It pays to be a good boss- seriously! Many studies have now confirmed that greater employee happiness increases their productivity by over 50%! And no business owner should ever forget that employee turnover is one of the worst drains of a business’ resources and potential.
1. Give Your Employees Funky & Unique Titles.
Research by the The Academy of Management found that “self-reflective” and unique job titles contribute significantly to employee happiness. They can impact the way employees feel about themselves, and also their work. The right job title can convey not just job function, but an employee’s value and personal identity within a larger organization as well.
2. Provide Snacks (or meals).
Employees tend to feel greater levels of satisfaction when “free food” programs are provided for them at work- even more so than their satisfaction with programs like remote work or shortened Fridays. When companies offer free food, employees feel that their company is taking care of and providing for them. Having lunch supplied at work also decreases the stress of having to either preparing a lunch meal in the morning, or finding a lunch option around town. At the very least, offer free coffee – this is one of top requested “food/snack” items by surveyed employees across America!
3. Give Out Gold Stars.
In a recent, major survey about employee motivation, when employees ranked the job characteristics that most motivated them, high wages and promotion were not in the top three. Instead, the number one motivating factor at work was “Full Appreciation of Work Being Done”. So make sure you leave some time each week to thank hard working employees, in an “all hands” meeting format, for a job well done. Get creative and give out small trophies or medals – make it fun! In the same spirit, definitely make sure you are recognizing the work anniversaries and birthdays of your employees!
4. Decorate (and clean!) Your Office.
If you spend minimal amount of time creating a nice-looking space, you’ll reap major, major benefits! Employees feel greater levels of satisfaction with their work when they spend 9+ hours a day in a pleasant environment, and they also report feeling all around happier too! Good looking offices typically have 30% less employee absenteeism – what other evidence could you ask for!
5. Give Seminars- on anything!
A recent study by Kathryn Shaw and Edward Lazear of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and University of Utah’s Christopher Stanton found that most significant impact of a “good boss” came from teaching employees better and more efficient work methods. Think about it, you rose to the top because you handled your projects well, and successfully accomplished your goals. Share with your employees how you stay organized and motivated, or even just your favorite keyboard shortcuts on Excel! These monthly “how to” seminars will help your employees feel connected to you, and will encourage an overall culture of sharing ideas, a win:win for everyone!
6. Hold Office Hours.
Just like a professor leading their students through a rigorous course, set aside a few hours each week for “office hours” to help your employees through their workplace challenges. Your employees can come in and talk about whatever is on their mind, or to receive some one-on-one advice and mentoring for a difficult project they’re working on. Even if no one comes on a particular week, your employees will still feel thankful that you’re there for them.
7. Put The Customer Second.
Whoa, right? But trust us on this one! Customers can immediately sense when the employees they’re interacting with are miserable, overworked, or under trained. VERY few things hurt a business like under trained employees. Customers regular report that “unknowledgeable staff” would cause them to abandon a purchase, no matter how good the sale price was! You need to make sure your employees are representing your business in the best way possible; that they are happy to be there, believe in your company’s work, and are fully trained and equipped to do their job to the best of their abilities. Your employees will also feel more appreciated that they come before profits in your eyes- which is worth every cent you spend on training and managing.
Every workplace is unique- so the best way to be a boss your employees respect and admire is to get to know them. Find out what they value, and what they hope to get out of their professional experience. Consider offering anonymous employee satisfaction surveys or a suggestion box. You are allowed to make it simple – just ask your employees what they want!
[Photo by Flickr user: Bart Everson]
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