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21 October 2017Last updated
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Features | Reportage

Seven ways to keep your employees happy

Memo to the boss: if you want more smiles and less grumbling in the office, try these

Mike Peake
15 Sep 2017 | 12:00 am
  • Source:Aiza Castillo-Domingo

1. Look after junior staff

Workspace providers Office Genie recently surveyed 2,000 workers and found that junior staff feel more over-worked and under-appreciated – so be extra-nice to them.

Read: 10 ways to be more happy

2. Make the office more beautiful

According to research at Exeter University in the UK, people working in ‘enriched spaces’ are 17 per cent happier, healthier and more productive. International art consultant Matisse Ghaddaf from Atkya agrees, stating that: “Clients often have the foresight to recognise that art does more than just decorate.”

Read: What makes a company a great place to work?

3. Nip problems in the bud

A fractious office will make everyone miserable, so Richard Stewart, co-founder of employee benefit specialists Untangl, says bosses need to be decisive. ‘Hoping a problem will just disappear will ebb away the goodwill of the rest of your team,’ he says.

Read: Unhappiness, the true source of happiness

4. Laugh a little

Workplaces can take themselves a little too seriously, says David Cliff, business coach and MD of Gedanken. So lighten up! ‘Humour is the greatest tonic of the spirit, the greatest physiological release and the greatest connector in the human emotional repertoire,’ he says. Just make sure the laughter is always with, and not at, people.

5. Appreciate employees

The odd pat on the back isn’t enough, argues Ian Feaver, European director of global staff appreciation specialists O.C. Tanner; he reckons staff should be properly appreciated both regularly and publicly. ‘People need to be made to feel wanted and appreciated, and a feeling of “belonging” to an organisation is incredibly powerful,’ he says.

Read: Do you love your office?

6. Give people freedom

Andy Swann, who helps organisations better connect with their employees, says that because we are all unique, different things will make us happy when we’re in the office. ‘By offering employees the choice to create their own experience that fits their individual needs at any given time,’ he says, ‘you will allow them to find the balance of happiness and harmony.’ Binod Shankar, MD of Kaplan Genesis in Dubai, agrees: ‘Autonomy, flexibility and a workplace free of micromanagement are major drivers of happiness,’ he says.

7. Let the team have random days off

Perks aren’t always the best ways to boost happiness, but one that can work wonders, says entrepreneur Rob Moore, author of a new book named Money, is time off. Rob suggests Social Media Day, for example, where everyone is told to take the day off to ‘go and be social!’

Read: Statutory warning: Your workplace could be injurious to your health

Mike Peake

Mike Peake