Regardless of the type of business you run, it's essential that you make sure your employees are kept happy and satisfied in their positions. After all, studies indicate that happy employees are 12% more productive -- and happiness is so important to employees that 36% of them would give up $5,000 a year in salary in order to be happier in the workplace.
As you can see, taking the time to focus on employee happiness will pay off in the long run. But how should you go about achieving this goal? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Create more comfortable workspaces with ergonomic chairs.
Whether your employees spend 8 hours a day or 1 hour a day in their office chairs, it's essential that these chairs are comfortable. Nobody is going to enjoy their job if it leads to backaches and a stiff neck! So consider replacing all of your office chairs with new, ergonomically designed chairs. (Ergonomic just means that an item is made in a way that positions the body to enhance comfort and minimize strain.) Some qualities to look for in a good ergonomic chair include:
- The ability to adjust seat height to suit different individuals' needs.
- A seat back that curves slightly inward where the lower back will sit. (This supports the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back.)
- A back rest that is adjustable in angle to suit various users' shapes.
- Two arm rests, which are adjustable in height.
- A seat made from material that is padded but that also breathes well to prevent sweat accumulation.
If you only have a few employees, you may want to consider allowing each of them to order their own ergonomic chair. Give them a budget, and allow them to choose any chair within that budget. This not only keeps your workers comfortable, but also gives them a sense of agency over their workspace, which is another factor that will increase job satisfaction. Contact a company like D&R Office Works, Inc. to learn more about office chairs.
Offer feedback on a regular basis.
Employees like to know how they are performing. If they are doing well, telling them so will foster a positive attitude and also encourage them to keep doing well. If they need to improve on certain aspects of their work, it's better to let them know sooner rather than later so they're not left correcting weeks' or months' worth of mistakes.
If possible, try to schedule monthly "feedback" meetings with each employee. Chat for 10 minutes or so with them about how they are performing, where they can improve, and what they are doing well. Try to keep these meetings laid back and informal so they do not become a source of stress for workers.
Make it easy for employees to offer feedback, too.
You do not want to create a workplace in which employees do not speak up about issues because they are afraid of losing their job or rank. Rather, you want your employees to feel free to raise concerns. You also want them to feel confident that any concerns they do raise will be addressed.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to put a "suggestions" box in the break room or another shared space within the office. Let employees know that they are free to put notes about anything and everything that they are concerned about in this box. If they are tired of having to ask a coworker to turn their music down, they can put a note in the box and know that you will tactfully address the issue with the music-loving employee. If they are worried that Thursday meetings keep running late, they can raise that issue, too. Allowing them to offer anonymous feedback takes the "worry" out of giving that feedback. Knowing that they can bring up issues freely will help them feel more secure and happy in their jobs.
The importance of happiness in the workplace cannot be understated. With comfortable chairs and a more feedback-oriented environment, your employees will look forward to coming to work.