Your company’s success may be hinging on the staff’s level of happiness more than you ever imagined. Not only are happy employees better equipped to deal with problems, but a study from the University of Toronto supports the fact that a person’s mood has a substantial effect on processing done by the brain. Other studies, including one by author Shawn Achor, showed that happiness has a direct correlation to a person’s ability to accurately analyze information along with higher productivity and better overall performance. Here are a few perks you can offer to get your employees on the path to happiness.
Leave the sterile environment to the doctor’s office and instead create an ambiance that gives off a home-away-from-home vibe. Choose soothing colors and comfortable furniture along with vibrant artwork, live plants and fresh flowers. Provide work spaces that foster creativity instead of stifling it in a mass-produced cubicle setting. If employees feel the comforts of home while at work, they will not be as eager to race out of the office at quitting time.
When it comes to breaks, a single water cooler in the hallway no longer qualifies as a place for employees to take pause — at least not if you want them to come back refreshed. Create a zone for a quality brain break such as a game room or lounge area that allows employees to relax as though they are in their own (improved) living rooms. If you have the space, include a few recliners where staff members can sit during lunch or on those extra-long days.
In states such as Colorado, Washington and Minnesota, finding an employee who does not have a pet is a difficult feat. Welcoming these furry friends into the office on a regular basis (or at least on designated days) can offer plenty of benefits such asless absenteeism, higher morale and increased office interactions, the latter of which help foster positive work-place relationships. According to a study at Virginia Commonwealth University, companies that allowed employees to bring a dog to work also lowered stress levels while creating a higher satisfaction with both the job and employer. Do you prefer to keep the number of visiting animals to a minimum? Setting rules and guidelines to the amount of dogs or pets at a time, or create a sheet where employees can sign up to bring their pet in on certain days.
While you may appreciate having an employee that is willing to work late into the night or lives and breathes company business, the long term effects of that will likely not work in your favor. When an employee loses balance in his or her life the result can include burn-out, illnessand exhaustion, often leading to the loss of an otherwise good employee.
Forget the rigid start time expected in days past; flexible working hours provide your employees the opportunity to balance their work lives with personal. Instead of focusing on the amount of hours logged in at work, focus on the completion of work along with the quality.
Balance can also be cultivated with a “family first” culture within your company. Allow employees to work from home when family needs arise and encourage them to take time off to attend family-focused activities. Offer paid time off for children-related absences such as births, illnesses and even snow days from school. Encourage plenty of vacation time to allow your employees to revitalize and spend time with loved ones.
Encourage outings to recreational activities, specifically those with a connection to your company. Does your brand sponsor a local sports team or event center? Set up a program for free or discounted tickets for your employees and their family members. Not only does your employee get to enjoy an excursion to reenergize away from the workplace, but it creates a positive association with their employer while out.
Support your employees’ desires to further their education by regularly offering enrichment programs or providing an incentive program for continuing ed. For those who value philanthropy, offer paid time off for a specified amount of hours volunteering. In addition to creating a socially conscious culture within your brand, you will also likely raise general morale.
Health and Wellness
Healthy employees are more likely to be happy employees, which means they are more apt to maintain a consistent work schedule with fewer sick days taken than their unhappy counterparts. According to one Gallup study, sick days taken by an unhappy employee can reach upwards of 15 more days per year, causing a break in the fluidity of production and increasing company costs.
Maintain overall health and wellness by offering quality medical benefits to your personnel, which also alleviates the worry of unexpected health-related expenses. Do not stop at insurance coverage; offer additional services such as fitness classes, meditation breaks and lectures on the office grounds during lunchtime or after business hours. You can provide your employees with gym bags or tote bags with your brand logo on it and encourage your employees to keep their health at top of mind.Provide free nutritional consultations and schedule wellness retreats. Keep food and beverage stations stocked with healthy options and make them readily available at all times.
Having an office full of happy individuals’ results in more than simply a pleasant work environment; it fosters loyalty, creativity and contentment. Happy employees are more willing to stay with a company long-term, reducing costs related to hiring and training new talent and maintaining staff morale. Add in a few — or many — of these company perks to up the levels of happy throughout your own brand.