Images of employees in game rooms, getting their free espresso and picking up their dry cleaning at the office might seem like something only Facebook and Google can provide. For small companies just making payroll is a big concern, let alone having a large and expensive employee perk program. For many small business owners this disparity might seem like a roadblock for hiring top talent…not necessarily. Creating an atmosphere that breeds happiness and draws others who also desire happiness is easier than many founders think.
Happy is Not in the Snack Room
You have seen really cool workplaces with full kitchens, espresso machines, and soda machines with dozens of flavors. That’s cool! Your office might have an old school coffee machine and that’s awesome too. Studies show what really drives employee happiness is what happens between team members and how people relate to their manager. An open workplace where employees feel bonded to team members and can communicate with their manager has proven to have more impact on happiness than employee snacks.
Sell Your Strengths
Flexibility and understanding for each employee is a big perk that costs little to your organization. For instance, letting team members know that they can pick up their children and still make it back to work and deliver solid business results can help create employees who work harder for you. When you are looking to hire talent, make sure you sell what is unique to your company. In many cases it is you and your team! By creating flexibility you can create a happier workplace, happier employees, and recruit top talent.
Look for Happy
Look for happy hires! It’s really simple how much you can learn from someone in five minutes. Do they smile? Do they look you in the eye? Do they take care of their appearance and feel pride in their work? If you answer no to any of these questions you might be dealing with an unhappy hire. Energy is contagious – both good and bad energy. If you have a team of happy people, your company culture naturally breeds positive energy. Hire people that build a happy culture.
What if Your Culture is Not Happy?
Start with you! Are you happy as a leader and business owner? Do you enjoy what you do every single day? Do you look forward to coming to work? If you answered no to any of these questions, it might be time to step back and examine your energy at work. As you know energy is contagious and as a business leader many will look to you as the beacon of the company. If the beacon needs a battery change because it can’t shine then change the battery. Taking some time to meet with other business leaders and mentors can help reignite your passion for your company. Maybe it’s time for a little work-life balance for yourself…vacation anyone?
Examine ways you can create a happier workplace starting with you and your interactions with your team.