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5 Incredibly Cheap Ways to Foster Happiness and Satisfaction in the Workplace

Happiness; it’s a state of mind we all search for, but do we ever truly find it? And if we do find it in our personal lives, how do we bottle it for the workplace?

Reading Time:5 mins January 21, 2014

Happiness; it’s a state of mind we all search for, but do we ever truly find it? And if we do find it in our personal lives, how do we bottle it for the workplace?

There’s nothing worse than walking into an organization and seeing utter dissatisfaction. While some live by the adage, you make your own sunshine, for spending so much time at work, I wonder: is it the responsibility of management to create a positive, happy place that subsequently generates satisfied employees?

I Love my Job
Source: sunshine-summer-trip tumblr

Happy, satisfied employees are more productive than those who are unhappy and dissatisfied. What can management do to foster satisfied employees who are invested and engaged in their responsibilities and the organization?

While an increased salary would often be the first thing that comes to mind, workers don’t necessarily need more money to be happy in their job. What they do need is:

Encouragement and Praise

Everyone wants to feel as though they’re doing a great job. And more than feel like it, they need to hear it. While it’s silly to expect a “great job” or “that blog post was awesome” on every task completed, every so often, it’s encouraging to hear your efforts are noticed and appreciated.

It doesn’t take much time or effort to give your employees a compliment, and I guarantee they’ll be more likely to continue to produce exceptional work. Test it out; the worst that could happen is a happier, more productive employee.

To Feel as Though They Are Contributing to the Bigger Picture

With encouragement and praise, your employees will feel like they’re contributing to the bigger picture. This is an especially important aspect of satisfied and happy workers. When individuals feel as though their work matters and is an asset to the company, they’re bound to feel more satisfied in their position. This often contributes to increased productivity and decreased turnover.

It’s important that even the people with the most menial tasks understand how crucial their work is to the success of the company; this will not only make your employees happier, but I imagine it will have a positive effect on their overall quality of life.

Opportunities to Learn and Grow

Employees become unhappy when they begin feeling stagnant or stuck in their position. While some industries stay relatively the same from decade to decade, other industries are changing each minute. Whichever category you fall into, continual education and training is always beneficial, for both the employee and employer.

Educated employees who are given the opportunity and means to learn and grow are the employees who become rooted and dedicated to the company’s growth. The more resources you provide your employees, the more likely they will be to invest their time and energy into their job.

Open Lines of Communication

Clear, open lines of communication are the foundation of a successful organization, and this is no different for successful and satisfied employees. Management needs to make it well known that they’re available to listen to the concerns of their employees. They also need to be approachable.

If an employee does not feel as though he or she can approach their boss, or that they’ll be taken seriously when doing so, the employee will keep things to himself or herself. This can, and most likely will, result in dissatisfaction and eventual resignation.

To Be and Feel Respected

Respect for upper management is usually a given, and for good reason. Far too often employees aren’t, or rather, don’t feel respected by their superiors. Many times this results in complete dissatisfaction with the workplace.

The simplest way to make your employees feel respected is to listen to them and take what they say into consideration. If they feel valued and like a contributing member of your team, chances are they will also feel respected.

I challenge management to take the time to make sure their employees are happy and satisfied with their position. If they aren’t, it might be time to take a long, hard look at how you can help. I know true happiness and satisfaction falls to the shoulders of the employee, but what if one simple change in how you manage completely changes your employees’ outlook and demeanor at work? It might just be worth your time and effort.

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