1. Start with Their Happiness in Mind
From a leadership standpoint, it is easy to gloss over employee happiness and focus on decreasing the bottom-line. To create a healthy culture, it is important to have a long-term mindset. Although it may seem that you are affecting your bottom-line by investing in employee happiness, creating a healthy and engaging culture results in long term benefits, such as employee engagement, better retention rates, and attracting the best talent. If leadership show that they genuinely care about employee happiness, it can come back tenfold in loyalty and production.
2. Healthy Employees, Happy Employees
If your employees are healthy, they are much more likely to be productive, less stressed, perform better, and take less sick days. This is much more than putting a gym inside the office. Healthy employees are generated from creating a culture of health that focuses on their overall physiological and psychological well-being. This can include implementing a holistic corporate wellness program, forming a wellness committee, leadership participation, and adequate rewards for fitness efforts. Some employees may have suggestions on how to better the culture of health. Listen to these suggestions.
3. Communicate Your Mission and Vision
Every company has mission and vision statements. You may even have hired a fancy marketing/PR firm to write out your mission and vision. However, how many companies actually communicate the mission and vision to their employees? Constant communication and encouragement to align their employees to the company’s mission and vision can result in full employee engagement and fulfillment of company mission and vision. When everyone (leaders and non-leaders alike) believes in their mission and vision, they are able to achieve organizational synchronicity (fluid, cooperative work culture attained by being aligned to vision and values).
4. Leadership Engagement is Key
In a lot of companies, there is a disconnect between those who are at the top and those who are not. This creates not only tension between the two groups but also results in mistrust and resistance, overall affecting the company production and culture. Leadership has to be thoroughly engaged and committed to create a healthy culture with happy employees. By listening to employee concerns and making policy changes, leadership can show that everyone is on the same side and everyone can work together to change it for the better.
5. Encourage Learning
Encouraging lifetime learning and constant self improvement is a must. Book clubs are still an effective learning tool today. They require a commitment of time and a list of topics that would be beneficial to the team. Monthly meetings are a good way to promote dialogue based on the book being discussed and supplemental reading material. Book clubs are an excellent way to grow team work and talent. Other skills are often developed in the process including mentoring, communication, and leadership.
6. Create an Office that Makes You Want to Work
Not a lot of people wake up in the morning pumped and excited to go to work. What can make it easier for people is if they have an office environment that promotes creativity and productivity. Small changes, such as incorporating natural light and good window scenery, increasing the number of indoor plants, swapping out bad chairs for more comfortable ones, and collaborative desks can make a big difference in your employees’ moods and productivity.
7. Create a Sense of Community
Human are social creatures and are apt to seek out rewarding social environments. Although everyone is there to do their jobs, work environment is still a social environment. Many organizations today have internal platforms to promote interaction. It is the social or connection that has the ability to grow trust. Everyone has their why and wants a sense of purpose at their work. The path to understanding is often more realistic in social settings.
8. Every Employee Matters
No matter how small their tasks are, every single employee should feel and be treated like they are an integral part of the company and that they are needed in order for the company to function. Appreciation of even the small things from leadership or one minor positive/encouraging remark can go a long way. By creating a positive psychosocial work environment, you can boost employee happiness and lower their stress levels. Good employees want to work and stay at a company that makes them feel valued.
9. Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility is defined as a business ensuring compliance with the law and ethical standards, as well as contributing to its community and people. Aligning your company and dedicating resources to exceed standards for corporate social responsibility can help create a company culture that emphasizes moral & ethical values and philanthropic causes while giving a sense of purpose to the employees.
10. Establish Benchmarks
It always begins with a plan. Defining your culture includes going beyond establishing guiding principles. A great team exercise is allowing your teams to provide examples of what is exceptional behavior alignment and what is behavior that impedes progress. It is actions that lead to more growth opportunities. Sustaining an engaging and healthy culture requires specifics to propel initiatives forward.