(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. They were named one of the Top 50 Best Workplaces for Women by the Great Place to Work Institute. Many congrats! Enjoy the post.)
We spend a lot of time talking about employee engagement and that’s not a bad thing. Employee engagement impacts productivity and the bottom-line. But let’s forget employee engagement for just a moment.
Does your organization know what makes employees happy? Today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos reminds me that employees are not going to become engaged if they aren’t happy about their work.
Organizations need to figure out what makes their employees happy. We’re not talking about the occasional bad day. That happens to everyone. Or the one part of our job we don’t like. That too happens to all of us. But managers should take the time to find out what they can do to make employees happy about their work.
Ask them! During the next one-on-one meeting with an employee, ask them “Besides a pay increase, what’s one thing that I can do to make you happier at your job?” Managers could tell employees ahead of time that they’re going to ask the question. Give employees time to think about it. Just remember, if you ask the question, be prepared to deal with the answer.
Initially focus on low-cost, no-cost. There’s a time and place to address big issues like compensation and benefits. I’m not ignoring that. But there’s also a lot of “low hanging fruit” that would make employees very happy. Start with things like reconfiguring office space for better flow, better office equipment and supplies, and a few luxuries in the breakroom. Then move to the bigger items.
Look for trends. Managers will want to pay attention to any trends they hear in employee responses. If six employees say that they would love a new office chair, there might be some workspace issues to research. Employees are productive when they have a comfortable workspace with good flow. It’s important not only to address the symptom but what could be a bigger problem.
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Organizations need to consider what makes employees happy in the workplace. Often, it starts with the little things. The good news is we don’t have to read employee’s minds. We can simply ask them.2