Tag Archives: employee satisfaction

Keeping Employees Happy Without a Raise

It’s all about the money. Or is it?

Getting a raise is obviously enticing to employees. It plays a role in keeping them happy and for minimizing turnover. But sometimes it’s just not in the cards for your company. Fortunately, there are several other ways to keep your employees happy without a raise.

 

Offer Flexible Scheduling

Flexible working arrangements like telecommuting, compressed workweeks and reduced hours are very alluring to modern employees. One of the best alternatives to a raise is to offer flexible scheduling. This enables your employees to achieve more of a balanced work-life schedule.

In fact, some employees are even willing to earn less in order to telecommute. According to a study from Harvard University that surveyed roughly 7,000 job applicants, “Workers were willing to accept eight percent lower pay, on average, to work from home.”

With more and more workers suffering from burnout and fatigue, flexible scheduling is a huge perk. Not only can this increase overall employee satisfaction, it can help your business tremendously from a recruiting standpoint.

 

Offer More Vacation Time

Maybe a raise isn’t feasible, but increasing the amount of vacation time for your top employees may be. Even a 10 percent increase in vacation days can be appealing. Keep in mind that you don’t need to do this for everyone — just your superstars who consistently perform at a high level.

 

Make Gratitude Part of Your Culture

Employee recognition plays an integral role in job satisfaction, productivity and overall morale. Unfortunately, it seems to be something that’s overlooked by many employers. A study from Socialcast found, “39 percent of employees don’t feel appreciated at their jobs, and 69 percent say they’d work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.”

Although you may not be able to increase someone’s salary, you can make a concerted effort to consistently show your appreciation and recognize their efforts. Making gratitude a part of your culture should keep your employees more engaged and reduce the likelihood of them jumping ship. As Socialcast suggests, be sure that you recognize your employees in a timely manner and avoid playing favorites.

 

Create a More Pleasant Working Environment

Companies like Google, Facebook and Flickr are known for their fun working environments. They are workplaces where the “work hard, play hard” mantra reigns supreme. Given the success of these companies, there are definitely advantages of creating an atmosphere that’s pleasant and where employees feel comfortable.

Here are some specific ways to spruce up your workplace.

  • Incorporate elements of nature – According to the Human Spaces Global Report, “Employees who worked in environments with natural elements reported a 15 percent higher level of well-being, a six percent higher level of productivity and a 15 percent higher level of creativity.”
  • Provide games for employees in the break room – A foosball table or video games are great ways to relax and encourage bonding.
  • Offer free food and drinks
  • Ditch the cubicles and opt for an open working environment

 

Employee satisfaction should be a top priority. More money certainly helps, but there are several ways to keep employees happy without a raise. In some cases, these strategies can actually have a bigger impact than money and encourage your top performers to stick around.

Top 5 Ways to Maintain Employee Morale

Happy employees are more productive employees. There’s concrete evidence that proves it. According to research from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, “Happiness made people around 12 percent more productive.” Achieving high morale is only half the battle. The real challenge is figuring out how to maintain employee morale.

 

1. Encourage Feedback

Transparency and openness are two contributing factors to positive change. You most likely provide your employees with ongoing feedback on their performance, so why not give them the opportunity to offer feedback as well?

Open communication ensures your employees’ voices are heard and issues aren’t allowed to fester. It should reduce any underlying frustration from building. Encouraging feedback can also lead to potential breakthroughs because fresh ideas are continually flowing.

 

2. Make Employee Recognition a Habit

The act of recognizing an employee’s hard work and contributions is simple. Yet it can have a profound impact on productivity and retention. Research from a Workforce Mood Tracker Survey found, 78 percent of U.S. workers said being recognized motivates them in their job, and 69 percent of employees would work harder if they were better recognized. So make it a habit of recognizing the accomplishments of your team and celebrating their successes.

 

3. Consider Flexible Scheduling

There’s been a fundamental shift in the way most employees view their work-life balance. The overwhelming majority of millennials value flexible scheduling and many even demand it.

PwC’s NextGen: A Global Generational Study found, “Millennials have a new approach to workplace productivity and flexibility. This generation does not believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office but rather by the output of the work performed.”

Offering flexible scheduling options such as telecommuting, compressed workweeks, or reduced hours can have a tremendous impact on employee morale and make for a much happier team.

 

4. Offer Development Opportunities

Hardly anyone wants to be stuck in a dead end job with zero opportunity for advancement. This is a recipe for low morale and high turnover. Ideally, practice internal promotion where dedicated employees can work their way up the company ladder. It’s also helpful to offer some type of training to facilitate professional development.

 

5. Create an Element of Play

Everyone needs a bit of downtime to take their mind off of work and recharge their batteries. One way to facilitate this and maintain employee morale is to give your employees a chance to “play” during their breaks. For instance, Google offers its employees ping pong and foosball tables and video games. They’ve found this to be an excellent way for employees to unwind between intense coding sessions.

It may sound silly, but you can’t deny that Google’s recipe works, and they’re known for having some of the happiest employees in the country. An added plus is that playing like this can be the catalyst for relationship building and deeper chemistry.

It should be every employer’s objective to maintain employee morale. Doing so can have a host of benefits including increased productivity, lower turnover, and higher profitability, which all contribute to improving your overall bottom line.

Is Your Business a Fun Place to Work?

“All fun and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

~Jack Torrance (Caretaker of the Overlook Hotel)

 

Fun isn’t always a word we use to describe the workplace. Often work and play are seen as two separate entities with little to no overlap. But with attitudes changing and more millennials entering the workforce, more companies are placing an emphasis on employee satisfaction and striving to create a fun place to work.

 

Why is Workplace Fun Important?

According to Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.”

Simply put, happy employees are productive employees. When people are relaxed and laugh more, it tends to translate into a positive mental attitude. This allows them to think more clearly, makes them more engaged and can boost creativity. In turn, they work more efficiently and effectively.

 

Less Employee Absenteeism

Information from On Rec’s website found that creating a fun place to work also lowers the number of days employees take off due to sickness and injury. In fact, a study found that, “62 percent of employees who had had no sick days in the last three months report having had fun at work. Furthermore, 58 percent of those who had not experienced workplace fun had been off sick for 11 or more days, compared to 42 percent of those who had.”

The bottom line is that shaking things up and encouraging your employees to cut loose can have a noticeable impact on your workplace. If you need proof, just consider that some of the most successful companies like Google, Apple and Facebook all place an emphasis on creating a fun culture.

 

How to Make Your Business a Fun Place to Work

Now that we’ve established that seriousness is overrated, here are some specific ways to make things more fun and exciting.

  • Set up a lounge – You might offer a ping pong table, foosball table, video games or other activities that give your employees a chance to relax and talk about something else other than work. Not only can this relieve stress, it will often create team synergy.
  • Add some playful decor – If your company looks way too corporate and Spartan, spice it up with some funky designs, action figures, nerf basketball hoops, etc.
  • Bring in an office pet – This can be a big hit with animal lovers.
  • Offer hobby breaks – Allow your employees to devote a small block of time to their favorite hobby. This will allow them to unwind and recharge their batteries.
  • Casual Fridays – Okay, this concept may be a bit cliche’, but it can definitely be effective for lightening the mood.

 

When you look at the clear benefits of fun in the workplace and the impact it’s had on successful companies, it’s easy to see why having a strong “play ethic” is just as important as working hard. By experimenting with a few different possibilities, you should be able to make your business a fun place to work and keep your employees happy.