The secret? Being ready and willing to change.
And it's not about changing just for the sake of changing. Rather, it's the ability to identify when and where changes need to happen. One real estate employee describes what this looks like at their company:
“We’re in a company that bleeds change. Change in technology, process, roles, personal development, yet we remain stable enough to keep growing.”
Since change is such a broad term, which initiatives should organizations focus on?
When you're looking for a new hire, don't just look at their skills. Seek out those who will inspire and motivate their peers. When people make each other happier at work, a great team becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Information shouldn't be give to employees on a need-to-know basis unless it's truly sensitive, such as legal topics or personnel issues. Practice communication by communicating frequently — leverage weekly or biweekly all-hands meetings to update your workforce on the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Make professional development a necessary part of your managerial role. As a manager, talk to your employee about their development plans. As a CEO, set up programs that support continued development such as mentorship programs to subsidizing tuition for classes.
Give employees a clear and safe forum to share their feedback. Holding frequent one-on-one meetings between supervisors and employees is ideal for in-depth conversations. And at the same time, offer an outlet for employees to voice their opinions or concerns anonymous to eliminate any fear of negative backlash.
Of course, you'll need to take action on any feedback you receive to not only let your employees know their voices are being heard, but to also improve the work environment.
If you want your employees to be as happy as those in the happiest industries, then you need to be ready to change for the better.