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Updated Nov 06, 2023

7 Ways to Create a Happy and Motivated Workplace

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Julie Thompson, Contributing Writer

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Maintaining a happy work environment is something you can’t afford to ignore. You must allow employees to be involved and have a say in their workplace. Allowing a healthy amount of control can lead to more engagement within your company.

Transparent communication can build trusting relationships and allow workers to optimize their strengths. If employees feel their work has a purpose, they are more likely to meet goals and take responsibility for their part of the project.

Happy employees are productive employees. By taking small steps to create a positive and motivated work environment, there will likely be fewer work-related conflicts, less absenteeism and more productivity.

What constitutes a happy workplace? 

Essentially, employees want to feel like they are essential to the organization. They want to be appreciated for their hard work. They want to know that their work is having an impact and that they are progressing toward a common goal.

Employee happiness is affected by factors such as company culture, remote opportunities, industry, age and compensation. For example, Gallup reported that a strong culture can increase not only profit but also employee engagement. The State of Remote Work study from Owl Labs found that 86 percent of those surveyed said working from home at least some of the time made them happier, with 81 percent saying they had less stress.

How to create a happy and motivated workplace 

1. Appreciate your employees.

Most managers make the mistake of waiting for annual reviews when it comes to judging the potential of their employees. The long wait for recognition makes employees impatient, which may result in reduced productivity.

You should do your best to acknowledge appreciation for your employees as often as possible. This will boost morale, create a positive environment and help them stay happy.

FYIDid you know

One of the easiest ways to show appreciation is simply recognizing an employee’s hard work. Praise your workers for a job well done, and be specific. Say thank you often. Send an email that shows you notice their accomplishments. Better yet, take the time to write a handwritten note.

2. Be flexible.

Running an office with a tight schedule with no breaks may be a mistake and a factor in making employees miserable.

It takes guts to promote a flexible standard, and the future demands it. Flexible hours allow employees to have more control over their work-life balance. It’s unfair to expect workers to perform at their best if they cannot give time to their families. To ensure a proper work-life balance, it is essential to allow workers to have flexible working hours mixed with short breaks.

According to a recent survey by McKinsey, if given the opportunity, 87 percent of American workers would choose to work a flexible job in a remote or hybrid work environment, as well as work fewer days or hours.

If employees can maintain a work-life balance and refresh their minds as often as they need, they will appreciate their office more and promote its growth.

3. Remember that happiness is contagious.

Happiness is not a solitary experience. A smile is contagious. If the boss is smiling and positive, employees will feel relaxed, communicate more, worry less about making mistakes and, ultimately, learn more.

Researchers have found that happiness can be slightly increased when smiling occurs. The “facial feedback hypothesis” posits that smiling can influence emotions. When you are depressed, consider engaging in something that makes you smile. Turning the frown upside down could help lighten your mood.

When you have a boss with a positive demeanor, employees are more likely to help each other, communicate freely and engage in more productive talks, which can lead to an improved work environment.

4. Promote organization.

Disorganization exacerbates bad feelings and clutters the mind. It is essential to remain organized to promote a healthy workplace. Being disorganized increases stress and decreases productivity, which results in lower employee morale. An organized work area promotes a sense of calm and makes it easier to focus.

Here are some ways to be more organized:

  • Provide shelves and drawers for specific items.
  • Declutter your work space.
  • Keep the floors dry and clean to prevent falls.
  • Clean the bathrooms and floors with disinfectants to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Maintain essential light levels and sufficient availability of fresh air.
  • Ask your employees to take care of their workspace.

5. Be a team player.

Leading by example makes a great boss. Be there for your employees when they need you most, which could mean jumping in and getting your hands dirty with them. This can provide a strong sense of camaraderie and respect. Show your employees that you are willing to do the same things you ask them to do. 

Rewarding your team for their hard work is a great way to raise morale. Have a strategic reward system based on four key areas: accountability, individual performance, team performance and punctuality.

Rewards and incentives can have a significant impact on morale. A recent study by Workhuman and Gallup found that investing in employee recognition can nurture a positive work culture and save companies money in terms of retention and engagement costs.

6. Promote a social workplace.

Offices shouldn’t feel stuffy and too serious. The manager should be responsible for promoting a social workplace where workers are free to talk, share their opinions and communicate freely.

Hold weekly meetings to discuss achievements and other happenings with your team. Motivational acknowledgment, coupled with stats on positive company growth, creates a virtual aura of satisfaction in workers’ minds, making them more productive.

Spending time with employees outside the workplace can be beneficial as well. Knowing your employees and building friendships can help boost morale and increase loyalty.

However, you do have to know where to draw the line. You need to maintain a sense of authority and the ability to make objective decisions.

You should also be careful not to favor some employees over others. It’s best to socialize with employees as a group instead of one-on-one. If everyone is invited, no one feels left out.

TipBottom line

You can provide a welcoming office environment by lowering cubicle walls to let natural light in, using LED lights, adding indoor plants, and using green, brown and blue paint colors.

7. Pay attention to the physical work environment.

Bringing nature indoors can improve your office environment significantly. Benefits include better air quality, a more relaxed mood and a boost in productivity.

A recent study found that workers who have a small plant on their desk experienced reduced psychological and physiological stresses and a lowered pulse rate. This data provides an essential look into the mental health of office workers.

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Julie Thompson, Contributing Writer
Julie Thompson is a professional content writer who has worked with a diverse group of professional clients, including online agencies, tech startups and global entrepreneurs. Julie has also written articles covering current business trends, compliance, and finance.
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