Good managers know that loyal and reliable employees are hard to come by. That’s why they’re always looking for ways to make their staff happy while offering them room to grow. This article lists six areas you should focus on if you want to increase your team’s job satisfaction.

A business is only as good as the people it hires. After all, your team is responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly within the company, and their happiness directly affects their productivity.

Consequently, if you want delighted clients, you should put your employees first. Here are a few things you should work on if you want them to become happier, more efficient, and more loyal.

Be an Efficient Manager

Micromanaging, yelling, shaming employees in front of their co-workers – all these destructive behaviors need to go. Ideally, your employees should view you as a mentor, not as a boss from hell. Your staff is always watching you, which makes the manner in which you conduct yourself at the office extremely important. You should lead by example, respect everyone around you, and be open to suggestions on how to improve the workflow or boost employee morale.

Start by giving employees constructive feedback whenever necessary. Don’t go around the office offering undeserved praises, but do make an effort to recognize your staff’s accomplishments. Similarly, grant them the opportunity to explain themselves when they make a mistake, and give them useful advice on how to improve. When you need to criticize them, don’t forget to emphasize the fact that you appreciate their strengths, and that you’re only trying to push them forward.

If you build a reputation as a humble, understanding, and helpful boss, your employees will feel happier at work. However, don’t fall into the trap of becoming too understanding – you still have to be firm when the circumstances demand it.    

Get Creative When Decorating The Office

Never underestimate the power of a working environment that nurtures collaboration and interaction. Forget about boring cubicles and offer your employees the chance to socialize and bounce ideas off one another. Open spaces are all the rage these days, and you should embrace them as a way to facilitate communication and idea flow.

But keep in mind, your employees may be more likely to get distracted or interrupted when working in an open space. If you don’t design the workplace wisely, their productivity might drop. The key to making workers productive and happy is having a mix of spaces for different activities.

Everyone should have their own, individual desk, but out in the open, so they can still see each other and interact. You could set up a relaxation corner, idea table, break room, etc. For instance, employees could work together at the idea table, but stay at their desks and use headphones when they really need to focus.   

Promote an Atmosphere of Growth

Offering employees the opportunity to learn new skills or develop their current ones should be a priority for you as a manager. Whenever you hire someone, you should give them a few employment assessment tests to determine where they currently stand, in what areas they could get better, and where they see themselves in the future. Next, make sure you offer them proper training when needed, and allow them to study on their own if there is a subject they are particularly interested in.

You could also offer incentives for your high performers: tickets to a prestigious conference, a new work-related book they want, or the opportunity to take a few online courses paid by the company. The possibilities are endless, but you have to talk to your employees on a regular basis to figure out what makes them tick and what would drive them to do an even better job.      

Make Meetings More Productive

Ask any productive worker out there what they dread most at their jobs, and they may give you the same answer: meetings. Meetings are a necessary evil in the corporate world, but they often turn out to be unproductive and excessively long. Make it a habit to hold them only when absolutely necessary – keep them brief, and come up with an agenda beforehand to make sure nobody will be off-point.  

Educate Employees on Health Topics

Poor health is not only damaging to your employees, but also to your business. Many Americans are affected by stress-related issues such as gastrointestinal problems or hypertension. At the risk of sounding insensitive, ill employees aren’t productive ones. By promoting healthy habits at the office, you can encourage your staff to make positive changes in their day-to-day lives.

Encourage employees to reduce stress levels and improve their overall health. Start by educating them. Provide reading materials on the negative effects of stress or organize a seminar on the subject. Additionally, you could equip the kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave to allow your staff to eat home-cooked meals for lunch instead of fast-food. Also, consider offering a company discount on gym memberships.  

Have Fun

On a positive note, remember to have fun at the office every once in a while. Celebrate birthdays or major accomplishments in your employees’ personal lives (like getting engaged or having a baby, for example). Go on team-buildings events, or volunteer together to help those less fortunate. Office parties are also welcome from time to time.

As you can see, keeping employees happy and motivated isn’t as difficult as it may sound. As long as you take the time to get to know your staff better, treat them with respect, and listen to their grievances, you promote a more productive and stress-free work-environment. 

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Comment by Ben Young on April 22, 2014 at 20:57
Great article Werner

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