Satisfaction is a metric that creative business leaders cannot afford to ignore.
Employee happiness has been linked to retention and customer satisfaction, and it also happens to (literally) be contagious. Studies also show that happiness also increases productivity: the Harvard Business Review reported that 9 out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more-meaningful work and, based on job-satisfaction-to-productivity ratios, happy workers generate an additional $9,078 (USD) in revenue for their company per year.
All this to say, that when you find good people, you should be doing everything possible to keep them around in order to propel your organization forward.
Besides, losing talent is expensive. So if satisfaction on the job is important not only for morale but for the bottom line, what might business leaders do to make their people happy?
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Simon De Baene has a few ideas. The CEO of Montreal-based software company GSOFT is also their de facto “Chief Happiness Officer” and a vocal proponent of a notion that should be obvious to everyone, but far too often isn’t: happy campers make happy workers.
He has gone to great effort to make GSOFT the poster-workplace for employment with a smile, using a 10-point path to happiness that includes creative solutions to key employee needs:
|Employee needs||Proposed solutions|
|1. Personal growth
Autonomy, skill improvement and belief in the company’s bigger purpose.
|· Organize activities during which employees share their work-related passions with one another: make employees’ career dreams come true (like going on a humanitarian mandate abroad).|
Quality and the frequency of recognition that employees receive and give each other.
|· Come up with some sort of trophy or another physical sign of recognition that employees can give each other to highlight good work.|
|3. Relationship with colleagues
How well do colleagues know each other? How often do they communicate? What’s the quality of their interactions?
|· Organize activities outside of the office during business hours (so that everyone can participate), allowing employees to blur the lines between their work and personal lives.|
|4. Company alignment
How well do employees know the mission of the company? Do they align themselves with those values?
|· Recruit people whose values are in line with the organization’s in order to build a trust relationship that will support flexible work measures (like working from home).|
|5. Relationship with managers
How well do employees know the managers in the company? How often do they communicate with their managers? What’s the quality of these interactions?
|· Switch up the roles between manager and employee to help them better understand the day-to-day of the other.
· Plan regular chats between employee and manager to discuss topics unrelated to operations.
Employee health, sleeping habits, eating habits, energy levels and exercise frequency should be taken into account.
|· Provide employees with healthy food options by having a complete kitchen or even a chef.|
Respect and transparency are the basis of trust.
|· Discuss the future with colleagues.
· Plan discussions about what makes us proud in our work and in our team. Build from there.
Pride and willingness to recommend the company.
|· Create activities between colleagues and leaders in relation to the mission and the vision of the company.
· Give employees the opportunity to go out in the field with their leaders and learn from them.
Work and home happiness can be supported through a client-first approach.
|· Adopt a concierge-like approach to things such as child care and food delivery in order to take those considerations off the mind of your employees.|
Make sure employees are happy with compensation, benefits and their overall work environment.
|· Stimulate the entrepreneurship of employees by making them create their own projects and realize their own ideas.|
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