Top 5 things to keep employees happy

Keeping employees happy involves more than just offering games and free refreshments. Tom Merritt suggests five ways companies can increase employee happiness and productivity.

Top 5 things to keep employees happy
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Foosball and free drinks used to be the conventional wisdom for keeping employees happy, but the fact is, employees are not all that shallow--you need to provide some happiness for the soul as well. A truly happy employee is more productive, and being surrounded by happy employees makes you more productive, too. Here are five things that keep your employees happy.

  1. The mission: People want to believe their work is meaningful, and that they are helping the company move towards something they believe in. In a study by Toluna Group on behalf of Udemy, 62% of employees said they would take a pay cut to work for a company that has a mission they believe in.
  2. Company culture: This is a nebulous one to be sure, but it's fairly easy to tell when it's wrong. Foster bonding among your team, and keep things positive.
  3. Balance: Employees are notoriously bad at keeping work out of their home life, especially with all the tools we have to stay in touch these days. Help employees keep that work-life balance, and everybody will be happier.
  4. Flexibility: This helps with the work-life balance when we're talking about flexible hours, but it can also mean trusting employees to find the right way to do their job, too.
  5. Learning: People don't just want to stay in their job and be happy--they want to grow and get better at it. Encourage professional development, and you'll have better, happier employees.

There are loads of other things to keep employees happy, too--spoiler: None of them are foosball. Not that we have any problem with foosball….

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Image: iStockphoto/ANDOR BUJDOSO