Empowering your employees to remain happy, motivated, and efficient at work is a vital aspect of any HR department’s duties. Despite how imperative it is to keep workplace morale high, however, many HR departments across a myriad of industries are letting their workers down, and failing to instill confidence and happiness in those employees who make their everyday success in the market possible.
Is it even realistic to try and empower your employees to be happy at work? Certainly; as you’ll come to see, HR managers who put in actual time and effort to boost the happiness of their company’s employees can achieve success if they avoid common pitfalls, and will prove invaluable to any company’s long-term future.
The building blocks of your company
It’s neither cliché nor inaccurate to say that without labor, nothing prospers. If your company isn’t treating its employees right, it cannot possibly hope to meet its business objectives; whether you’re trying to reach a certain sales figure, solve an engineering dilemma, or bring a new product to market, your company needs motivated and satisfied workers to keep the wheels turning daily. To tap into your employee’s potential and unleash their analytical and innovative might, you’ll need to foster a positive office culture that welcomes everyone and reminds all your employees that they’re cherished.
To get off to a good start building that healthy workplace culture, HR managers will need to understand that some things can’t be avoided. For instance, managers should understand that we’re in an age where diversity is more than a political imperative; as a matter of fact, it’s crucial for the happiness of any workplace to be a diverse, accepting environment where people of different backgrounds can make homes for themselves. Boosting your employee’s happiness levels takes more than petty attempts to meet diversity quotas; you’ll need to make an honest commitment to diversifying your workforce with varied, skilled employees and set attainable goals that you can achieve.
Unhappy employees can literally cost your company millions, meaning your HR department shouldn’t be afraid to splurge when it comes to employee-wellness initiatives. Outside of company holiday parties and the occasional gift bag, you’ll need to do real, measurable things to boost the well-being of your workers, like issuing bonuses for a job well done, increasing wages for employees who push their limits, and offering a fair amount of time off to your workers so they can blow off steam.
Of course, you can’t make everyone happy all the time; inevitably, an employee or two may crack under pressure, and will need extra help to realize their true potential in the workplace while remaining a functioning human being with a healthy personal life. That’s why managers should review how to approach and engage unhappy employees before they head for the company door, as you’ll quickly learn that placating currently unhappy employees is vastly easier and cheaper than bringing in new, inexperienced ones to replace them.
Understand you’re dealing with people
In the constantly bustling business world, it can be easy to get lost in the financial figures your company needs to keep an eye on and forget that, at the end of the day, your employees are just regular people. It’s crucial for managers to constantly remind themselves who they’re working with – that is, everyday folk who sometimes mess up – and don’t come down too harshly on employees for minor infractions. It goes without saying that violating office rules or company policy can’t be constantly tolerated and you should not provide a corporate veil, but lenient measures that offer forgiveness and rehabilitate troublesome workers will be more impactful than punitive measures than dampen their spirits.
Once you understand that, at their core, human beings react negatively to punitive measures and instead prefer positive incentives that motivate them to work harder, you’ll be on your way towards steering your HR department out of troubled waters and towards safer shores with happier, more productive workers. Open lines of communication, an office environment that’s dominated by transparency and accountability when higher ups make mistakes, and non-work-related events will all prove indispensable to forging a workplace culture that lets your employees thrive. Frustrated workers need outlets to vent, and your employees should understand that it’s always okay to come forward to discuss problems they may be having at work, or at home.
Empowering your employees to attain happiness isn’t easy, of course, nor will it come quick; your HR management will need to stay on its toes, and constantly be updating its plan to keep workers happy and motivated. You may have to splurge, too, to ensure your workers are being compensated and have the tools they need to succeed. At the end of the day, however, a happy and thriving labor force is the first step towards success, and those companies that empower their workers to be happy will be on their way to the top of the market in no time.
I'm a creative and passionate HR Director with 15 plus years proven experience up to board level in international and world-class organisations.
I have had the privilege of working on a wide range of projects that have enabled me to apply my leadership and technical skills and I have proven expertise in managing change, business integration and outsourcing, including TUPE/ARD. I am currently looking for my next intellectual and professional challenge.