30. Team Work

Creating a happy workplace to boost engagement

From pandemic to resignations and loss of talent, it has been a challenging period in the workplace for stretched HR professionals. Workers are leaving organisations where they feel undervalued or out of step with the culture. For the new year, consider these tips to create a happy workplace and boost employee engagement.

Happy employees are generally more creative, innovative and dedicated and more likely to stay with your organisation than their unhappy counterparts. Workplace surveys show that happiness in the workplace can have a direct link to the organisation’s bottom line. Put simply, the happier your employees, the more successful your company. You can take simple yet positive steps to elevate the happiness of your team. Here are a few tips to consider.

Make work/life balance a priority

The concept of work/life balance is nothing new, but over the last 3 years it has become a priority. Make sure your employees know that whilst you value them and recognise their importance in the workplace, you also recognise that they have a life beyond work that is as important – if not more so!  Make work/life balance a priority by offering work-from-home days, flexible working, support with childcare and so forth. There are now lots of different discounts and incentives that can be offered to employees, to not only improve their quality of life but show them you care about their health and wellbeing.  Think what makes you happy and what perks you would want, and the chances are there are others who want exactly the same!

Nurture Appreciation

Appreciation in the workplace can work wonders in lifting morale, bringing teams closer together and improving productivity.  Adopting a simple employee recognition programme can make appreciation part of every working day. Or ask your employees for feedback on how they prefer to be recognised when and where credit is due.  Using feedback to offer positive recognition will communicate how each employee’s performance aligns with company results. And try to communicate positive recognition regularly, rather than all at once at the yearly review.

Build a sense of belonging

Everyone wants to feel that what they do in the workplace matters, so make sure they understand your organisation’s purpose and mission. When an employee is given opportunities to see the business from different perspectives, they feel connected and have a better understanding of where they fit.  If an employee has no idea what goes on above and around them, it is difficult to feel part of a team and fully comprehend the importance of their contribution.

Support wellness practices

More than ever before employees are not hoping for, they expect their employer to provide wellness practices in the workplace. This can be as simple as providing healthy food choices where possible, offering opportunities for physical exercise or taking time out to explore mindfulness. Supporting wellness in the workplace makes it easier for employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviours. Encourage and support cycle to work schemes, offer a yoga class once a week or negotiate a discount at a local gym.  Encouraging employees to live healthy lifestyles and take steps to reduce stress shows you care and when people feel cared for, they generally feel happier.

Chances are you are already practicing some or all of the above and taking positive steps to building happy, healthy, and engaged teams. If not, perhaps try introducing something new this year and monitor what difference it makes to absence rates, workplace positivity and hopefully, the bottom line.

Article originally published on HR Grapevine February 2023.