What really makes employees happy at work

International Day of Happiness is on Friday 20th March. It got us thinking about happiness in the workplace and what we can do to make sure employees leave work smiling!

Why should your business celebrate International Day of Happiness in 2020?

It’s no secret happy people are more productive and motivated. Studies have shown this to be true in the workplace too. A recent report showed “happy workers are 20% more productive than their unhappy counterparts” and that happiness directly correlates to levels of productivity,

We all want happy and productive employees right? So, what better excuse than to join in International Day of Happiness and enjoy spreading happiness together!

How can I create a happy workplace?

Let’s take a quick look at how extrinsic and intrinsic factors impact our motivation levels. While there are times in our life when we’ll be motivated by extrinsic factors, such as wealth and status, what actually makes us happy is our intrinsic actions. This is because we’re motivated to do them because we find them interesting and rewarding. A few examples of intrinsic actions are:

  • Helping someone because you know it’ll make them feel good
  • Learning a new skill you’re interested in
  • Doing a job that makes them feel content, accomplished and appreciated

Research shows the more motivated we are to do intrinsic things in everyday life, the better impact this will have on our wellbeing – and overall happiness.

What intrinsic actions will make my employees happy?

Before you implement measures in the workplace to improve your employees’ happiness, it’s important to understand the type of intrinsic actions that make people feel good.There are in fact four types of intrinsic actions that make us happy:

  • Autonomy – we choose what we do and have independence to do so
  • Mastery – developing skills that matter to us
  • Meaning – doing something that matters to us
  • Purpose – giving an action purpose i.e. it leads to somewhere positive

Whenever you implement strategies or programmes into your company to boost your employees’ happiness levels, always make sure your actions fall under one of the four types of intrinsic behaviours. If they don’t, scrap the idea and develop another!

Follow these top tips and watch your employee’s happiness and productivity levels grow,

Autonomy: Allow every employee to Own something and give them INDEPENDENCE

Making sure every employee in your company has some form of autonomy isn’t always easy to implement. However, here are a few ways you can introduce more independence into your workplace:

  1. Give employees freedom to come up with new ideas and go on to implement them
  2. Give employees the ability to work flexibly so they can choose where and when they complete their job
  3. Allow more employees to run and manage projects by themselves

Mastery: Allow employees to LEARN skills they’re interested in

Many businesses will be guilty of booking employees onto courses they think will benefit their skill set, However, it’s important to chat to employees first before courses are booked.If your employee is not motivated to learn a skill they’ll resent being on the course. Which means instead of feeling a boost from learning, they’ll feel frustrated and disengaged.

Here are some ways you can allow employees to master skills they want to master:

  1. Ask employees what skills they want to learn and find the right courses for them
  2. Find out from employees what skills they want to learn outside the office. Help them master these too
  3. Give employees opportunities to learn skills from other departments, they might want to try something new

Meaning: Connect jobs to a GOOD CAUSE and encourage FRIENDSHIPS at work

Give employees a sense of meaning at work by showing them that their actions matter.

Supporting charities is a great way to help employees feel like their work is making a difference. Allowing employees to take time off to do their own voluntary services will help them feel a sense of fulfilment too.

Here are some ways to help your employees feel their job means something:

  1. Ask employees what charities they’d like to support and make sure your business takes action to support them
  2. Enable employees to take time off to fulfil their own voluntary work wishes
  3. Say well done – often. If employees know you’re grateful for the work they do, it’ll give their job more meaning

Purpose: Explain HOW their job makes a difference

Many people have no idea how their role makes a difference to the business they work for. By communicating well, and often, how an employees’ role fits into your business you’ll help them realise the purpose of their work. This will help make them feel more focused on the end task and make them feel much happier completing their daily tasks.

Here are some ways you can bring purpose to your employees’ roles:

  1. Sit employees down in small groups to explain why and how their job matters
  2. Design an easy to understand diagram to help employees visually interpret their purpose within the business and display it where everyone can see
  3. Hold regular meetings with the entire company to explain your business’ focus, challenges and goals – this information shouldn’t just be communicated to Directors and Managers

If you’d like more tips for making your employees happy, contact us today here.