Keeping your employees happy


“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.” Richard Branson.

You need to attract good employees, and ensure they’re motivated and happy – so that the best of them will stay with you and help your business to grow. But how do you go about doing that? It’s about more than just paying a competitive salary. Here, we discuss some ideas to help you keep your employees happy.

How to motivate employees

The best employees will feel like they’re working with you, rather than for you. Create a culture of accountability, mutual respect, trust, and reward by giving employees ownership.

Encourage all staff, from every team in your business, to learn about what other departments to, to feedback, and to input ideas. You’ll find that you improve the quality of products and customer service, and that employees feel valued and that they’re a part of something bigger than the day-to-day tasks they perform.

Offer a great package

Salary is obviously an important deal-breaker when you first hire someone and you must be competitive to attract the best candidates. However, for current employees, it’s often the challenges and opportunities you provide, that are more fundamental.

Outside of salary, what other perks are you offering? Everything from a good pension, to the number of days paid holiday, to healthcare and other perks can make a difference, but not as much as you might think. Employees want to feel valued and rewarded.

Provide variety and challenges

Not many people enjoy doing the same work every day until retirement. Assign new responsibilities, offer secondments and job swaps, and provide the chance to try new things. This cuts down on boredom and stress, and allows you to see how different employees adapt to different work – you might find someone has a talent hidden talent you didn’t realise until now.

Encourage line manages to think about career goals and paths. Where might your employee want to go next? What training, experience and promotions can you offer them to help them along that journey?

Great communication

Do you employees understand the strategic direction of the business? Are they aware of your values, and what your brand stands for? Do they know what your sales figures look like? What new products are coming? What challenges there are in the industry?

Providing clear information on how your business is doing creates a feeling that employees are a part of your organisation, that you’re an open team who work together. Consider regular briefings, emails, even a blog on your intranet.

Rumours circulate quickly, so be sure to dispel anything negative quickly, and be upfront and honest about what’s going on.

Make it fun

Obviously, there’s work to be done. But how can you create a sense of fun in the office now and then? Charity events, bake sales, or even a competition for the best decorated Christmas desk can create a sense of fun and make coming to work that bit more enjoyable. Team building events can also be fun, and help to improve communication and relationships at the same time.

A social committee can also be a good idea; providing opportunities for employees to have fun together outside of work, increasing their bonds during working hours too.

Look out for their well-being

Many employers run campaigns and schemes to help promote mental and physical health. For example, offering yoga classes in lunch breaks, soft-skills training on subjects like stress management, or internal coaching programmes.

Train line managers to look out for signs of stress or depression, and offer support and occupational health appointments with an expert. A employee who feels well taken care of, is a happy employee.

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