What keeps employees happy at work?

By | 10th December, 2011

With attrition rates soaring high, the million dollar question for HR managers today is… ‘What keeps people happy at the workplace?’ According to a research, the most crucial factor for winning goodwill from employees is good communication and a healthy relationship with colleagues and seniors. This sounds easy, but recent studies have suggested that this is actually the most difficult thing to get right. A research suggested that 73% of British workers believe good relationships with colleagues to be the key reason they enjoyed their jobs, while only 48% cited financial reward.

Research experts say: “Business should not ignore the value of good relationships at work. Simple ways to boost happiness include treating staff fairly, ensuring communication is good, and fostering a positive atmosphere.”

The research highlighted that small businesses have the happiest employees. 86% of employees, who work for organisations with employees between 20 and 100 in number, feel happier as compared to 78% of employees who work in organisations with a workforce more than 1,000.
Research analysts were not surprised at these results. They explained, “In small businesses there is an informal, personal atmosphere that you don’t get in large organisations. Individual problems and office politics tend to get ironed out early, as there’s a lot to be said for face-to-face contact and working things out.”

A recent ‘sickness survey’ of absence due to ill health found that the average number of days small businesses lost due to absence per employee was 1.8 days, as compared to an average of 8.4 days for businesses of all sizes.

Ensuring happiness and contentment of individuals in a workplace may be a tougher task for larger organisations, but most importantly an HR manager can put strategies in place to raise awareness of the importance of employee satisfaction. A good pay package doesn’t necessarily guarantee happy employees. Try these to get closer to satisfying employees:

1. Involvement of the top management more than just the annual or bi-annual meet.
2. Investment in training programmes’ for employees.
3. Empowering staff with authority after they prove themselves, and defining their responsibilities clearly.
4. Having a customer service staff for guiding employees in day to day issues.

If organisations think a little more deeply about what employees really want and what will make them happier, they would reap its rewards sooner than later.