5 Simple Ways to Make Your Small Business Employees Happy

The 2015 TINYpulse industry rankings report asked employees to name reasons why they feel engaged and happy with their jobs. The top three responses were:

  • I work with great people, 34 percent.
  • I’m excited about my work and projects, 19 percent.
  • I enjoy a positive work environment, 10 percent.

There are lots of articles and infographics out there about how to keep employees happy. However, it takes more than plants in the office and snacks in the kitchen to make sure employees are invested in helping you grow your business. Here are 5 tips you can try now.

1) Show employees that you care

The big boss used to have his own parking space and worked behind closed doors. In modern business, the best leaders and entrepreneurs get to know employees on a personal level as well as professionally.

Ask employees about family members, hobbies and interests. Ask how they like their job and encourage feedback about how to improve tasks that might not be working well. Demonstrating an interest in your employees as people makes them feel valued.

2) Be transparent

A 2013 employee engagement survey found that the number one contributor to employee happiness is transparency. Employees want to know is the truth about the state of the company. Internally, transparency builds trust and promotes a team atmosphere. This team atmosphere can translate outside of your business in a negative or positive way. Consumers can sense discord within a business and are more likely to move on if they feel things aren’t running smoothly. The good news is that the cost of improving transparency is almost zero.

3) Make work interesting and challenging

According to a survey by Virgin Pulse, 58 percent of employees love their job when it’s challenging. If you find a task challenging and interesting, don’t keep it to yourself! Give your employees assignments that take advantage of their skills and encourage them to go above and beyond their job description.

4) Recognize and reward employees 

Achievement and recognition are high motivators in the workplace. If your worker has reached an anniversary or achieved a milestone, show your appreciation. This can be as simple as a gift card, an extra day off, tickets to a sporting event, etc. A traveling trophy to recognize top performers can create a fun competition between your staff members. When it comes to employee happiness, a little goes a long way here.

5) Be approachable

Being approachable will not only lead to stronger relationships with your employees, it will give you an opportunity to hear new ideas and show staffers that they are valuable members of your small business. An approachable boss is available at meetings, during private conversations or even walking down the hall.   Many small business owners, faced with less money for formal incentive and recognition programs, have simply increased their communication with employees. Being upfront and honest with employees has become even more crucial during tough economic times. An employee that is worried about job security can be distracted, unproductive, and may even look for other opportunities.