Happy employees can boost your business success, it is high time for SMEs to take note and work on it.
PART TWO OF TWO PARTS
I was a part of an HR Conclave a few days ago, organized by an educational Institution, which was themed around Happiness at the workplace. All the speakers, which included stalwarts from the HR fraternity, emphasized Employee Engagement as imperative for business growth. They all talked about how employees’ happiness improves productivity, greater employee retention, strengthens company culture, and increased customer satisfaction that leads to overall business success.
In Part one of this article, in the previous edition, I mentioned that I will be sharing various initiatives that can be taken by SMEs to achieve employee satisfaction and create a possibility of boosting business. But before I do that, let us distinguish three related concepts that are generally used in place of each other, but have different connotations.
What is Employee Happiness?
Employee happiness is at the intersection of employee engagement and satisfaction. It’s the quality of employee experience that goes a step further than employee satisfaction and is one of the building blocks of employee engagement.
Let’s dive deeper:
# Employee happiness vs. employee satisfaction:
Satisfied employees are fulfilled in their roles and have few complaints. But they might still explore other opportunities if presented with the option.
# Employee happiness vs. employee engagement:
Engaged employees are personally invested in the company’s success. They regularly go the extra mile in their tasks and their loyalty to the business is high. Employee happiness is necessary to reach this milestone.
While employee satisfaction, engagement, and happiness all work hand in hand, they should be considered as different stages of the employee experience.
How is the josh?
We all understand that employee morale is high when they experience a deeper engagement with the organization and are happy being a part of it. It is therefore important to improve and maintain team morale at a higher level.
Employee morale represents the level of employee engagement and motivation across your company. While workplace morale can have its highs and lows, a long-term dip can take a toll on business performance.
Employee morale is the level of motivation your staff experience in the workplace. It depends on a number of factors, but company culture, work-life balance, and recognition from employers have the biggest impact.
It is important because it has countless benefits for employee engagement and business performance.
Not only that, but employees high in morale can also be your company’s biggest promoters. By pitching your workplace to their own circle of friends and family, they help your company build a strong reputation and attract top talent.
Some of the biggest benefits of high employee morale include:
- Greater employee retention
- Better business productivity
- Increased employee engagement
- Higher job satisfaction among staff
- Greater innovation across your company
- Happy Customers
I repeat, improving employee morale is essential if you want to improve employee engagement and optimize business performance. I am sharing a few tips for improving employee morale, which I have learned through my experience of working with MSMEs in the last few years.
- Share the Company Vision that compels
A strong company vision can be transformative. Employees gain a sense of pride and see the purpose behind their work. Moreover, employees who are dispersed across departments, cities, and time zones, can feel connected through a shared mission.
The key is knowing how to communicate your company vision. You can help employees get on board right from the start by outlining your company vision in your employee handbooks.
2. Promote a strong company culture
The power of company culture lies in its ability to transcend every area of the employee experience. You see it in everything from your company policies to the level of diversity and inclusion across your organization.
A positive workplace culture encourages employees to be creative, drives employee engagement through internal communications, creates employee engagement ideas, and continuously contributes to company success.
3. Implement more professional development opportunities
The best employees are lifelong learners. While these individuals are often passionate and fuelled with drive, when they sense a lack of growth potential, their morale takes a dive.
When you offer plenty of professional development opportunities, you raise your reputation as an employer and prevent high turnover.
4. Prioritize employee recognition
Not only is this the simplest way to boost employee morale but it’s also the most powerful. Thoughtful employee recognition can boost employees’ confidence in their work and inspire them to do even better.
5. Create personalized and authentic communications
Great communication can be inspiring—both outside and inside the workplace. At no time is this more evident than when a company is overcoming hardship, and when employees need a boost in morale the most.
6. Ensure strong leadership communication
One of the best ways to boost morale at work is by investing in effective leadership communication.
Staff wants to see how company decisions are made and feel like their input is valued by the higher-ups. In fact, a recent study showed that 87% of employees value transparency among company leaders. Making employees feel heard is vital to boosting employee morale because it shows them that their work, ideas, and opinions do matter.
7. Encourage work-life balance
While few people will deny the importance of work-life balance, many all-to-easily forget about it in the midst of the daily work grind.
Start making a habit of checking in on employee wellness and work-life balance regularly. The employees should be encouraged to share how they truly feel without fear of consequences. All you have to do is ask the right questions.
8. Invest in team building
When you’re feeling down in your personal life, you’ll likely turn to your close circle for advice. At work, we’re equally in need of people with whom we can share and feel heard. This is especially true when it comes to workplace challenges that your friends and families can’t always relate to.
That being said, in our new virtual world it’s easy to feel disconnected from our colleagues. Virtual team-building activities can help bridge this divide and foster stronger workplace relationships.
Through game nights, virtual comedy sessions, happy hours, and a handful of other initiatives, you can start building team trust and stronger workplace relationships.
9. Encourage employee innovation
High employee morale is all about feeling empowered in the workplace. Your teams do their best work when they know that innovative thinking is not only encouraged, but supported with resources.
By listening to employees and investing in staff-led initiatives, companies are able to boost morale while improving the way businesses are run.
10. Create a more flexible work environment
Flexible work arrangements are becoming the norm. During the lockdown, we learned that not everyone needs to be in the office to make things work. As a result, employees in many companies expect more flexible work arrangements as things return to normal. Whether it’s flex time, reduced hours, a compressed work week, or more remote working opportunities, you need to start understanding how you can accommodate your staff.
In the end, I would like to say that boosting employee morale is not always a quick fix. In some cases, employees may simply be seeking more recognition. Meanwhile, in others, the lack of motivation and disinterest stems from deeper issues within your company culture.
In both cases, there are solutions to get your team members back on track. But the best strategy is staying proactive and taking steps to boost employee morale while it’s still high. Measure employee engagement on an ongoing basis to get an accurate picture of employee engagement statistics at your organization.
Ajit Industries’ unique Employee Engagement initiative
An internal team app by the name of AIPL Parivaar, has all the employees engaged in internal communications.” Not only does it have all circulars, and policies available to all the employees, it is our internal Facebook. Employees share their personal and professional achievements on the wall and their team members can react and comment on them. This way not only the team members are involved, but their families are also invited to participate in the contests that we organize, periodically. That is how it got its name Parivaar
Jewell Terrific 12 program
When companies take charge of their employees’ development and give them space for growth, they thrive. I developed this program for Jewell paints as a part of my consulting project that I was doing for them. In the project, a team of 12 salespersons was selected who were trained for their skill development. That included product knowledge, market working, communication skills, presentation skills, and team building, and a comprehensive curriculum was developed for their holistic development.
Zoom Pe Dhoom – an outcome of lockdown!
During the times of lockdown, all my consulting clients were facing the same challenge – how to keep their employees engaged and motivated. What started as a motivation booster during the tough times, is now being practiced as a monthly engagement activity for teams across the country.
The name clearly indicates that it is all about online celebrations! Every month, a virtual meeting is organized where employees share their achievements, personal and professional, celebrate birthdays, participate in quizzes, and are awarded for their participation in the monthly contest for teams and their families.