It was Equal Pay Day on 24th March that represents the raising awareness about the gender pay gap. In India, the awareness is still at a low level, because we are dealing with pressing issues like women education and employment. But on an international map, the day was a symbolic gesture of bridging the pay gap between genders. Every country puts different formulas to mark the day hence, diff...
In last 2 decades of corporate life, I have interacted with people across organizations age groups, geographies. One of the key things I observed is that about not being “happy” at the workplace. What surprises one is that this is not different for the folks working for top notch companies, are some of the high performers and are getting high remuneration as well.
This shows that performers or highly-paid employees may not be amongst your happy and satisfied. They are the ones who tend to leave. People leave bad managers and not bad organizations. We often hear our management gurus talking about choosing a bad organization with a good manager is better than choosing a great organization and end up with a bad manager.
HR employee engagement teams create Friday Fun, Monthly parties, team offsites which may help employees for a short-term happiness but not in improving their “Employee Happiness Quotient”. Research shows that a healthy EHQ improves effectiveness and better results in sustainable performance. When you are able to create an environment, which ensures your teams are excited to reach office and deliver for strenuous 8-9 hours the sense of ownership is reflected without a leader or a manager constantly observing them.
Listing down top 10 important TO-DO’s which helped me create a great workplace.
1. Appreciate employee efforts while targeting results :
As a manager we need to appreciate the efforts team / individual putting on. Guide them for the right efforts and give path for the efforts, results will come automatically. Often, we observe few managers give more targets than required to achieve their personal KRA’s. This method creates stress for employees and still they put-in hard work leads to in-effective results.
2. Create Competition at work :
Most of the times, giving clear direction of tasks and deliverables to everyone at each level and grade and make them achieve. Guide the employees who are not able to achieve and try to work along with him and make him achieve. Typical situations you always see top 10% always the same for few years, challenge them with others who always stands 2nd in the game and give that extra push to become top 10% and that creates great competitive environment and extra deliverables by each of them. Show teams how great it looks being at top of the table in terms of achieving targets. This competitiveness makes employee to wake up early to run to office. This creates excitement to come to office and go that extra mile.
3. Talking all 9-10hrs about only work..work.? re-consider this
Each employee is different to each other professionally and emotionally. As a manager if you connected with your employee about only work and always review their work, then you are creating a gap between you and your team members. Understand the emotions each employee going through and be a helping hand and create that feeling of family feeling at work. That makes team to feel less stressful and see happy employee around thus see better productivity.
4. Right level of appreciation and feedback
Most of the times we give feedback to our team members on improvement areas, escalations, Customer deadlines & Pressure. Often we miss observing the positives, make time to observe that and keep appreciating people efforts. That makes employee to start with a good note on the day and ensures that he won’t miss that kick of appreciations. Most often managers think that employees need to work without appreciating as they anyway paid for their work here. Without continuous appreciations employees may not feel happy about their work and environment. No Big quarterly incentives and increments can ever replace the power of smile and small thank you.
I remember watching a leader who comes to office in the morning and meet each of his team members and greets with making a shake hand with a great smile. He believes that starting a day with that warm touch makes him understand how well is your employee on that day. I feel these small things makes a big difference.
5. Create teams who help each other and work together
This is extremely critical aspect. Balancing competition at work and making people work together is a real challenge for any leader. For this you need to create strong second level leads / managers who understands and align to improve happy quotient in the team.
We remember creating a concept called “Group Hug”, if any team member feeling unhappy or feeling extremely happy we used to celebrate by giving “Group Hug”. This is really makes it ease at workplace and give comfort to everyone that we all together.
6. Quantity work vs quality work
Ideal situation to get right quantity of work for the team members, in fact I believe we should always have enough work to do get real output from the team-members. In my last few employers I have seen situations where teams has enough work to deliver with a mix of quality and quantity were extremely busy and happy.
The second employer where we had less work ( so called Quality work we claim ) not so happy teams and try to pull each other and lots of insecurity around. This environment give people to create politics around themselves and creates un-healthy and those employees typically are un-happy.
Right-sized work will create always better results at workplace, or little extra quantity work makes it better.
7. Neven be like a boss, better be a friend
In my experience, one of the biggest reasons for workplace unhappiness is wrong approach by your manager. If he try to be boss and try to only give directions and not listening and understanding team members views will never be able to invent a happy environment. Micromanagement is worst example to that. It really takes away the joy of making people learn of their own and almost non-visible people’s own ideas and making them just listeners.
The Human elements of “Supportive Leadership” and “Positive leadership at workplace were new generation workforce expects.
8. Generate Trust and respect amongst teams
Low trust workplaces are never with happy environments and it gives scope for gossips among teams. Its important for managers stick to the words and deliver them for the people, you should be a manager where your team members wants to follow you and Low-trust environments are not likely to create a happy workplace. One of the strongest reasons employee feels safe and trusted & included where you stick to the commitments. If you are a trusted manager and respectful manager no one the team will give you surprise attrition.
Most of the times your team members will discuss with you openly that he is going through boredom at work and role he / she playing. He will discuss with you before even started looking for roles outside. This gives a chance to solve his / her issues and make him continue as a motivated / Happy employee.
9. Happy employee may not only need 5-star facility or high perks
Happy workplaces need not require a fancy five-star workplace. I have observed after getting a 5-star facility still employee feel un-happy as these things doesn’t really matter. But if you have managed all above points and with 5 star facility makes a big difference in the team and environment.
10. Parties, Travel, Offsite.
when you work hard and spent at office, each of the team member need relaxing time and memories for lifetime. This makes huge difference in each one’s career. We have observed these parties, off sites and travels makes lot of difference in creating bond in the team. While talking with few leaders in the industry that people who takes team to outings and travels have more bonding and they see employee who work happily at workplace.
I remember going to few of the offsites / treks where lot of learning and understanding each personalities among teams and we see improvement in overall deliverables.
It’s important to observe all these above points to make happy employees rather than trying to create successful employee without happiness. It also means that all successful employees are not necessarily happy. But a happy employee can deliver much better results than others. Be happy and make everyone happy.