If you asked a group of managers how to make their employees happier, odds are that most of them would say, "Pay them more." However, recent findings from SHRM show that in 2014, the two biggest contributors to employee happiness weren't pay or benefits — or even job security, for that matter.
Instead, when asked what factors were important to their happiness, here’s what employees said:
72% said the respectful treatment of all employees at all levels
64% said trust between employees and senior management
So consider adding trust and respect to your organizational values. As the economy recovers and jobs become more secure and competitive for workers, this kind of open and positive office culture is increasingly important. Here’s how you can get started.
When you've hired someone to do a job, you've effectively stated that you trust them to get it done in your stead. So let them. Make sure they have all the training they need and let them know they can come to you with any questions, but don't insult them by trying to do their job for them.
Singling People Out (Dos and Don'ts)
If someone's done an excellent job, feel free to share it with the team and congratulate them. Celebrating wins like this shows your employees that you truly value their contributions.
If there's been a blunder, make sure to address it with the appropriate parties, but never call people out in front of their peers. Doing so only fosters shame and resentment, and the discomfort it causes the individual is likely to spread to their fellow coworkers as well. You'll end up putting people on high alert — and likely in search of a new job as well.
Keeping your employees in the loop about company objectives and high-level decisions lets them know that you're not hiding anything from them. If changes are coming, you can be sure they'll want to hear it from you rather than finding out further down the road.
Don't Be Afraid to Chat
If you don't take the time to chat with employees, it's hard to really get to know them. Even worse, they won't get to know you. No need to share highly personal details, but letting your workers know that you're not a robot can go a long way toward fostering a healthy office environment, and they'll feel comfortable coming to you if they have a problem.
Make sure your employees know that the door to your office (figurative or literal) is always open. Whether that's setting aside time every week for them to come in or just reminding them via email, make sure you're available to hear out their ideas and concerns. Doing this little thing makes sure that you avoid situations of pent-up frustration and are able to tackle issues earlier rather than later.
When it comes to fostering a culture of respect and trust, the basics are the golden rules. Treat your employees like adults and have confidence in them to get their jobs done, and above all else, make sure that lines of communication are always open. These two organizational values will pay dividends when it comes to building a workforce that's content, loyal, and — best of all — happy.