July 13, 2024
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How to Keep Employees Happy

Sourced Photo
Sourced Photo

Image commercially licensed from: Unsplash


Though the Great Resignation may not be making headlines as it did in 2020 and 2021, its impact remains an ever-present factor in today’s workplace. With reports showing that employee happiness in the workplace can boost an organization’s productivity by 12%, keeping employee morale high is crucial to maintaining retention rates and scaling one’s business effectively.

Employers are learning that many of the processes and decisions they made in the past in regard to their workplace’s culture are not enough to keep employees satisfied with their jobs. So, how does one keep their employees happy? 

Asim Hafeez, owner and operator of Empower Energy Solutions, knows what it takes to keep employees happy and have them feel secure in their positions. “We put employees and customers at the center of everything we do,” says Hafeez, “because we are a people-focused company.”

Put people first

As Hafeez explains, in order to bolster employee happiness in the workplace, people need to come first. This approach must start from the hiring process and continue through the life cycle of the position. “You need to make your company values clear,” he says.

Many companies have integrated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training within their company structure to put people’s needs and recognition at the center of their processes. If it is clear within the hiring process that an employee’s values do not align with the company, they may be a bad fit. This could lead to employee dissatisfaction in the future, and eventual turnover.

Emphasize transparency

Today’s employees are looking to work for a company that is honest, clear about expectations and benefits, and forthright with all of their employees right out the gate. “Be honest about what your company can and can’t provide,” says Hafeez. “If an employee wants all Fridays off, but you know that you need your employees to work Fridays, don’t lie or misrepresent what you can and can’t provide.”

It may be tempting to dangle promises in front of potential employees, especially if there is a labor shortage or your organization is having a hard time keeping people on staff. However, these empty promises will end up coming back to bite you in the end once the new employee realizes it was a bait-and-switch situation.

Show appreciation 

Once you hire the right people, you must take the time and effort necessary to make them feel appreciated for the work they do. According to a recent Gallup poll, employees who are shown recognition and feel appreciated are less likely to leave, 44% more satisfied with their lives overall, 73% less likely to feel burned out at work, and four times as likely to be more engaged at work. This extra satisfaction and engagement translates to better productivity and is a win/win for the company and the employee.

“I think the ‘little things’ go a long way, like remembering birthdays and sending the employee a cake,” says Hafeez. He also suggests noting the special things about individual employees to show that you genuinely care about them as people — not just as production drones. Little touches, such as remembering someone’s favorite candy or asking how someone’s wife is doing by name, make a remarkable difference in helping people feel seen and appreciated at their jobs. Similarly, business founders and leaders need to coach others on how to do this for their teams as well, which helps these small acts of personalized recognition become an integral part of their company’s overall culture.

Facilitate mentorship

Employees who see a pathway to further success within an organization are more likely to stick around and find happiness within that company. One way to help them see this path is by providing them with mentors who can show employees a clear avenue to future promotions, career advancement, skill development, better benefits, and higher pay brackets.

Hafeez adds value to his employees’ lives by hosting “dream sessions,” where he leads them in defining their ultimate dreams — both inside and outside the company — and helps them establish a path to reaching those goals. “When was the last time we asked them what their dreams were,” he asks, “and when was the last time we had them submit a list of their dreams and followed up with them?”

With a better work/life balance to pursue their dreams, employees can find happiness inside and outside the office. 

Offer benefits

With all of this in mind, it’s vital to remember that all the attention and good feelings in the world will not make up for a company that is not offering a good living wage and solid benefits. Comprehensive healthcare plans, access to mental health resources, paid vacation time, and retirement plans have started to become standard practice for most full-time positions, so most employees will expect their company to offer them. By taking time and effort to provide the best possible benefits packages to your employees, you will see a return on that investment with loyalty and job satisfaction. 

In this age of greater employee mobility and a more significant focus on happiness within the workplace, employers will have to seriously consider what they can do to provide the best possible environment for their employees. In doing so successfully, employers will be able to ride out what is left of the Great Resignation and build a team of loyal, happy employees willing to work hard to see the organization succeed. 

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