6 Ways to Create a Happy Workplace in the Modern World
Many employers mark International Week of Happiness at Work by spotlighting the pros and perks behind their brand, alongside perhaps celebrating with gifted lunches or rewards for their team. And whilst free pizza is always welcomed, isn’t it time for workplace happiness to be prioritised within People strategies all year round?
Why is a happy workplace important?
Latest data shows demonstrates our workforce has entered an age of disconnection. HR’s latest emerging phenomenon, ‘The Great Gloom’ has been named since new figures show employee satisfaction is in steady decline – with levels now even lower than during the pandemic. And happiness at work is no longer an added bonus for employees, but instead a priority – 2023 data from PwC predicts 23% of teams will leave their role in the next 12 months due to workplace dissatisfaction.
A fundamental predictor of engagement, productivity and retention, this brings creating a happy workplace to the top of HR team agendas if they want their employer brand to remain competitive.
How can businesses create their people’s happy place?
Let’s explore 6 key ways employers can champion satisfaction and engagement across annual People strategies.
1. Say thank you – for things big and small.
It’s simple. When teams feel valued, they feel empowered – 82% of employees feel happier at work when recognised. Whether they’ve excelled in a work-related project, or added great value to the team outside of their role scope, there are a multitude of ways to celebrate triumphs big and small. Recognition goes a long way in creating a happy, motivated workforce – this can be a simple ‘thank you’, or can include more substantial reward.
2. Support all areas of wellbeing.
The best work comes from teams who feel supported and empowered by their organisation. This means providing access to wellbeing tools and services that meaningfully support the physical, mental and financial health of employees. An efficient way of achieving this is through leveraging an effective benefits strategy that addresses team wellbeing needs and provides accessibility around the clock.
3. Prioritise connection.
Without effective intervention, the modernised working world has led to many teams becoming dispersed and disconnected. Increased mobility in ways of working has brought with it huge flexibility that many employees value as a key benefit – but can also risk losing engagement and connection across the workforce without an effective solution. By creating a dedicated, mobile social space to engage, inform and excite teams, happiness and belonging are restored for teams wherever they are.
4. Launch internal award campaigns.
Take recognition to the next level through delivering annual or quarterly in-house awards. This is a key opportunity to boost engagement across the business through both managerial and peer nominations. Plus, this enables businesses to get creative in bringing their employer brand and culture to life by aligning awards with internal values and campaigns that really resonate with teams. By opening recognition up to all across the whole business, rather than keeping exclusively to line managers, a happier, more connected workplace is created.
5. Enable employee voices.
Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6x more likely to deliver their full potential. To meet the needs of the workforce, businesses need to first understand what their people want and need to feel empowered to achieve in their role. Providing regular feedback loops amplifies voices at every level of the organisation to enable this understanding. This can include distributing idea submissions, surveys and polls to ensure employers keep their finger on the pulse.
6. Personify core values.
Did you know engagement is 107% higher when employees are clear on the behaviours and actions needed to embody the business’ core values? Plus, employees who believe their workplace culture is positive are 3.8x more likely to be engaged. Bringing to life the values behind a brand is the catalyst for creating a happy, purpose-led workplace, built upon belonging. By prioritising the visibility of values within the internal strategy, policies and communications, brings them into focus for employees. And of course, rewarding behaviours that embody these values, in turn, creates a cohesive and authentic culture.