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3 Easy Ways to Make (and Keep) Employees Happy





Great news for the majority of small business owners and managers: According to the Aflac 2016 Small Business Happiness Survey, 74 percent of employees are extremely or very satisfied working for a small business. However, 96 percent of the employees surveyed also agree there is a lot an employer can do to improve employee happiness.

Employees are critical to small business success. Each and every individual’s performance and commitment to the organization plays a role in ensuring quality outputs — be it exceptional customer service, impressive sales numbers, positive client relations or valuable production capabilities.

The current job market increasingly favors employees, making it tougher than ever for small-business owners to attract and retain top talent in their respective industries. While managing a small business involves a limitless number of responsibilities, employee happiness is a factor that shouldn’t be ignored.

What can you do to maintain — or even increase — employee happiness?

1. Evaluate employee satisfaction on a regular basis. Almost half of surveyed employees (48 percent) said their company does not assess employee satisfaction.

2. When making changes within your company, pay attention to what employees want. The following items were chosen by employees as first priorities among a list of issues small business leaders should address when making improvements:

i. Compensation (23 percent)
ii. Communication (22 percent)
iii. Employee benefits (16 percent)

3. Offer a variety of benefits offerings to fulfill the needs of your employees and their family members. 65 percent of employees feel that an improvement in benefits offerings would make them a happier employee. For small business owners, voluntary benefits continue to provide value and grow in popularity because of their ability to offer a comprehensive benefits package with little to no additional cost to their bottom line.

Having happy employees helps to guarantee a productive, pleasant office culture that contributes to your company’s success. Though small businesses across the country are currently succeeding in securing employee happiness, it is important that happiness remains a top priority in years to come to ensure small-business success.

Employees Image via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼

6 Reactions

  1. Great tips! I would like to build on that and say that it is also highly important to give employees a sense of trust and ownership in their work. While benefits are an important aspect of job satisfaction, I’ve noticed that many employees feel happier when they are able to make relevant decisions regarding their day-to-day tasks. Furthermore, leaders/managers should make an effort to be as open as possible towards any problems that may arise among their staff.

  2. Aira Bongco

    Communication is key. If you let your employees know that you want to know how they feel, then they will speak up.

  3. Employees are happy if they have the freedom and the benefits. It also helps to do regular surveys to know what they want.

  4. Wow, look at those stats. Didn’t expect that compensation would only be a percent higher than communication. This only means that employees are not always after the money.

  5. Martin Lindeskog

    Interesting to see that communication is ranked so high by employees. Internal social media activities should be a perfect tool for communication throughout the organization.

  6. Very interesting set of results! Happy employees are so critical to a thriving business!
    I agree with Thea’s comment that ownership of their work and participation in decision-making are extremely important.
    Other “happiness factors” revolve around personal and professional growth. Providing both interesting work challenges and appropriate training and support for the task can clearly contribute to more employee satisfaction. This could be another field of action for business leaders who want to keep their employees happy.

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