Happy Employees=

If I asked you to name a company that you think would be really great to work for, who makes the list? For a lot of people it seems that Google is among the first to come to mind. What is it about Google that has put them on the top of so many people’s “fun places to work” list? Maybe it’s the really cool office space that fosters creativity and collaboration that makes it feel more like you are hanging out than working. Or maybe you have heard about some of their company perks. But how did Google become such an ideal place for so many people to call their work home? Like many other successful companies they recognize that some of the greatest assets in the business are their people and when people are happy they work harder!

Happy people are more productive. Really? Yes, really! Based on happiness interventions conducted by the University of Warwick (as well as other prior studies), happy people are about 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. If you are thinking that creating an office filled with happy people is going to be a lot of work, it isn’t as difficult as you might think. It may not be quite as simple as bringing in a bag of Hershey kisses to the office (though it certainly can’t hurt) but it isn’t all about salary increases either. Different things are important to different people but there are some factors that have proven to be pretty consistent in fulfilling the happy quotient.

Recognition: Show appreciation and give credit where it is due. Happy and engaged employees take ownership of their tasks and feel pride in what they do. Make positive feedback a habit. Everyone appreciates a pat on the back for a job well done so create opportunities to recognize high performance in your organization, it is a great motivator!

Opportunity: Provide growth opportunities for your people to further their education, take over new tasks or move up the ladder. Not only will your employees enhance their skill sets but accomplishing goals feels great and builds more motivation.

Trust: Trust your people to perform their job functions and give them the freedom to think creatively and solve problems. Trust builds confidence that will enable employees to perform at a higher level and engage more fully in their work.

Flexibility: More people are dealing with the challenge of finding the highly sought after work-life balance. Having a flexible work schedule, the ability to work remotely or take leave when needed can be very desirable.

Communication: Communicate goals, expectations and feedback so that employees understand what they are getting right and what they need to continue to improve on. When managers and staff are following the same roadmap to reach their destination the journey is a lot less stressful and a lot more fun!

Environment: Workplace environment can play a big role in the happy status of your staff and can be critical in attracting and retaining the best people. Companies are turning to workplace strategists to determine the best design solutions for their company cultures. By surveying employees and providing prototypes you can gain valuable employee feedback about what solutions help them do their job and what doesn’t make the cut.

Company perks, flexible hours, creative minds and really cool office space, Google seems to be doing something right when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. As a result their bottom line reaps the rewards. If you want your company to see the same reward that investing in the happiness of your employees can produce, find out what’s important to your people and work towards giving it to them.

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