People Magazine

Held accountable: Who’s responsible for employee satisfaction?

Employee engagement
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Accountability for happiness at work.

The benefits of happiness.

How businesses can foster happiness and employee satisfaction.

Living in an era where happiness is hard to find.

How are you keeping your employees happy?

In many companies, there’s a common thought that it’s the job of the CEO or HR to ensure employee satisfaction. In actuality, it’s an accountability that everyone’s in charge of—including each person for themselves.

Employee satisfaction is vital to productivity, employee happiness, and longevity. When you encourage employee engagement, you’re making sure every person has a vested interest in the company’s success.

Who’s in charge of responsibility for employee engagement? You are. So is everyone else in the company. However, there are ways you can help foster employee happiness and allow employees to take charge of their own happiness. It starts with cultivating a positive company culture. When employees are in a positive environment, happiness is a lot easier to find.

Here are a few more ways to help employees find happiness

Take a look at the actual environment.

Cubicles and fluorescent lights are nobody’s idea of a happy situation. You might not be able to change the environment totally, but there are many shifts you can make. For instance, live plants are linked to better health and happiness. That’s an easy addition to any company.

Be flexible.

If your employees want a more flexible environment, such as choosing shifts or working virtually, is that possible? If not, why? Flexibility puts you on the fast track to happiness.

Have mental health help readily available.

If you can manage to include mental health in your employee benefit plan, that’s ideal. Otherwise, make sure employees have access to various affordable or free mental health options. It’s a big part of de-stigmatizing mental health.

Get creative with perks.

Something as simple as allowing someone to take birthdays off can go a long way in encouraging happiness.

Foster more participation.

When employees feel invested in their work, happiness blossoms. Allow opportunities for everyone to get active. Some ideas include asking for volunteers to lead a walking group or implementing a show and tell once a month. Participation is the key to feeling involved.

Watch out for warning signs.

It’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs of depression or a lack of employee engagement. This should be a task for HR, and tracking these warnings can be built into your HR software. However, everyone should be part of watching each other’s backs.

Go outside.

Fresh air and sunshine are paramount to happiness. Go out if and when you can, from lunch meetings to a walking meeting around the block.

Encourage employees to speak up.

Reinforce the importance of voicing concerns if you see someone not abiding by the company values or vision. Support a colleague if he or she needs help and encourage sharing of ideas to enhance the workplace. Encouraging employees to be open to help eliminate gossip and reduce company “tribes” that form when people seclude others.

Happiness can be found in many ways. Fostering an environment that feeds happiness is a win-win for everyone. Remember that happy employees will stick around longer and be more productive.

Why happiness is hard

Depression and anxiety are at record highs, and there are many reasons behind this. For those who work full-time, they spend the majority of their waking hours at work. If that work leads to unhappiness, that’s a problem. Although you aren’t responsible for anyone’s happiness entirely, encouraging delight can create a positive butterfly effect.

If you want to know what your employees want and need for happiness, ask them. Anonymous surveys can help all voices be heard.

Unfortunately, “happiness” is rarely included in company goal-setting and SOPs. It’s assumed that employees are there to get paid, whether they’re happy or not. Not enough attention is being paid to nourishing happiness or how crucial it is in business. While accountability is vital, so is creating spaces where happiness can blossom.


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