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Scientifically-Proven Ways to Make Your Employees Happier

– Contributed content –

18 October 2017. Making your employees happy is an important goal for any company. It’s a kind thing to do and makes your company more ethical, but it also encourages your employees to care more. If you want them to work better and harder, you need to make them care about their work. The problem is, how do you know what will really make them happy and which so-called solutions are just the latest trends that don’t really work. The answer is to turn to science, to find the things that are proven to make employees happier. You can look at business studies, as well as psychological theories and phenomena.

Journey-reward graphic

(Gerd Altmann, Pixabay)

Have clear expectations and rewards

Learning about human behavior is a great way to work out how to make your employees happy. One useful theory is the valence instrumentality-expectancy theory. It says that people behave according to expected outcomes or their value. In the workplace, you can think about this in terms of having clear expectations and rewards for your employees. They can feel a lot happier if they know what’s expected of them, and you know what they expect of you, and how they’re going to benefit when their task is completed. Consider setting out clear guidelines to clarify expectations and rewards.

Allow remote working

Remote working is becoming more and more popular now that it’s so easy to stay connected. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, people working at home are not only happier, but they can be more productive too. A lot of bosses worry about letting people work at home, thinking that they’re allowing them to slack off. But remote staff can be productive because they’re given more control over their time. They have to take responsibility for their work, and they still need to meet deadlines and be available when they’re needed.

Hiring freelancers graphic

(Wikimedia Commons)

Consider flexible working

Work-life balance is extremely important to many people. A study by the Corporate Executive Board found that employees with a good work-life balance worked 21% harder than others. Apart from remote working, flexible schedules are also helpful to improve work-life balance. You can require employees to work a certain number of hours but be more flexible with when they can start and finish work. Or you could even say they can work whatever schedule they life, as long as they’re completing their work to a high standard.

Allow for career progression

If you want to make your employees happy long-term, you need to give them reasons to stick around. One of the biggest reasons for them to leave is that they feel they can’t go anywhere within your company. A study by Glassdoor found that for every additional 10 months that an employee can’t progress, they are 1% more likely to leave after finally getting promoted. While not everyone can keep moving up the ranks, creating a clear path for ambitious people to follow could make a big difference in employee retention.

Before you start buying your employees gym memberships or taking them on vacation, find the ways you can make them happier from day-to-day.

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