Whether your company is made up of 10 members of staff or a 1000, it’s a question that crosses every employers mind at some point. How do I create a happy workplace? We have been on a self-discovery exercise recently on this very subject and here are our top 3 steps to creating a happy workplace, that ensures employees can thrive and receive the recognition they deserve.
Step 1 – Autonomy
Employees are core to all businesses. Of course we all know that. But as employers we often take it for granted that they are responsible for ensuring that the company runs efficiently and effectively, well so you hope. They are responsible for delivering excellent customer service and for generating good quality sales. But underneath all of the shop top, it is easy to forget that employees are humans too, and they also need to be nurtured.
So how do we get the best from our employees. One simple answer is by giving them autonomy. Empowering employees to think and make decisions for themselves is proven to create a happier environment where individuals and teams can thrive. But, with autonomy comes great responsibility. In order to ensure that you don’t overload your employees with responsibility that could end in disaster, you need to set some working parameters around the scope of powers or authority that each person or team has. This will enable them to safely and responsibly make decisions without necessary worrying about over stepping the mark, and finding themselves in hot water.
Step 2 – Purpose
During a visit to the NASA space centre in 1962, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?”
“Well, Mr. President,” the janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
Statistics show that a high proportion of people are attracted to a company because of shared values or purpose, and are more likely to work harder if they see the true purpose for their efforts. The purpose should be about the bigger picture; why does the company and they do what they do. But how often do you communicate the purpose of your company to an employee? And just as importantly do you involve everyone? Very often companies who do share their purpose, only communicate it to the top levels such as managers. Forgetting that more junior level employees, are just as important to the team as their more senior counterparts.
Step 3 – Mastery
Encourage everyone to be the Jedi Master of their skill. Not only does it mean that you and your employee know they can get on and do the job at hand, and therefore achieve complete and utter job satisfaction. But if you encourage absolute mastery through training and personal development, they will be able to help nuture and train more junior members of the team, by cascading their knowledge down. And there is nothing more satisfying to a Jedi Master, than being able to help the people around them grow and develop.