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Five ways to create happy employees

It's hard to be successful without a smile. Whether you've won a marathon or a big opportunity, winning makes people happy. But do happier people win more often? It turns out that they do!

When managers nurture a workplace culture that creates happy employees, they also make their teams more productive and effective. Our infographic reveals how happy workers can positively impact your bottom line and how you can help your workforce be a little bit happier.

Five ways to create happy employees

1. EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES WITH A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP. Encourage your employees to take ownership of their projects and tasks. Let them take responsibility for the decision-making process, and give them a voice in determining how things are done. Doing so will help your employees become more actively engaged in their work and more personally invested in its outcomes. How does this impact your business? It led to a 30% increase in revenues, according to one case study.

2. CHALLENGE YOUR EMPLOYEES TO LEAVE THEIR COMFORT ZONES How has Google become one of the most innovative companies in the industry? By creating room in their business model for experimentation – and for failure. Google's “fail fast” policy encourages employees to be constantly experimenting, provided they quickly identify and address what doesn't work. This empowers the team to tap into a level of creativity and enthusiasm that is not possible at other companies.

3. BE FLEXIBLE. When managers extend a little flexibility, their teams often reciprocate with loyalty and high morale. One great case study of this is the experiment conducted at Best Buy headquarters, where employees were allowed to make their own hours and were evaluated on their performance alone. Productivity quickly rose by 35 percent, and morale had never been higher. The experiment was so successful that Best Buy launched a five-year plan to integrate the practices into other areas of the company.

4. NURTURE A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND MEANING IN THE WORK. If you love your job, you live it. When a manager can help their team recognize the meaning and purpose in the work they do, they approach their job with strong morale and a personal sense of mission. One case study, which focused on engaging long-term healthcare workers and giving them a sense of purpose, resulted in a 60 percent drop in absenteeism, a 75 percent drop in employee turnover, and a 10 percent increase in reported job satisfaction. A culture of teamwork began to flourish, and job satisfaction soared.

5. DON'T USE PAID INCENTIVES AS A CRUTCH. When it comes to motivation, cash is not king. The younger generations identify a rewarding job as one with many opportunities for professional growth and many chances to become upwards-mobile in the company. They also appreciate the opportunity to participate in a company that respects a work-life balance.

And when it does come to cash rewards, a little can often go a long way.