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

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.

SEE: 10 signs you might be working for the wrong company (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

  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

By Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...