But how can small business, often constrained by time, resources and money, incentivise a happier work place?
There are many ways to increase employee health and happiness, and in this post we share the top 5 initiatives we are focusing on, here at Lancom.
1. We let our staff voice their opinion
Open communication throughout the workplace provides clarity and transparency for employees. This alleviates the stress of uncertainty, and allows employees to have clear direction and trust in the organization.
Being in a considered introverted industry, we found that, sometimes we have to prompt people to talk. So, we have adopted the principle of the six thinking hats.
Ok we will be honest! We only use two hats: Yellow & Black.
Here’s how we do it:
Every quarter or so, we group our team and ask them to think about two things:
What is your yellow hat? (Something positive about being at Lancom)
What is your black hat? (Something not so positive about being at Lancom)
We go around the table, let everyone voice their praises and frustrations, take notes of the feedback we are getting…And, we do something about it!
That’s right! Opening for communications also means you must action the feedback you are getting.
2. We recognise when someone does something great
We all know the pride we feel when we can take ownership of tasks, and have the feeling of owning the accomplishment when the job is done well! However, you will also know an equally important part is the recognition you get from your superiors of your success. It’s stressful when you feel there are moving benchmarks for success, so it is always best have clear expectations, and recognise when employees meet, or exceed them.
Want some tips on how to do this? We have a few!
- Hand write a thank you card to your staff recognising them for something great they may have done
- Buy them lunch, unexpectedly
- Circulate an email around the company telling everyone about something amazing one of your team members (or a department) did
- Post on your Facebook page and let the world know about how great your people are!
3. We take career growth opportunities seriously
For those who are career driven, development opportunities are one of the most important aspects of a job, and without it, those employees aren’t satisfied. Development opportunities can be in the form of funding advanced education, funding courses, enabling employees to attend conferences, or just the knowledge that there is potential for promotion with their current position.
Here is one of the tactics we are adopting to provide our staff development opportunities:
As well as carrying annual performance reviews, we keep up with our people by scheduling quarterly meetings. Each quarter, we help them make progress on their careers by checking in with them, and prompting them to consider what they’re doing to achieve in 3 key areas:
- Performance: Specific results that contributes to the success of the department
- Skills and competences: Skills required to support the above (soft skills)
- Personal development: Competency improvements such as training, courses and so on
We also help our staff to reflect on the answers to these questions, Do I do my best to:
- Set clear goals?
- Make progress to goal achievement?
- Be happy?
- Find a meaning?
- Build positive relationships?
- Be fully engaged?
This may sound hard at first, but it becomes easier as you go, trust us!
4. We incentivise work/life balance
We all know life can get stressful, balancing both careers and personal lives. But organisations can alleviate the stress, and be rewarded with employees who have increased life satisfaction, increased job satisfaction, and increased productivity. There are several well-known ways to provide balance, such as flexible working hours, and the ability to work from home which allow employees to give their all to their work.
5. We reduce ongoing stressors
Ongoing workplace stressors can come in many forms, a common one being poorly functioning IT. On the flipside, properly functioning IT seems to be a double whammy! Not only does it decrease employees stress when they are no able to work on pressing tasks, but it also saves the wasted downtime that occurs when IT is not functioning at optimum levels.
We shouldn’t need to add that but we will. Why? Because we found that, in many cases, it’s easier to ignore the thing you do the best.
So, here’s the deal:
As a Technology company, we make sure our people are being assisted in the best way when it comes to having IT issues.
Beyond providing good IT systems and equipment to our people, we also:
- Give them stand up desks to work from
- Allow everyone to have dual monitors
- Make the office a pleasant place to be, by adding plants to our environment
Long story short
It has become increasingly evident that money is no longer the number one dictator of workplace happiness. There is so much more you can do to attract, and retain key talent in your organisation.
Wowing your staff doesn’t need to start as a complicated task, sometimes, it is the little things that add up to greater results.