5 HR Hacks That Will Make Everyone In The Office Happy
Working in a tense and unorganized office can trigger a huge amount of stress. As a result, employees exposed to such work conditions will waste a lot of energy on trivial things, which will consequently affect their focus and productivity.
On an individual level, one of the best ways to be more productive is to create an atmosphere of happiness. When people feel engaged and passionate about their work, they work harder, faster, and better. We’ve known this, intrinsically, forever-- don’t believe it? Scientific studies have supported this assertion. Employee morale and motivation can be a tricky thing. Happy employees are usually far more productive than unhappy employees.
A study at the University of Warwick found that happiness makes people about 12% more productive. In this context, the driver of this productivity (according to research leader Daniel Sgori) is “happier workers [who] use their time more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”
The Cost of An Unhappy Workplace
Anyone who’s ever been disengaged at work knows the symptoms: unhappiness, lack of motivation, decreased creativity and productivity, a high level of apathy, and feeling like a “cog in the machine”.
It’s clear that low engagement can dramatically affect the health and happiness of an employee, but just how much does it actually affect the employer? A lot! According to a 2013 Gallup poll study with over 73k respondents over a span of a few years, pts worldwide employee engagement at a mere 13%. On the other hand, 63% of the poll participants were “not engaged” - they were not motivated to work or invest themselves in outcomes. An additional 24% said they were “actively disengaged.” This negativity can easily spread to other employees.
So, How Do You Create A Happy, Productive Workplace?
With a diverse range of people in your office, how do you maximize those factors for as many people as possible? After all, people are all motivated by different things.We may not all have Google’s budget for employee satisfaction, but we can make little changes that can make a world of difference. Let’s look at some best practices that will make everyone in the office happy and boost motivation!
HR Hack 1: Providing An Optimistic Environment To All Employees
It often gets difficult for an employee to even imagine growth if they aren’t in good terms with their first-in-line supervisors- this can be a motivational blockade. Therefore, from regular appreciation events, to due appraisal and transparency in communication, along with other things that may feel rudimentary are crucial to keep in mind. This might be the only hack for you and employees to stay motivated at work. Being creative with this is a great plus!
Nowadays, people mostly refer to communication as how to speak to each other on the phone, via email, or on social media or text-- but it is important to remember that communication is so much more. A clever business person will understand just how important it is for their business to create a positive and encouraging environment where employees feel safe to communicate. A great way to do this is to create and implement an affirmative communication strategy.
Following the model of a something you’re doing great, something you may need help with, and some tips to accomplish the goal. These strategies have been typically used within startups, but this is definitely a great way to incorporate modern business communication in your office. Implement this one hack, and see how performance and morale change- tell us how this helped your office in the comments below!
HR Hack 2: Reward Good Performances
Nothing is quite as demoralizing as doing a great job and then feeling like no one even cares. Providing recognition (with tangible awards) or performance incentives can help nurture employees to reach for successful outcomes. We’re human and we like rewards-- it’s the part of the brain that revelled in getting star stickers in elementary school or getting a treat for good behavior. We many not need a cookie, per se (even though it would most likely help), but a token of acknowledgement of hard work and success is always appreciated.
Nevertheless, let’s not underestimate the importance of non-monetary rewards. For instance, giving your employee a day off or their birthday or sending their kids presents for a special occasion aren’t direct cash bonuses, but they can serve a great morale-boosting purpose.
HR Hack 3: Make Employee Feedback A Regular Occurrence
Just being acquainted with the fact that your boss and senior management are as much concerned about your personal growth and objectives, as you are about your job, will make a worker feel better about their job. This might just be the push their performance needs. It can be clearly demonstrated by taking regular feedback and suggestions from the workforce, which will emphasize the importance they hold within the company.
It may be about workers describing their experiences with a project in the past- such as, what aspects they think can be repeated and the ones they think need to be altered. This will also let them discover their confines and the slack they need to adjust to attain the desired targets.
HR Hack 4: Freedom To Have Personalized Work Space Items- And Even Covering Some Of the Costs
Considering most employees are spending a large amount of their time at work, allowing employees the freedom to personalize their work space can create a sense of ease and comfort. Letting employees decorate their work spaces also plays an important role in building the culture within the company and a relationship within the company. This also provides an icebreaker for one employee to engage with another.
Personal decorations for your work space are seen as “territorial markers,” writes BPS. Further, researchers have found from a recent study that they trinkets help build relationships within a company by creating visual engagement topics.
The average worker spends at least 40 hours at work, and most of that time is spent at your desk or in your cubicle. Since the office is your home away from home, bringing your personality to your workstation can make the office feel like a more comfortable place to stay. Plus, a comfortable set-up at work can, and will, improve productivity and employee engagement.
Additionally, customizing shared office spaces can give a glimpse into a person's personal life. This can be helpful in many ways- from how to pair people within work projects to how to communicate with an employee. Researchers Kris Byron and Gregory Laurence interviewed 28 people across various workplaces and found that people with personalized work spaces tend to be happier, healthier and more productive.
Another hack we can take from most start-ups is providing employees with work equipment that will make their job easier. This could range from a bouncy ball chair to an ergonomic keyboard-- or even some noise cancelling headphones. If the office is willing to provide these items, productivity will soar and employees will feel more valued.
HR Hack 5: Providing Free Snacks and Drinks
When it comes to employee perks, few things speak to us on the level that food does--- because I mean, come on...FOOD. There really are few things that are simply as satisfying as free food and drinks-- which, turns out, is a great way to make everyone in the office happy.
Perhaps to no one’s surprise, food at work is the most important to Millennials- and they are also the most likely to say they wish their employer offered more snack options. However, this is not to leave out other age groups-- across the board every age group enjoys free snacks at their workplace. Snacks may even lure employees to new companies: 48% of respondents said that if they were looking for a new job, they would weigh company perks (including availability of snacks) in their decision. Make sure to take this a step further and offer snacks that are gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan friendly- this will help show employees that you care about them and you don’t favor one group of people over another.
According to a new survey by a grocery delivery service, Peapod, companies that provide free food have happier employees compared with those who don’t get to chow down on their employer’s dime.
When it comes to free drinks, don’t just leave it to free break room coffee. Not only can coffee negatively impact workers productivity (read our blog post here), but it can leave workers wanting more. However, don’t think that you’ll have to remodel your office space kitchen to install huge drink coolers- there are options that allow employees to have a multitude of delicious drinks at the touch of their fingers! For example, the Lavit cooler provides employers and employees with over 30 different drink options, including coffees, teas, and energizing drinks. What is even better is that the cooler is self-contained and sits right on top of the counter- completely eliminating the need for drink coolers or expensive electricity bills to refrigerate said coolers. Having some delicious, hydrating drinks is a must have to make any office a happier place!
The HR industry has always focused around discovering more ways to increase human capital. As an HR manager, it’s your job to find the most appropriate ones. If you apply the right strategies to organize your office and your workers, you’ll keep their productivity and creativity on point!
So, try out our 5 HR hacks that will make everyone in the office happy and watch your work environment turn into a peaceful and productive place! Comment below to let us know which hacks you think are a great addition to this list- or share your experience! We love hearing from you!