How important is it to be happy at work?  Well, most of us spend a lot of our time there so it’s pretty important to get some enjoyment from it.

What is probably less well known is that happy employees are workers are more enthusiastic, more productive and more likely to go the extra mile. They are also more likely to stay with your organisation – a big consideration at the moment when recruitment is a major challenge.

During this current economic climate, throwing lots of money at employee happiness might not be an option; so how can you maximise employee happiness without spending a fortune?

Throughout International Week of Happiness at Work, Pennine HR have been sharing low-cost ideas you can implement to increase happiness in your workplace.  Here are some of them:

  1. Flexibility and Work Life Balance

Think about whether you can offer more flexibility in terms of home / hybrid working or flexible hours to fit around school / family life. Allowing a degree of flexibility can really enhance work life balance and allow people to be autonomous with their schedules to take care of life’s concerns.

Allowing this element of autonomy from your employees shows trust and your employees want to be trusted. Trust means micromanaging less, but also creating accountability to ensure things are getting done.

  1. Prioritise wellbeing

Your most productive employees are the ones most at risk from burn out so identifying their stresses and supporting with that will go a long way.

Opportunities for employees to pause, refresh, and re-engage increase employee engagement and reduce burnout. Even something as simple as encouraging more frequent short breaks or allowing restrained use of personal mobiles during the working day will improve focus, mood, and productivity.

If you have the budget talk to us about Employee Assistance Schemes (EAP’s) which offer 27/7  confidential telephone assistance to employees facing life’s struggles.

  1. Take time for social interaction

In any staff survey, social interaction appears as a major factor in employee satisfaction.  Simple steps such as having lunch together or just a team coffee break can make a big difference.  If budgets allow, a social event now and then may prove popular, whether it is buying in bacon butties or going out for a meal.  Even just making time to have a quick chat every morning can make people feel valued.

  1. Provide Growth Opportunities

Investing in your employee’s skills and qualifications can have endless benefits. Employees need to grow in order to feel fulfilled, when people feel stagnant, they will look for something else that challenges them.

Make sure employees have professional goals set with their managers and have the tools to work towards them. Another cost-effective way to provide learning is asking some of your area ‘experts’ to give talks on subjects that others can learn from.

  1. Offer meaningful perks

Introduce a recognition culture where you thank employees for their hard work, this doesn’t need to be expensive, a simple but genuine thank you each night as they leave is known to make a huge difference. Other ideas include offering a day off for their birthday or providing (non-alcoholic) drinks and snacks on the last afternoon of each month, or a free coffee on a Friday.

If you would like to talk to us about engaging your staff, please contact us on [email protected] or 01484 841776