How to Create a Happy Work Environment

A 2015 study from the Social Market Foundation found that employees are 12% more productive when they're happy. Naturally, employers want to create positive environments for all employees, but what exactly makes a happy work environment? We've compiled the top three tips for creating happy employees to increase productivity.

1. Recognize Excellent Work

Simply taking the time to thank your employees is the first step toward a happy work environment. Managers who thank their employees often find themselves rewarded with a team that works harder than before. In a study reported by Harvard Medical School, one company asked two groups of workers to call for alumni donations. One group continued calling as they usually did, but the other group first received a pep talk from an administrator who expressed gratitude for all the hard work they were doing. The second group raised 50% more funds than the first group!

Thanking your employees is a great first step toward creating a happy work environment.

Thanking your employees is a great first step toward creating a happy work environment.

You can do several things to make your employee recognition more effective. First, thank your employee by name. Otherwise, it's easy for employees to feel as if they're just a number, especially in an office setting. Next, be specific about what they did that helped your company. When you take the time to explain exactly what behavior impressed you, an employee is more likely to continue that behavior. Finally, celebrate successes as a group. Whether it's mentioning an employee's achievement in a company meeting or having an office party in someone's honor, celebrating success will make employees feel appreciated and happy.

2. Create a Team Mentality

When you are managing employees, think of them as your team. Create groups that work together to solve problems rather than individuals who compete with one another. Although some healthy competition is a good thing, getting employees to work as a team builds a more positive work environment.

Employees who work as a team tend to be happier and more motivated with a greater sense of purpose. You may also see increased camaraderie among your staff.

Employees who work as a team tend to be happier and more motivated with a greater sense of purpose. You may also see increased camaraderie among your staff.

Creating a team mentality isn't always easy, though. Start with group incentives instead of individual ones. This doesn't mean you disregard individual recognition. Instead, give the entire team something to work for as a group while thanking individuals for their specific contributions. Involve your team in goal-setting so that everyone feels invested in the company's success. If much of the work is individual, it might seem difficult to cultivate a team mentality. However, any group of people working toward a common goal is a team. If you connect everyone in your office to a central set of ideals, you'll be well on your way to creating a team of happier, more motivated employees.

3. Build Ownership

Happy employees feel that they have ownership in the future of your company. One way to create this sense of ownership is by offering choices. When people feel that they have some autonomy, they are happier and more productive. For example, if your company has a problem and only the administrators are allowed to weigh in, other employees might feel helpless or cynical about the problem. However, if you give them several options and allow them to have a say, you've created ownership and obtained valuable feedback from your workers. They will feel that they have some control over their future and are more likely to work hard to solve the problem.

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Whether you're a huge corporation or a tiny start-up, it's essential to create a happy work environment. Once you start building a positive workplace with these three easy steps, you'll see measurable progress.

To learn more about establishing a great environment at your company, contact us today!