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Happy Employees are More Productive

August 12, 2015

Ways to keep employees happy

Whether you are an entrepreneur managing a startup, or a well-established business, it’s hard to ignore the growing evidence of big value from happy employees. Recently researchers at the Harvard Business Review analyzed hundreds of studies and concluded that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.

In a study of service departments, Harvard researchers, Jennifer George and Kenneth Bettenhausen found that employees who score high in life satisfaction are significantly more likely to receive high ratings from customers. In addition, researchers at Gallup found that retail stores that scored higher on employee life satisfaction generated $21 more in earnings per square foot of space than the other stores, adding $32 million in additional profits for the whole chain.

For companies, happy employees mean better bottom-line results. Employees who score low in “life satisfaction,” a rigorously tested and widely accepted metric, stay home an average of 1.25 more days a month, a 2008 study by Gallup Healthways shows. That translates into a decrease in productivity of 15 days a year.

The challenge is to find the best way to keep everyone on your team happy and productive.happy employee happy customer photo

In sunny SWFL, small business owners have the benefit of great weather and access to many activities, products, and services that can be used in their employee motivation and recognition strategies. Some require some investment, but that is often returned by boosting the company’s productivity and, consequently, bottom line.

– Offer Flexible Work Options

Fortune 100 companies that have moved to a flexible work model that allows participating employees to set their own schedules as long as their work is consistently finished on time, report productivity increases of anywhere between 30% and a staggering 60%!

– Recognize Success

Encouraging high performance can sometimes be as simple as rewarding it. Programs such as employee-of-the-month or other initiatives that recognize and reward high-performing employees with gift certificates to local businesses like Massage Envy Spa not only make the worker feel more satisfied with his or her job, but they also set an example for other employees and encourage them to work harder.

-Invest in compensation packages

One of the most traditional and commonly used tactics for increasing employee satisfaction and retention is ramping up compensation packages. This can involve raises, bonuses, or enhanced benefits such as matching 401(k) contributions, transportation reimbursement, health insurance, and vacation days.

-Invest in corporate culture

Creating a strong corporate culture not only creates better work results, but also creates loyalty towards the company and accountability towards each other. There are numerous simple ways to accomplish this such as recognizing employees on their birthday or bringing in lunch to the office. However, a lot of companies are taking it to the next level by hosting events within the office and participating in events outside the office. Creating an in-house wellness fair is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle, but if that’s out of your scale, even bringing a massage therapist for the afternoon to do chair massage is an inexpensive way to help the whole office relax a little. Other great ideas include corporate outings such as an afternoon at a baseball game, a paintball outing, forming a company sports team, or participating in company-wide fitness events such as a charity run, which improves employee health, facilitates corporate bonding, and benefits the community we live in. Using company leverage to gain “deals” for their employees is another great (and often free) approach. Many service providers such as fitness clubs, Massage Envy Spa, and many more are willing to provide discounted services when structured as a “corporate membership” which can be setup quickly and easily with no administration or ongoing cost to the employer. After all, healthy employees are not just happier employees—they tend to have fewer sick days and are more focused.

Whatever the strategy, small business owners are encouraged to pay attention to the happiness, well-being, and motivation of their staff. Productive and satisfied employees represent more than just good management practices—they are a crucial element to a successful business.

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