“When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors,” James Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of Costco
From pleasing the management, there has been a steady shift towards making employees happy instead. In a way, it makes a lot of sense because competent employees who are happy with their companies will stay and perform in their respective workplaces, thus, boosting the companies’ performance in the long run. Also, happy employees will always boast and put out a good word about the company to other people that will further increase the company’s reputation and goodwill. Besides, it is getting harder and harder to acquire efficient and quality employees nowadays so.
One way of keeping employees happy is by giving them some degree of autonomy in their work areas, work flows, and work conditions. One sure way of driving down employee happiness and satisfaction is for bosses to micro-manage and control every aspect of the employee’s work. Breathe down your workers’ necks while they are working and you’ll surely earn their ire. Do that every working day and you’ll be lucky if they’ll stay for a year. Let your employees customize, to a certain degree, their work areas; let them have a say on some of the projects that they want to handle; allow your staff to have a free reign on how to handle their assigned tasks as long as their deadlines are met; permit your workers to have some flexitime and you’ll be guaranteed that they will stay happy and loyal to the company.
Challenge your employees. Giving them tasks and projects that are sure to challenge their abilities and capabilities will motivate and push them to go the extra mile. In doing so, not only will your employees develop and improve themselves, the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction such workers will feel upon the completion of their tasks will certainly make them happy and inspired.
Another way of making, and keeping, your staff happy is to sincerely communicate with them. An open door policy is good but how effective is such policy, really? Filipinos are generally shy to approach upper management people and it is not common for us to go to our bosses and just say what we want to say. We are just not as culturally forward as other nationalities especially with our dealings with our superiors. Instead, what bosses must do is to take some time every day to go around, engage the employees with some small talk, listen to what they have to say on matters affecting their work and the company, and display empathy and concern to their plight.
Being transparent, within reason, with the direction and condition of the company with the employees will make them feel trusted. Include them in the decision-making by taking note of their inputs and suggestions will further highlight their value to the company. Though the management is not compelled to follow and implement all the suggestions and recommendations, the act of soliciting the workers’ feedback itself will make such employees feel happy and important.
Treating employees individually will further increase the satisfaction and happiness level in the workplace. Encourage the managers and supervisors to spend time to talk and know their staff. The perfect approach in keeping workers happy is as numerous and varied as the employees of the company. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. It is therefore important for the immediate supervisors to really know their subordinates, to really keep them happy, in order to custom-made the perfect method for each staff.
A work-family balance scheme has been slowly being adapted by some Philippine companies. Guess what? The surge of applicants for these companies who are being known to have programs that take the workers’ families into consideration have been steadily rising. Those lucky personnel who were hired by these companies, on their end, would constantly boast of their “ideal” working conditions with their friends over the social media through pictures, videos, and posts. Company outings with the families, paid birthday leaves, tuition fee loans, and other similar sought-after programs are sure to increase employee satisfaction and strengthen company reputation. Needless to say, such employees are kept happy, inspired, and loyal to such institutions.