Article: Tips to Build an Engaged and Happy Workforce

#FounderFriday: Graciëlla van Hamersveld
15th February 2019
#FounderFriday: Lenneke van Ingen
22nd February 2019

This article was brought to you by guest editor Tara Desquitado.

Your job of building a successful company does not end in hiring the best and most skilled people. The key is also to maintain a healthy and happy workplace. According to a survey by Gallup, 34 percent of workers in the United States are considered “engaged” in their jobs, making it the highest, in a tie with the national figure in 2000.

The increase in this percentage did not happen overnight for the organizations involved. They’ve put serious effort into achieving this level of success and cultivating a certain culture in the workplace.

If you are committed to keeping your workforce engaged and happy, the key is to provide discretionary effort in the work environment and to apply these surefire tips.

Be Transparent

Employees who are provided with a sense of ownership are often the ones who are deeply invested in the organization—and this is achieved by breeding transparency within the workplace. With this, be clear about how their jobs help the business achieve success and what exactly their roles in a certain project are. Aside from this, make sure to explain your decisions as the company’s leader and make yourself available most of the time, if not always.

As an employee, it’s easy to feel like you’re just part of a huge number in a company. And as an employer, it’s this simple step that will make your employees feel valued and appreciated individually.

Provide Feedback

Most employees want to work in an organization that values their opinion and keeps tabs on how its workers are feeling. Producing output after output without receiving feedback usually becomes a major turn-off and often breeds disengaged employees in the process.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that an employee performance appraisal is a onetime deal. Ideally, creating feedback should take place every day or every week, whether through your managers or through yourself as a business owner. An effective employee feedback should focus on the things that the employee is doing well and those that need improvement.

Make Room for Career Development

Disengagement often springs from career boredom. And this lack of challenge or of newer paths often leads employees to leave your roof. An effective way to help your employees achieve job satisfaction is through hiring a career coach. A career coach guides employees in their careers with regard to one’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the company’s strategic goals.

Entrepreneurs often focus on job competencies through performance reviews, but turning their attention to career development can significantly make employees feel appreciated in their jobs. As Tom Rath, author of the book StrengthsFinder 2.0, would say, “Work is a purpose, not a place.”

Offer Additional Benefits

Employees work better when they are rewarded. Their salary is a staple benefit, but there are still a lot of ways that you can supplement this as a way of showing appreciation to your workers. For example, you can protect your employees’ incomes by providing an extra level of disability insurance or life insurance.

A lot of companies are also offering ancillary benefits, such as optical, dental, and wellness. Free gym memberships also make a great perk, keeping employees happy and healthy at the same time. An extra health effort is also to provide an onsite clinic with complete equipment: a blood pressure monitor, an SpO2 pulse oximeter, a thermometer, and first aid kits. Higher benefits just show employees how much you truly care about their health and overall well-being.

Although you may have already applied these tips in your organization, it’s important to remember that making employees happy and engaged does not happen in a snap. It is an ongoing process that every employer should continually monitor and improve on.