How Happy is Your Workforce?

August 13th, 2012

Photo credit: Grey Alter

Happy WorkforceA happy workforce is a productive workforce. Some researchers even go so far as to say that happiness leads to success. So, think fast: what are you doing to make sure your employees are content? While it might seem like a huge undertaking, promoting happiness at work may be easier than you think. It’s often “the little things in life” that put a smile on your face, right? The same applies to every workday. Simple strategies can have a huge effect on your business. Here are just a few steps you can follow to make sure your workforce is a happy one.

Encourage Time for Fun

There’s no question about it – when employees are burnt out, they’re not going to work to the best of their abilities. Fortunately, “fun” time need not be an expensive company-wide event. It can be as simple as encouraging employees to step away from their desks for a 30-minute lunch break. Or a reminder that taking a Wednesday off can be almost as rejuvenating as a week-long vacation. If your company has the means, a lunchtime yoga class or an after-work running club can work wonders. Stepping away from work is a strategy that seems counterintuitive, but it often provides a better output than you can imagine.

Encourage Face-To-Face Interactions

We live in a digital world where not many people talk face-to-face. We may work side by side with the same people every day, but how often are we actually speaking to each other? Many Fortune 500 companies – including Apple – follow a technique created by the founders of Hewlett-Packard. It’s a step – literally – that’s easily overlooked, but also easy to accomplish: Management by Walking Around. According to USA Today, a quick conversation with the boss can help employees feel motivated and valued.

Encourage Creativity

What comes first – the chicken or the egg? We don’t know the answer, but we do know that happy and relaxed people are more likely to have innovative or creative thoughts. Jonah Lehrer, the author of Imagine: How Creativity Works, cites 3M as a great example of promoting creativity in the workplace: every employee is allowed one hour per day to work on a side project or hobby. Not only does it foster creativity, but it sends a positive message of trust to employees. Even if you can’t follow 3M’s suit, it’s important to notice the benefits that come from empowering your employees.

Encourage – What Else? – Happiness

Shawn Anchor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, believes “happiness leads to profits.” He even wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review under the same title. Because happiness is a choice, Anchor believes a workforce can be trained to be happy, just like muscles can be trained to work harder. Starting the day with a thank-you email to someone special, taking two minutes to describe a positive experience that happened during the last day, or writing down three things you’re grateful for are just a few of his daily strategies for finding happiness.

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About ABR
ABR Employment Services provides employment opportunities to job seekers and staffing solutions to employers throughout Wisconsin. ABR provides temporary, try-before-hire and direct hire job opportunities in: customer service, data entry, receptionist, office assistant, administrative assistant, assembly, packaging, machine operator, warehouse, janitorial, CNC, welder, forklift, maintenance, and call center.

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