Are your employees happy and productive?
Or do they waste inordinate amounts of time complaining and procrastinating?
Employee productivity is a challenge that faces all companies.
Are your employees happy?
And more importantly, what are you doing about it?
Happy is Productive
When was the last time your company made an effort to keep its employees happy?
Too often companies neglect their employees’ well-being.
Many leaders think a touchy-feely issue like “employee happiness” is better handled by the HR department. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Employee happiness is not an HR issue. It is a leadership issue.
Good leaders know that happy employees are productive ones.
Yes, times are tough. And money is tight.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to make your employees live a miserable existence. Good leaders know that taking care of their employees leads to increased worker performance.
Happy employees not only work harder but have higher feelings of company ownership.
Unhappy employees often will not go the extra step when it comes to work.
Happy employees have higher retention.
And despite what HR will tell you, unhappy employees will leave. Yes, even in this economy. (And the good ones leave first.)
So, when was the last time that you (or your company) did something to make employees happy?
Productive and Happy About It
There are some HR types who will argue that happiness does not equate to productiveness.
And it doesn’t by itself. It takes leadership, purpose, and drive.
However, in the same situation, who do you think will perform better? Happy employees or unhappy ones?
I guarantee that happy workers will out perform unhappy ones every day of the week. (Especially on Mondays)
Here are just a few tips to help “Keep Your Employees Happy and Productive:”
- Recognize Them – Most companies are very poor at this. In fact, a large number of companies have no employee recognition. Publicly recognize your best employees and reward with something that is important to them. (Danger: Recognizing the wrong employees can be an explosive issue. But, that is a topic for a different leadership article.)
- Thank Them – Sometimes you don’t even have to recognize them, how about just thanking them. Employee happiness is not tied to awards and rewards. Sometimes a well-placed and sincere “Thank You” is all it takes.
- Listen to Them – Want your team to be happy and productive? Listen to them. Leaders sometimes think they have all the answers and fail to listen to the team. Not only does the team often have the “answer,” but sometimes they just want to be heard.
- Be Straight With Them – Employees want the straight scoop and they feel respected when they get it. Don’t wrap announcements in legalese or HR speak. Any leader that thinks that employees can’t “read between the lines” on corporate memos shouldn’t be in charge. Instead, tell your employees the truth.
- Give Them a Day Off – Rewards don’t have to be trips and monetary incentives. (Although those are nice!) Try rewarding hard work with time. Time off that is. A simple day off can be the difference between a happy recharged top performer and burnt out jaded one.
- Pamper Them – As I have mentioned, rewards don’t have to be expensive or lavish. Sometimes it is the little things. Go for the small ones. Sometimes they make all the difference. I once worked with a call center and one day we replaced all the workers chairs with brand new rolling ones. People were literally “rolling” through their day and were on cloud nine.
- Remove Obstacles – Want happy employees? Then don’t put silly rules and obstacles in the way of them doing their job. As a leader, your job is to remove the things in their way. Except when it comes to safety, problems are not solved by putting “rules” in place. Want increased happiness and productivity? Remove the red tape! (See: The Difference Between Blue Tape and Red Tape.)
- Surprise Them, In a Good Way – Surprises can be a great motivator for employees. Just make sure you are in tune with your employees or else you risk surprising them with something that could backfire.
Happy and Productive
When your employees are not happy, they are not as productive as they could be.
Unhappy employees are unmotivated and uninspired to work at their potential. Even your best performers will leave when they are unhappy.
Many companies do not make the effort to keep employees happy because of the assumed costs. However, most employees are not looking for expensive perks to encourage them.
They will be driven with a little recognition, support, and thankfulness.
Oh, and don’t forget to listen to them.
When was the last time your company boosted productivity by making employees happy?