Are your employees lacking enthusiasm at the moment? Is morale at a low point and workplace satisfaction diminishing by the day?
Well, you’re not alone. Up to 64% of employees are either ‘not engaged’ and/or ‘actively disengaged’ these days. That, according to the same source, means almost two-thirds of people are unhappy at work, unattached to their roles, or even looking for new jobs!
It goes without saying that this predicament’s far from ideal for employers.
After all, a negative office atmosphere is like kryptonite to success. In the absence of a happy workplace, everything from productivity and company culture to your ability to attract top talent start to suffer. By comparison, great results come when people are eager to work, satisfied with their responsibilities, and committed to growing the business.
Want to find out what steps you can take to turn the negativity around and replace it with happiness? You’re in the right place. Keep reading for our top tips on creating a happier and more engaged workplace in 2021.
1. Fire the Bad Apples
One of the secrets to success in this realm of business always comes down to firing. It comes down to effective leadership. You have to be willing to sack any bad apples in your workforce in the interest of the greater good.
It doesn’t matter if they’re brilliant at their job or the best salesperson you’ve got!
If they’re too negative, bullish, critical, self-interested, arrogant, or just generally toxic to the team, then they have to go…and fast. Think of it like sucking the venom from a snake bite. The longer you wait to do it, the more damage that’s going to be done.
Never underestimate the impact that one toxic employee can have. The quicker you can fire people who aren’t a good fit for the team and culture you’re trying to create, the better.
2. Hone Your Hiring
Effective hiring is the other side of the same coin. After all, hiring the right people from the outset would save you the hassle of having to fire bad apples! If you’ve had a run of sub-par employees, then it’s time to hone your hiring process.
Write accurate job descriptions. Be diligent in the screening process. And ask sensible questions in the interviews to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
Don’t get caught up on finding the ‘perfect’ employee though. After all, businesses need to move (and hire) fast in order to scale. Wait too long for the ideal candidate and you’ll stifle your progress and end up disappointed anyway.
It might help to focus on peoples’ personality over their qualifications; the way they make you feel over the experience they bring to the table. Remember, it’s easy to train someone with a modicum of intelligence and solid work ethic how to do a job. It’s a thousand times harder to mold someone’s personality in line with your culture.
3. Lead By Example
A trickle-down effect takes place whenever a manager’s in a mood, being lazy, or approaching the day in a negative manner. It filters down the ranks and rubs off on everybody else…
After all, people are empathic, which means emotions are contagious. If one person in the office is feeling sluggish, mopey, or lethargic, then it’s never long before other employees start feeling the same way. Yet the effect’s far more pronounced when that ‘one person’ happens to be their boss.
This is one reason it’s so important to lead by example. Be a role model for your team!
Show them through your actions how you’d like them to feel, behave, and speak to each other. If you’re energetic, vivacious, hard-working, and happy, then they’re more likely to be those things too.
4. Show Your Appreciation
Imagine working your socks off day after day without being shown any gratitude (or recognition) from your boss. It’d be miserable! Many people would wonder why they bother; it’d be a matter of time before resentment, bitterness, and disillusionment started to grow.
In the bid to create a happier workplace, then, be sure to show your appreciation whenever someone’s actions warrant it. Be liberal with words and displays of thanks.
Trust us, you’d be amazed at the impact a simple ‘thank you’ can have on someone’s morale. It’s validation for their efforts and recognition of their contribution to the team. It’ll put a smile on their face and, in the process, reinforce their willingness to work hard on behalf of the company.
5. Provide Growth Opportunities
You can’t blame employees for being unmotivated or disengaged if they’ve got nothing to strive for in an organization. After all, ambitious people need opportunities to proceed up the proverbial ladder! If there’s nothing left to work for, then:
- There’s less incentive to work, and
- They’ll get bored.
In other words, putting a ceiling on peoples’ potential to grow is a recipe for damaging rates of workplace satisfaction.
Make it your mission to provide as many opportunities as possible. Create a clear route of progression in the business that employees can focus on and work towards. It’ll keep them engaged, interested, and enthusiastic about what they’re doing.
Update the Space
The appearance of your office will make a difference here too. Indeed, everything from the amount of space to the type of lighting and the colors on the walls can have an effect on the atmosphere. It’s up to you to ensure your employees have a modern, comfortable, well-designed workplace they’ll enjoy turning up to each day.
Take a look around. Is the space tired, outdated, and uninspiring? If so, then you can expect peoples’ moods to reflect it! Think about renovating the office or relocating somewhere more suitable.
At the very least, you should keep the office space clean, tidy, and uncluttered. Hiring a janitorial service, such as TC Services, will help you do it.
7. Run Teambuilding Activities
There’s nothing worse than going to work with people you don’t get on well with! It makes everything a chore and distracts you from your to-do list.
That’s one reason why teambuilding has been, and always will be, an effective way to improve the atmosphere in the office. These fun-filled activities bring the entire team together (outside of the office) and teach everybody to work together. Issues are resolved, relationships improve, and you return to work with amusing anecdotes to tell.
You could arrange events every week, go away for a weekend each year, or pay a professional team-building company to help. Whatever efforts you make, they’re sure to pay dividends in terms of workplace happiness.
8. Prioritize Work-Life Balance
The paradox of working hard is that it doesn’t always deliver the best outcomes. For example, it’s easy to assume that spending the whole day slaving away at your desk without a break is the best way to achieve positive results. But the reality’s that taking regular breaks improves productivity- not to mention how happy you feel.
It all comes down to work-life balance. And it’s something that savvy business owners are beginning to cotton onto! Basically, encouraging your employees to work less has a host of positive effects:
First off, it prevents burnout and ensures they’re physically and mentally well enough to do their jobs. They’re naturally quite happy about that. Second, it shows you care, which improves how they feel about working for you even further.
9. Think About Finances
You can’t buy happiness. But you can sometimes make people happier at work by rewarding their efforts with raises, bonuses, and gifts! Aside from having some extra money in their bank, it shows your gratitude and makes them feel appreciated.
This should never be the first port of call though. It’d be like applying a bandaid instead of addressing the underlying issues. Trust us, paying people more money might convince them not to leave, but it’s unlikely to alter the bad office atmosphere!
The best approach is to use money as a complement to other attempts at creating a happy workplace. Having covered your other bases first, throwing some extra money into the mix can be the cherry on top that raises everybody’s high spirits even further.
Time to Create a Happy Workplace
It’s hard to overstate the value of cultivating a happy workplace. Employees come to the office with smiles on their faces, apply themselves to their jobs, and deliver better results in the process. They’re more efficient, productive, and less likely to leave in a hurry.