7 ways to start 2022 with happy employees

While it may take time for your staff to hit the ground running on their return from Christmas holidays, there are things you can do to ensure they’re happier in the workplace. Here are our top suggestions.   1. Optimise your work environment.    Squashing everyone in like sardines? It might be time to look…

While it may take time for your staff to hit the ground running on their return from Christmas holidays, there are things you can do to ensure they’re happier in the workplace. Here are our top suggestions.
 

1. Optimise your work environment. 

 
Squashing everyone in like sardines? It might be time to look at your work environment and see how you can declutter, create more space for your staff and make sure the layout is optimised for walking around and interacting with colleagues. Similarly, making the most of natural light, adding in plants and even creating a chill out zone with a couch can all help create a space your employees will want to work in.
 

2. Simplify processes.

 
Do your staff often complain about how complex the work processes are, or ask why there are so many unnecessary paper trails? Perhaps they feel there’s lots of doubling up on tasks, which can also be super frustrating. If so, think about how you can streamline processes. You might create dedicated Slack channels to keep project discussions streamlined, adopt more agile ways of working and put on training sessions for employees who need them. Result? You’ll boost efficiency and end up with far happier staff.
 

3. Be a better communicator.

 
A YouGov study just revealed that 3 million Aussies dislike their boss, with 39 percent saying their managers lack ‘emotional intelligence’, 34 percent saying their bosses don’t communicate well – and 32 percent saying they are micromanaged. Bottom line? If the culture at your workplace and in your management needs changing, make it a priority. Treating staff with 
courtesy and kindness and fixing management communication issues (if there are any) can only have positive knock-on effects for productivity and morale.
 

4. Embrace flexibility.

 
Studies show that 54 percent of employees would jump ship to a job that had better flexibility. Whew! If you’re in the position to offer flexible working hours or a work-from-home policy, it could mean great things for your workplace, including boosting productivity in general. Of course, if you’re in an industry where working from home isn’t possible, look at ways you can accommodate your employees needs when it comes to planning shifts and enabling them to have a better work-life balance. It’ll show you care about them outside the workplace – and make for a much happier, more loyal workforce.
 

5. Ask for feedback.

 
Wonder what your employees say about you when you’re not around? Create a culture of transparency instead. Establish an open-door policy and ask employees for feedback either one-on-one or via employee engagement software. You may gain good ideas for changing processes or implementing methodologies that’ll improve the workplace overall, It’ll also make your employees feel heard, which we know increases employee engagement. 
 

6. Make employee recognition a priority

 
We recently wrote about some of the more unique ways to recognise and reward employees at Christmas, but this isn’t a once-a-year thing. Instead, make sure you’re recognising your employees’ achievements all year long. If they do a great job, land a new client, or make a big sale, reward them. Implement employee of the month competitions, offer free lunches or gifts to those who meet their milestones and make sure the company celebrates their own. 
 

7. Create a healthy workplace.

 
Surprise your employees by creating a monthly pamper session – you might hire a team of masseuses to come to the office and give neck massages to everyone at their desk, or a yoga instructor to come by and teach employees a range of poses they can do in the office. You could also pack the kitchen with healthy snacks, and always encourage your staff to take holidays so they can decompress and switch off with their loved ones. It’ll make the office a far nicer place to work and contribute to your employees’ overall wellbeing, too.