Author: Vartika Kashyap, Marketing Manager at ProofHub
Spend more time smiling than frowning, and more time praising than criticizing. – Richard Branson
Richard Branson has made a fortune for himself in the business world by following the simple mantra – do whatever makes you happy. In his own words,”Many assume my business success has brought me happiness. But the way I see it, I am successful because I am happy.”
And, he follows the same philosophy while dealing with his employees. In fact, Richard is one of the pioneers in bringing forward a creed of business where employee happiness is valued more than anything else.
This brings us to the topic – employee happiness. As a leader, how much do you value employee happiness? Do you believe that as a leader your only duty is to assign work to the team and solve problems. Are you of the thinking that happiness at workplace is a myth? In this post I’m going to discuss about all such things and more. So, let us begin.
What does employee happiness mean to you?
Happiness means different things for different people. What does employee happiness mean to you as a leader? This is the question that needs to be answered first if we want to create a culture of happiness in the team.
It’s not just about handing about big fat paychecks. If you thought of salary as the only factor that contributed towards employee happiness, then you have been making a big mistake all this while. Salary is just one of the factors that contributes towards keeping employees motivated, there are so many other factors that contribute towards employee happiness.
Here are a few, which define the very meaning of employee happiness in today’s scenario –
Empower them with the wings of freedom and flexibility
Teams are built on trust. You can get employees to sit on their desk for the entire day, but you cannot get them to work unless they are interested in doing something. This is the reason why freedom and flexibility to do things the way they want to becomes so important.
We are happy when we do things the way we want to. Giving your team members the freedom and flexibility to work the way they want to shows that you trust. It makes them more accountable, as sincere employees know that freedom means they have to be their own boss in a way. And, any negligence or glitch in work would now mean the entire responsibility will be on their shoulder.
Small things like flexibility in timings and giving the freedom to work from home under certain situations can go a long way in bringing employee happiness.
Shower rewards of praise and recognition
Monetary incentives work great to inspire and encourage the employees and make them happy. Each business has its own set of limitations owing to which showering rewards for each and every thing sometimes becomes practically impossible.
There are some rewards though that don’t cost a single penny from your pocket, and work greater than any other motivation factor. These rewards are the words of praise that a leader can bestow upon the team members for even small achievements in their projects. Studies have shown that appreciation by their boss serves as one of the biggest motivational factors for employees.
So, never be shy to float an appreciation mail about team members for their achievement. Let them know that their efforts are being seen, and they are being valued by the company!
Bring the bigger picture in front of them
Growth is the ultimate goal for every business. And, growth can happen when you grow together as a team. As a leader it should be your top priority to show the employees how they fit within the big picture that you are trying to paint as a business.
Let them know how important their contribution is for your company. Showcase them the future growth they are going to have when the company grows and fulfill those promises. Remember, for a business to grow in leaps and bounds, it has to make sure that people associated with it also grow.
A great way to achieve this is by keeping things transparent and sharing the future growth plans with them. Invest time in making them aware of where you are headed and what you have in store for them in future.
Show them the way, even on an ordinary day
When working in a team, it becomes crucial for the leaders to guide a team on daily basis. When things are already going haywire, you are in panic-control mode. So, the chances of innovation become meager as you are looking for ways to make things work in the current scenario. It is in normal scenarios when you have the luxury to invest time in doing things the unconventional way and improve processes.
But, remember there is a thin line between guiding team members and micro-managing them. You need to be smart enough as a leader to never cross the line, or else you will end up facing the wall in your effort to make employees happy.
Feed them continuously with your knowledge and experience and inspire them to come up with innovative ways to work on daily basis. Inspire them to be creative in their approach, don’t force your approach on them.
Make feedback sharing a two-way process
Being part of the corporate world for all these years have helped me understand one thing – team leaders and managers don’t use the power of feedback sharing as effectively as it should be. For most of the leaders, feedback means discussing with people when things don’t go the way they were supposed to and not listening to what they have to say. Why – because they are the decision makers, and others are their subordinates.
But, I am a firm believer that feedback sharing should be a two way process. In words of Bill Gates – we all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve. As a leader you have to make sure that employees are getting continuous feedback on how they are doing. At the same time, you must always make it clear that they are free to share their thoughts about the good and bad at work.
On an ending note, I’d like to say that you can make your team happy without offering a raise by focusing on creating a positive work culture. Think about it – if you were working for a business, would you be happy working in a setup that you are providing to your team?
And, you will not have to look for the answer to this question ‘Is your team happy at work?’ here in this article.
Vartika Kashyap runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.