In light of today’s economic landscape, it’s more important than ever for companies to have happy and productive employees. When employees are loyal and engaged in the company, profits can be higher. When people feel unmotivated or undervalued, the company suffers. Studies show that engaged employees miss less work, perform better, and are supportive of changes and willing to make them happen.
However, keeping employees happy in any economy is hard work. If the workplace is stressful, employee production goes down. Happy employees are satisfied and feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. They like themselves and what they do, and find satisfaction from their work. Such feelings reduce stress, which is a major factor of productivity. In order to make your workplace one where happiness and productivity thrive, consider the following guidelines.
Be a Good Employer
A “good” employer is one who sets clear expectations for employees, including what is to be done, when it is to be done by, and where it goes after they complete their responsibilities. Within these expectations, you need to set clear boundaries, demonstrate healthy leadership and provide sound direction. This means spelling out rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
You can usually accomplish this by creating a comprehensive employee manual, but should also use the personal touch by talking with employees in group and one-on-one settings. Whatever expectations you set, make sure they are consistent with all employees. The more issues and expectations you outline, the fewer problems arise, which leads to productive workers.
Help Employees Feel Valued
Be encouraging to your employees and offer praise when appropriate. Thank them for doing a good job and let them know that you value them.
Should something go wrong or someone make a mistake, don’t punish the person. Rather, talk to them, teach the correct procedures, and offer encouragement and further teaching when needed.
Remember that punishing people only makes things worse in that the employee may become angry and bitter, not motivated to change or improve. If errors continue after correction, then you may need to evaluate that person to make sure he or she is a good fit for the job.
Get People Involved
Help employees feel involved by holding regular meetings where everyone can voice their opinions and concerns. This has an added benefit in that the company can gain valuable information about products and concerns that could hurt the bottom line. Also host special events where the family of employees can be involved. The more sense of family you can create, the more productive people should be.
Another great, fulfilling way to encourage employees to spend their time is by volunteering. Have a designated charity where they can donate both money and time. Research indicates that people feel better and have better lives when they volunteer. It also helps the dealership’s bottom line by increasing employees’ performance and demonstrating to the community that the company cares.
Keep Them Happy, Keep Them Working
When workers feel that they are a dynamic and essential part of the team, they are more productive and willing to go the extra mile for customers and co-workers. Therefore, give praise openly, set goals appropriate to the work, and always take your employees’ needs seriously.
By respecting and listening to your staff, you’ll be giving them the motivational push they need to stay loyal and committed to the company’s goals. When you have a happy and productive workforce that is eager to contribute, your company can weather any storm.
Dr. Donna LaMar and co-founder Betsy Laney are psychologists who created The Farm, an educational, mental health and preventive program for youth and families.