6 tips to keep your employees happy

Amid the "Great Resignation", small business owners are wondering how to retain their employees – here are six tips to keep them happy

We are currently in the midst of what many experts are referring to as “The Great Resignation.” After the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on countless industries worldwide, business owners have been struggling to retain their workforce as millions of individuals seek to improve their work-life balance by reprioritising their responsibilities/commitments. 

In many ways, this mass exodus from the workplace is due to a large majority of the global workforce experiencing the vast array of benefits from remote working, such as increased flexibility, no commute and location independence. In fact, since the turn of the year, it’s estimated that over four million Americans have been leaving their jobs each month, which is a startling statistic. With this in mind, here are six tips you can try to keep your employees happy and boost retention in the workplace.

Introduce flexible working

In the wake of the pandemic, remote/flexible working is quickly becoming a necessity in the workplace. After a rapid shift to full-time remote work, returning to the office for a 40-hour workweek is a daunting prospect for many. Therefore, you must put steps to facilitate flexible working within your company if you want to keep your employees happy.

Only 44 per cent of organisations throughout the world do not permit any form of remote work, according to FindStack, although 74 per cent of employees said that having the option to work remotely would make them less inclined to leave. This creates a huge opportunity for you to increase the attractiveness of your organisation to both current workers and external talent.

Be transparent and honest

The primary benefit of cultivating a transparent and honest workplace culture is to build trust and goodwill between employees and the management. Gone are the days where authoritarian organisations are the ones that prevail. These days, it’s essential to make the employees feel valued, understood, and appreciated.

So, what does a transparent and honest company look like? The good news is that it’s nothing major. Promote candidness among employees, be open about bad news and setbacks and establish open communication channels between employees. Above all, make your businesses’ core values clear to everyone within the company and ensure that all employees understand what they are working towards (goals and missions).

Allow for gaming breaks

Believe it or not, there are a whole host of benefits to be had when you let your employees incorporate gaming breaks into their workday. The truth is, nobody can simply sit at their desk and work productively for the entirety of the day. That’s just not how the human brain works. Allowing regular breaks to play games can help employees to de-stress, interact with one another and to take their minds off the task at hand so they can return to their responsibilities refreshed and recharged.

Furthermore, gaming at work doesn’t always have to include an Xbox or Playstation. Instead, simply giving your employees 10-15 minutes per day to play FreeCell Solitaire or other strategy games can be a great way to boost employee happiness and increase productivity.

Offer a clear route of progression within the company

Without a clear career pathway, employees may be more inclined to look outside to fulfil their potential and climb up the career ladder. After all, why should somebody remain at your company if there are better opportunities elsewhere?

On top of this, we live in one of the periods in business history with the least amount of employee loyalty, as made evident by the Great Resignation. With this in mind, you should prioritise establishing a clear route for your employees so they can have something to work towards and be motivated by. This sends a clear message to employees that their career is valued and proactively supported over time.

Be ready to give positive feedback

Recognise and reward employees frequently if you want them to be happy and keep them on board. Far too often, managers are quick to chastise and point out the flaws in their employees, although, as many studies have pointed out, that simply isn’t the best way to go about it.

Keeping tabs on what your employees are doing and giving them praise when they perform well is fundamental to creating a positive work environment. We all want to feel like we make a difference and that our work is valued. So, next time you are walking through the office or you notice one of your workers has gone above and beyond their standard duties, don’t hesitate to point it out and offer genuine praise.

Offer benefits beyond the basics

The business world is becoming more competitive by the day. However, this competition isn’t just over consumer money; it’s also over talent. Of course, one of the obvious ways you can attract and retain talent in your company would be to increase the salary, but there are a few other tips you can use to the same effect.

Think of how you can help assist or supplement your employees in other areas of their lives. Maybe you could offer free health and life insurance to help protect their income. You could also offer things like dental, optical, and wellness benefits – all of which help to keep your employees feeling valued. You could also offer gym memberships, discounts at local stores and supplements transport costs. Just think about what your employees would appreciate most (within reason) and see if there is a way you can help.

Final word

A happy workforce is a productive workforce. With this in mind, business owners should do everything they can to boost employee morale and promote a positive workplace culture. Furthermore, business owners must be aware of the current trend of employees leaving their roles in favour of more benefits such as flexible hours and remote working. If you want to stand any chance at keeping your employees happy and retaining your best talent, then these benefits are quickly becoming a necessity.

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