Happy, motivated employees who feel engaged with company objectives are crucial to a flourishing business. But no matter how content your staff are, there are always ways to boost job fulfilment a little further. In this article, we recommend five business New Year’s resolutions for managers to increase employee happiness and engagement.
Why set New Year resolutions in the workplace?
The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the previous four quarters and decide: How do we want to develop going forward? Be it tackling an item on our bucket list or quitting a vice, our New Year’s resolution(s) usually aim to help us lead happier, healthier lives. But why not apply this to life in the office as well?
Happy workers are productive workers. And when Australian employees work longer hours than most other countries (around 33% of the week’s daylight hours), it makes sense to commit to a few positive changes in the workplace too.
How to improve employee happiness
‘Happiness’, as a concept, is subjective. So how can businesses find one solution to increase the well-being of every single worker? The answer is simple: Take steps to make your employees’ lives easier.
Staff work best when they’re not overworked. In the age of smartphones and 24/7 emails, it’s increasingly difficult to resist the ‘always-on’ culture and turn off from work. Staff may not be forthcoming about feelings of burnout, and signs can be tricky to spot. But, managers can certainly take steps to mitigate unnecessary stressors before they become a problem.
To inspire some ideas, we’ve listed five, easy-to-implement New Year’s resolutions that businesses can apply from January and throughout 2020 to boost employee happiness.
1. Create a healthier workplace
It’s important to set initiatives to encourage a strong work/life balance for staff. A recent YouGov Galaxy study revealed that flexible working (such as the ability to work from home) was the most desired employee benefit from Australian workers. There are many benefits for the employer too: Flexible working can increase productivity, save money, and retain and attract top talent.
To implement this initiative, consider what software you might need to ensure business still runs smoothly. For example, remote support software enables workers to schedule meetings together, screen share, and communicate quickly through online chats. Leave management software can also assist with the coordination of employee’s remote leave days.
2. Simplify processes
When workflows are chaotic and full of paper trails, it’s frustrating for employees and difficult to meet goals. There are a few ways to make processes more efficient, which include:
Certain work methodologies are designed to tackle this issue. For example, the Scrum framework is an agile way of working used within project management. The Scrum Master—an important member of the team—is dedicated to ensuring the project always runs at full pace. They’ll remove obstacles, unnecessary touchpoints and bottlenecks in workflows. That way, the team can stay focused without the stress of disruptions.
It is critical that everyone is on the same page and working from the same playbook. A weekly or morning meeting will help to align employees, as well as highlight potential roadblocks. However, be careful not to drag people into pointless meetings when an email conversation would have sufficed. A simple way to avoid this trap is to ask organisers to send a summary of the meeting beforehand and jot down action items for after.
Refresh and amend old strategies
Just as useless meetings can build up, so can pointless plans. To avoid this, Forbes suggests the following: ‘For every new strategy that’s added to your annual plan, remove an initiative that was rolled over from last year. Identifying what teams should stop doing in the coming year is just as essential as outlining what they need to start doing.’
Are staff aware of the rules and processes that exist? If the answer is no, consider a series of training sessions. Business.com suggests frequent coaching on processes and best practices. Even if employees receive the same training more than once, it is likely to ‘calm any worries they may have and make them more willing to tackle large and difficult projects.’
3. Give more recognition
Employees who feel valued show higher levels of engagement with a business. They work harder, contribute more, and they’re likely to remain with their employer for longer. Another great advantage? Companies tend to see 20% more profit when they effectively appreciate their staff.
Look for individuals that:
- Demonstrate unique qualities.
- Go above and beyond to achieve a goal.
- Innovate business processes or strategies.
- Significantly development professionally.
- Perform strongly against company objectives.
- Embody and drive company values.
With the support of these team members, business goals are far more achievable. But the occasional impersonal email won’t cut it. Show gratitude through a variety of channels, including face to face, meetings and over team communication software. Businesses can also make sure of employee recognition software to keep staff feeling appreciated.
4. Motivate your team with individual development goals
Goal-setting is never simple. However, tying personal goals into business priorities is an effective way to keep employees engaged. According to McKinsey & Company, ‘This encourages accountability and better performance as individuals grasp the direct impact of their performance.’ They see how their work fits into the big picture.
While managers may want to set certain job-specific goals, they’ll likely get insightful answers if they ask employees how they’d prefer to set their work-related objectives. The benefit of this is that the goal has been decided together, rather than imposed.
5. Frequently ask for employee feedback
Fast and frequent change comes hand-in-hand with growing businesses. With that in mind, relying on annual reviews to check in on an employee’s state of mind isn’t enough.
You can ask staff members whether they’re happy face-to-face, but it isn’t always easy to get a genuine answer. Even with the most friendly, understanding and approachable bosses, employees may have reservations about giving the whole truth about how they’re feeling.
Employee engagement software works well as a means to gather your employees’ feedback without putting anyone in an awkward position.
Bringing business resolutions Into 2020 and beyond
You’ve got some great ideas for New Year’s resolutions to fit your business, and now it’s time to put them into action. Make sure your resolutions hold by incorporating them into your 2020 business goals.