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HR & culture

Step-by-step plan for more happiness at work: 6 smart tips

By Isabel
12 Jul 2022

Various studies show that each year employees feel less satisfied and engaged. So as an employer, it’s really important to know what con­tributes to their happiness at work.

As an organ­i­sa­tion, how can you keep your employees engaged, motivated and happy? This step-by-step plan will get you started!

1. Ensure enjoyable and enriching work

The key to increased engagement is an enjoyable, enriching job that gets the best out of their skills and experience. As an employer, do you want to make your employees’ jobs more meaningful? Then listen to what they have to say – they know better than anyone where things can be improved. Make sure you also give them enough autonomy over their tasks. This helps them become more aware of what they’re bringing to the team and the entire organ­i­sa­tion.

2. Provide enough growth opportunities 

Employees often indicate that they don’t get enough career devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties within their organ­i­sa­tion, or that there isn’t enough of the (right) training on offer. Almost every employee believes that – were they to feel like they have lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties to grow – they would want to stay indef­i­nite­ly. In other words, creating space for growth and devel­op­ment is crucial to keeping your employees on board – and increasing their engagement.

It’s worth pointing out that growth doesn’t always have to mean climbing the managerial ladder. It can be about taking on a specialist role, for example, or brushing up on specific skills with a view to a different set of respon­si­bil­i­ties. Sometimes taking a step back can also be the right move at certain points in a career, even if it might not seem like it at the time!

3. Radiate an inspiring vision 

Employees who can identify with your vision and mission feel more engaged and may even turn out to be dream ambas­sadors for your employer brand. That’s why start-up employees score so highly in terms of engagement. Young companies are often born out of the passion of their founders, who embody the mission and vision. Companies that deliver products and services for the benefit of society also have the edge here.

4. Keep an eye on workload

Engaged employees are completely committed to their job and customers, and are more likely than others to say that they can cope with their workload. But that enthusiasm also has a downside: the risk of having a burnout is always lurking around the corner.

So it’s important to always keep an eye on the balance between workload and capacity. Managers need to do this, but so do other team members and teams. Each individual employee must be given the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work on their own capacity.

5. Cultivate a positive company culture

Anyone who feels like they can identify with the values and norms of an organ­i­sa­tion is auto­mat­i­cal­ly more engaged. Today, an open company culture and trans­par­ent com­mu­ni­ca­tion are indis­pens­able. By regularly involving all employees in the ins and outs of the organ­i­sa­tion, everyone feels connected to each other and the company.

For current and future gen­er­a­tions on the labour market, stability and job security are no longer the key criteria when choosing an employer. They mainly ask: will I be able to identify with the values and company culture?

6. Build a culture of recognition

Colleagues, management, customers: there are a lot of different people involved in recog­ni­tion. Also, everyone expe­ri­ences appre­ci­a­tion dif­fer­ent­ly. For example, a simple pat on the back might give one person a real boost, while someone else only really feels appre­ci­at­ed when they’re given more respon­si­bil­i­ty or the chance to be promoted. So there’s always a personal element to recog­ni­tion.

But one thing’s for sure: the impact of appre­ci­a­tion on engagement is still greatly under­es­ti­mat­ed today. Anyone who feels recognised by their team and managers values their job more and gets more sat­is­fac­tion out of it. This then leads to a greater drive and more happiness at work.

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