How to Keep Employees Happy: 5 Tips for Managers

how to keep employees happy business manager tips

It's hard to find good help these days isn't it? Everyone seems to want flexible workdays, more benefits, and higher pay. It's crazy that any business can stay afloat when employees demand so much.

If you find yourself following the previous train of thought, it's time for an attitude adjustment. 

Companies that know how to keep employees happy are successful and profitable. Employees are more engaged, they produce better work, and they're much more loyal and willing to go the extra mile. 

The truth is that it doesn't take a lot to keep employees happy. You may not be able to afford to give raises to everyone or allow people to work from home, but there's plenty of inexpensive things you can do to keep employees engaged.


How to Keep Employees Happy: Our Must-Follow Guide

Providing a free cake during birthdays and funding the occasional happy hour can be helpful, but they won't be enough to keep your employees engaged and happy at the office.

If you need serious advice on how to keep employees happy, here are five helpful tips.


1. Look Inward

The days of the yelling, scowling boss are officially over. If you want your employees to be happy, start with your own attitude and the attitudes of everyone in management. 

Take time to really think about the way you and people in management interact with employees. Don't just think about the good days, focus on what happens during times of high stress.

Are people able to work well together, or is there still a general sense of hostility in the air? Can people have tough conversations without raising their voices, or have you heard yelling and dismissive language?

If you're finding that your interactions with employees could be going a lot better, it's time to go through training. Bring in someone to teach management about the best ways to talk to their employees and how to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.

It's also important to note the significance of body language and tone. Sometimes simply standing in a different way or speaking in a different tone can automatically improve a situation.


2. Step Back 

Wanting to be involved in work and in the know about certain projects is one thing. Feeling the need to micromanage every little thing is quite another.

Micromanaging is one of the easiest ways to make employees unhappy, and unfortunately, it's something that's very easy to do. 

One of the reasons why micromanaging is hard to stop is because it's difficult to identify. To make things easy, we're going to point out signs of micromanagement:

  • You need to approve every single deliverable and make every decision
  • You don't delegate work
  • You get involved in every project, sometimes without notifying the team
  • You talk the most at every meeting

Remember, you hired your employees for a reason. Feeling the need to have a say in every single thing they do is going to stifle innovation and make people doubt their abilities. 

The best way to stop micromanaging is to improve communication among managers and their direct reports.

Learn to trust your employees and only step in when the situation really calls for your direction. 

Taking a step back can really help build employee engagement and make employees proud of their work again.


3. Improve the Working Environment 

There's nothing worse than having to spend your days in a dull, sunless cubicle. You may not be able to change the layout of your office or put in a window, but there are tons of things you can do that can make the office more comfortable.

Start off with the physical comfort of your employees.

Don't ignore the basic principles of office ergonomics. Simple changes like comfortable adjustable chairs, standing desks, and laptop stands can make everyone's work areas more comfortable.

Encourage everyone to make their working space their own. Having rules against putting personal objects on desks can come off as controlling and may make it difficult for employees to feel like they can express themselves.

Some employers have given their employees a little bit of money to buy decor for the office. As little as $20 that goes toward a few succulents and a nice frame can make your employees feel very appreciated. 

You should also do your best to add as much light as possible to the office. Bring in some extra floor lamps along with the light fixtures you have in the ceiling. Adding some nice big plants can also make the environment seem more welcoming. 


4. Listen 

Your employee tells you that a project is way over budget, but you demand they push work through. Later on, you're surprised when you take a major monetary loss on the work. 

Someone expresses that they're feeling stressed at work and could use more help. You shrug and tell them that long hours and a little bit of chaos are part of the job and that they need to get used to it. 

Some managers believe that their employees are always complaining about trivial things, but listening to what they're saying can turn out good for you in the long run. 

An employee with a complaint is an employee that cares about their job. Listen to them, and you could solve important issues.


5. Ask 

Sometimes the easiest way to get what you want is to be direct and ask for it. If you want to know how to make your employees happy, you simply have to ask what they want and need. 

Send out a survey and ask questions about what your employees feel like they need on the job. We recommend making participation voluntary and making the responses anonymous so people don't feel pressured and can be honest. 

Ask about their current workload and if they feel overwhelmed by the tasks they do. See how the like the office environment and if they have suggestions on how to make it more comfortable. 


Happy Employees, Happy Bosses 

There's no definitive answer to the question of how to keep employees happy. Every employee and company is different, so certain perks will work better than others.

One thing we do know is that treating employees with respect will always help. If you follow the tips in this post, you'll see happiness and engagement improve in no time.

Do you want to know other ways to improve your business? We have a lot of helpful content on our site, be sure to browse it all to find topics that resonate with you. 

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