th images menu user export search eye clock list list2 arrow-left untitled twitter facebook googleplus instagram cross photos entrep-logo-svg

4 Secrets to Making Your Company a Happy Place to Work

The employees who will grow your company are the ones who see a future for themselves
By Ernie Bray |


 

 

Business is dog-eat-dog. It’s about the pursuit of profits above everything else -- a pitiless Darwinian exercise in which the strong survive by treating their workers like medieval serfs.

While few business owners would agree with this description, a recent Gallup Daily report suggests that many employees regard it as “spot on.” According to the study, only 30 percent of America’s full-time employees are happy and engaged with their work.

 

And the rest? They are “phoning it in.”

 

Sixteen percent are actively disengaged, infecting those around them with their negative attitudes and behaviors, while the remaining 51 percent are simply “not engaged.” These people do just enough to keep from getting fired -- i.e., they “phone it in.”

 

If your response to this news is, “Why should I care? I’m running a business, not a playground,” consider these additional survey findings. “A record 54 percent of the workforce says now is a good time to find a quality job, and more than half of employees (51 percent) are searching for new jobs or watching for openings.”

 

If business owners and managers don’t care about the happiness of employees, it’s likely that a substantial percentage of their most talented workers will leave. That’s one reason to care. The other is that happy, engaged workers are more likely to be creative, productive and customer-centric -- ready and eager to contribute to your bottom line.

 

How do you promote happiness and engagement? In my experience, a greater focus on the following four areas will produce the best results:  

 

 

1. Demonstrate that you care

Treat employees with respect to show that you value them as human beings. Too many companies treat their workers as fungible assets that can be divested at a moment’s notice. If you truly care about employees, interact with them frequently. Show that you care about each individual. This will inspire employees, engage or re-engage them and demonstrate that they have value to the organization.

 

If you treat your employees well, they will treat your customers well and, in turn, the customers will be happier and buy more from your company, helping to drive a cycle of success. If workers are apathetic or angry, those emotions will spill over into their customer-service efforts.

 

 

2. Offer better pay and security

Given today’s pace of change, no company can guarantee job security. But companies can offer a greater sense of security and above-average pay to attract -- and retain -- the best talent. Experience has taught me that it pays to pay wages that are five to 10 percent above the market average, assuming the applicant is qualified. At the same time, you can generate a heightened sense of security among workers by stressing that “we are all in this together.” Spread the message that if everyone delivers superior products and stays one step ahead of the competition, everyone will have a good job tomorrow.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

 

It’s important that everyone understand that job security isn’t somebody else’s concern. Each employee either contributes to, or diminishes, their own job security by helping the company succeed or not. Workers must recognize that they own their individual and collective future.

 

 

3. Foster a sense of shared mission

Millennials are famous for demanding work that helps provide meaning and purpose for their lives, but this attitude is hardly unique to that generation. The most actively engaged workers are those who are goal-driven -- people who show up for work on Mondays to accomplish something of personal value, beyond collecting a paycheck.

 

By setting tangible and inspired goals for your employees, you can create a workforce of professionals who are fanatically committed to achieving a mission that’s larger than themselves. In turn, this promotes a unified culture dedicated to delivering great products/services. If everyone shares this sense of camaraderie, then everyone will be more inspired and more energized.

 

 

4. Provide growth opportunities

Whether it’s the opportunity to develop new skills or advance within the organization, workers must believe that the company is helping them grow their careers and better themselves as individuals. Few employees will be satisfied -- much less enthusiastic -- about a dead end job. But if they are convinced that your company offers a path to a more fulfilling life, they will be more likely to be loyal and engaged members of your corporate family.

 

HR professionals have long touted the advice above, but frankly, not enough executives have listened. As the competition for skilled and talented workers intensifies, however, it’s vital for employers to expand their recruitment and retention efforts beyond pay and benefits. It’s important to put more thought and effort into “soft” strategies, including employee recognition, awards and other incentive programs that will facilitate higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction.

 

 

*****

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.

Latest Articles

5 Things You Can Do if Someone at Work is Always Rushing You

How to respond when every little thing is marked URGENT!

byCharlene J. Owen of Femalenetwork.com | August 18, 2017 00:00:00

PH Maintains Spot as Fastest-Growing Economy in ASEAN

The Philippines’ economic growth has been steady compared to that of its neighbors

byPauline Macaraeg | August 17, 2017 10:00:00

GDP Growth in Duterte's 1st Year Highest Among Past 5 Presidents

A look at annual GDP growth rates in the first full year of the past five presidents

byLorenzo Kyle Subido | August 17, 2017 10:00:00

Science Says: Don't Use Emojis at Work

Smiley faces could unfavorably tip the scales if you're trying to make a good first impression

byNina Zipkin | August 17, 2017 06:00:00

Attention Millennials: You Need This Advice to Be Successful

3 ways young entrepreneurs can earn trust in the workplace and succeed

byCandace Sjogren | August 17, 2017 02:00:00

“The Poor Are More Honest Than the Rich” — Washington Sycip

What I've Learned: Washington Sycip, 95, founder of SGV&Co. and the Asian Institute of Management

byAudrey Carpio for Esquiremag.ph | August 17, 2017 00:00:00

Would You Invest Php2M-Php3.5M in a Franchised Stall of Kris Aquino’s Nacho Bimby?

She's opened 11 branches in 2 years but wants to build 20 more via franchising by end of 2017

byElyssa Christine Lopez | August 16, 2017 14:00:00

Top Executives’ Grad Schools: Men Are From AIM, Women From UP, DLSU

Only a handful of female directors in the biggest listed PH went to graduate school

byPauline Macaraeg | August 16, 2017 13:00:00

6 Things Your Small Business Needs to Spend More Money On

Businesses are incredibly difficult ventures to start

bySarah Landrum | August 16, 2017 08:00:00

Getting a Good Night's Rest Can Help You Focus and Your Brain Forget

Different phases of sleep affect how your brain processes information

byNina Zipkin | August 16, 2017 06:00:00

(Infographic) How to Win an Argument, According to Science

With a few simple tricks, you can consistently be on the winning side

byRose Leadem | August 16, 2017 02:00:00

Food Business Idea: Sell These Graham Balls for Php5 per Piece

You only need 4 ingredients to make these marshmallow graham balls

byCatalina Altomonte for Yummy.ph | August 16, 2017 00:00:00