October 22, 2020
Company Culture 05 February 2018
What You Need to Know About Boosting Employee Happiness
Monique Serbu

In Glassdoor’s 2018 report for best places to work, each of the top companies had one thing in common: a strong focus on its employees.

Boosting employee morale is not just something good to do, it’s something that will make your company stand out, help you attract top talent, and decrease your turnover rates! There are many aspects of work-life that affect employee happiness, so try different ways to make your workplace a happy one.

To make sure you’re headed in the same direction as these top-rated companies, follow these seven surefire ways to enhance employee satisfaction and passion.

1. Provide Opportunities for Growth

Boston Consulting Group is rated as the third-best firm to work for in the United States. Employees love this firm because there are unlimited opportunities for growth. With this in mind, it may not surprise you that 87% of millennials report professional development or career growth opportunities are important when selecting a job, and 76% of workers want opportunities for career growth.

To make your employees more passionate, invest in professional development and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth within your company. This means implementing a training course, offering tuition reimbursement, focusing on enhancing your employees’ skills, or recruiting from within the company. When you invest in your employees, they will invest in you.

2. Emphasize Employee-Focused Core Values

Employees enjoy working more when their values are consistent with those in the workplace. The first step in building employee-focused core values includes finding out what your employees care about, whether it be serving others, nourishing the community, or using their talents to go above and beyond to help customers.

Once you know what makes your employees tick, create an outlet for them to participate in value projects. Starbucks, for example, has a strong core value of community services, and the corporation puts its money where its mouth is. Starbucks currently has 2,386 ongoing community service projects with over 60,000 active volunteers who live this core value.

3. Create Healthy Office Competitions

Google has an ongoing tradition of hosting fun office challenges that inspire and motivate. If you’ve seen the movie The Internship, you’ve seen a nice glimpse into what these challenges look like.

Office competitions can include anything from ping-pong tournaments, best BBQ sauce, and most creative costume to the most innovative business idea of the year, the highest number of sales, and best design of the company T-shirt.

Creating office competitions gives your employees an opportunity to get to know each other, challenge each other in a healthy way, and motivate everyone to work harder. For even more increased productivity, consider implementing gamification into your workplace to spice things up.

4. Give Out Employee Perks

Some very successful companies are known to offer great employee perks! These little bonuses are a great way to show employees some extra love and increase loyalty to the company. You don't even have to break the bank, something simple and small will go a long way. 

For example, more and more companies are offering free food as an office perk. In fact, ZeroCater estimates that companies spend anywhere from $78,000 to $208,000 annually in free snacks for around 100 people. Consider stocking your office pantry with healthy and delicious snacks, bringing in lunch, or implementing a dedicated pizza and donuts day.

It may seem like a small gesture, but offering employee perks is a solid way to show your employees you care, and keep your employees alert and passionate about their work. 

5. Make Your Breakroom a Place People Enjoy

Work isn’t all fun and games all the time—there is a time and place at work for fun, and that’s during breaks.

Have a nice breakroom setup that offers a television with awesome streaming services. Then, let your employees watch a bit of March Madness, the World Cup, or the Olympics.

Copy some of the best breakrooms by investing in some billiard tables, a video game console, games, computers with unlimited internet access, free coffee and soda, comfortable seating, and delicious snacks.

Instill the value of “work hard, play hard” to keep your employees both well-rested and pumped up about work.

6. Let Employees Pursue Passion Projects

You’ve likely heard of Google’s 20% time policy as the passion project nurturer. What you may not know is this program led to the invention of both AdSense and Gmail, both life-changing Google products. LinkedIn, Apple, Microsoft, and other firms have also adopted similar programs and seen positive results.

How much more would it boost employee satisfaction and productivity rates to allow employees an hour of each workday to pursue a passion project?

When considering whether to put a similar program to Google’s in place, keep recent reporting from The New York Times in mind. The Times found that the average employee spends at least five hours a week on their cell phone or doing something unrelated to the job. If you do implement this program, remind your staff this time is to help them remain passionate about the work they’re doing.

7. Break from Your Usual Routine

The last thing you want to do is make your office environment feel like the movie Groundhog Day. Sure, it’s nice to have some routines, but when your employees start feeling like robots, office morale will plummet.

An accounting firm in Colorado called Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman had a creative take on this idea. The company grouped its nearly 400 employees into different “neighborhoods” to change things up a bit. The groups would have regular get-togethers and shape the tone of their meetings. This resulted in some creative approaches to boost morale and fostered an unprecedented sense of community. Your organization may benefit from a similar approach.

Wrap Up

Understanding and increasing employee happiness should be at the forefront of your agenda. Employees are the lifeblood of your corporation—the ones who interact with your customers directly—and their happiness matters.

It can cost your business anywhere from 16% to 213% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them, so it’s in your best interest to keep your employees engaged, interested, and active at your company.

If you’re struggling with ways to make your employees passionate, try some of the ideas listed above. Do you have other tried and true ways you’ve found to be successful? Please let us know.

Monique is a freelance digital journalist specializing in business, marketing and technology topics. Her work can be seen on Venture Beat, MediaPost and the Stanford Blog. In her spare time, she likes to spend time outdoors hiking and hanging out with her Cocker Spaniel.