This week is International Week of Happiness at Work and an occasion that Whitcombe HR are proud to support.
Numerous studies have shown that happy employees are far more engaged, productive, and committed than those who are unhappy, and furthermore, as cases of burnout and work-related stress continue to rise, this couldn’t be a more pressing topic for business owners right now.
With a focus on employee wellbeing, meaningful work, healthy working relationships and of course, having fun, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give you our top ten tips for creating a happy workplace.
1. Update your Wellbeing Initiatives
Your wellbeing initiatives should allow you to address important issues such as reducing stress, creating a happier workforce, and allowing employees the time to re-charge and focus on their mental and physical health.
It’s important when updating your wellbeing initiatives to think of things that will make your team happy and provide opportunities for them to step away from work and relax.
Some wellbeing initiatives to think about could include increasing the number of breaks workers get, providing healthy snacks and fruit throughout the day, having an unlimited holiday policy or duvet days for when people just need to recharge.
2. Create a sense of community
When people feel like they are part of a community they feel like they matter, and this creates a sense of happiness. Feeling that their fellow employees and managers care about them will allow workers a much greater sense of belonging and happiness.
Why not start up a book club or running team? Create a poll and find out what everyone’s favourite hobbies are. Make Friday a day when everyone stops to have lunch together.
The last two and a half years have been mostly spent at home, online and more isolated than ever, so now is the time to get everyone reconnecting and finding common likes and things that allow them to feel a sense of community at work.
3. Embrace flexible working
We all know about flexible working by now but never underestimate the positive effects that this can have when it comes to happiness at work.
Whether in terms of hours, days, or location, if employees request to work flexibly then do try to accommodate this where possible.
Not only does flexible working allow you to attract and retain the best talent, but it also shows that you care.
Juggling work and home life isn’t always easy but if you can show your employees that you trust them and are willing to accommodate flexible working based on their personal commitments, this will go a long way in building a happier workforce.
4. Celebrate the big and small wins
Take the time to celebrate and reward you employees for all their hard work. This doesn’t have to be something big like hitting an annual target that only happens once a year, but try to focus on small, achievable goals that will bring a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in the job on a daily and weekly basis.
Why not celebrate with end of week treats or drinks? Allow everyone an early finish when team goals have been hit. It can even be a verbal congratulations in a team meeting.
A little goes a long way when people feel recognised at work.
5. Start an initiative for more positive feedback
Employees feels happier when they know that the work they are doing is being noticed, and although managers usually give employee feedback, it is important that co-workers get the opportunity to feedback positively when they see good work amongst co-workers too.
Getting positive feedback from fellow colleagues will allow your employees to see themselves as others do and this can be a big confidence boost.
Why not create a feedback jar or an email that people can use to comment on the good work that they see?
If you are a client of Whitcombe HR and use our partners at Breathe HR for your HR Software, then your employees can send Kudos points to their fellow co-workers at the click of a button.
6. Promote a healthy work life balance
With everything almost back to normal after the pandemic, our schedules are now busier than ever and finding the right work life balance can often be the lead factor in poor wellbeing and stress amongst employees.
Giving your workers the tools to create a better work life balance is important but doesn’t have to be complicated.
Hybrid and flexible working can help, as well as a robust benefits package with perks such as healthcare, childcare or gym memberships and wellbeing allowances.
Leading by example is also a good way to show employees that taking time out to relax and focus on family and hobbies is something that you value and want all employees to embrace.
7. Organise a team challenge
Having a team challenge for everyone to work towards is a great way to get employees bonding and having fun together.
It could be a trip to Go Ape where everyone must get around the track in a certain time, a step challenge for the month, or a shared running group on Strava.
Adding a charity donation for completing the challenge will also give everyone an incentive to do their best and hit the goal.
8. Allow employees to do what they are best at
As part of your appraisal process you will already be able to identify what your employees’ strengths and areas of improvement may be, but don’t be afraid to work flexibly on a day-to-day basis and explore what your team are happiest doing.
Being resourceful and playing to your teams’ strengths will give everyone the chance to flourish in what they do and gain the most satisfaction within their role.
9. Invite an expert
Empowering employees through knowledge is a great way to boost everyone’s mood and create a culture of growth.
Why not invite an expert to come and talk with your employees about a topic that will inspire and motivate them? Whether this be a happiness coach, or someone that works in the same industry as you and has done great things within their industry, giving employees someone inspirational to look up to can be a great motivator.
Here at Whitcombe HR we recently invited Financial Advisor Emma Parsons DipPFS to speak at one of our team away days about Financial Wellbeing. Emma is an Accredited Workplace Financial Education Specialist and is able to offer workshops and 1:1 guidance sessions to employees within your business so please get in touch to find out more.
10. Ask for feedback
Finding out how your employees are really feeling can be a game changer when it comes to creating a culture where everyone is happy at work. One to ones, team meetings or simple surveys that can be filled out quickly and for free online are all ways that you can gather you feedback.
Create an environment where everyone feels that they can speak openly and honestly, and you will be able to create a work environment that is beneficial for all.
If you would like any support or advice regarding the topics in this blog, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the button below. Natalie has over 15 years working in HR and would love to speak to you about any queries or concerns you may have relating to employee wellbeing.