovative benefits

Salaries are of course important, but there is more to rewarding employees than that. Offer free training opportunities, job shadowing, a wellness scheme, a voucher for a massage or tickets to a show. They don’t cost much but can have a significant impact on morale. The result is a happier and more productive workforce.

Create a productive environment

Make the office a nice one. Have real plants around, large windows, well-placed desks, comfortable seats, tea and coffee, cold drinks and somewhere quiet to sit and relax. You don’t have to go overboard with pool tables or video games. However, making an effort to create a nice environment will have a positive psychological effect on how people feel and perform.

Give staff what they need

Most employees are fairly low maintenance. Give them the tools, training and time to do the job and they will do it. Make sure everyone is trained, that those tools are fit for purpose and that they don’t feel time pressure constantly and you will see results. Combine these things with the other tips and you’ll soon see happiness rise alongside productivity!

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