Pharrell Williams is happy 24/7, but are your employees?

Posted by 28/4/2018

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We’re in a privileged position to see the inside of many corporate ecosystems to experience how they nurture and motivate their workforce for good. Here we share some insight.

So, what makes an employee happy? You would be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion of money – after all isn’t that what makes us get out of our cosy beds in the morning? The truth is, those typically more loyal employees are seeking inner happiness achieved not only with financial reward, but through complete job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Here are a few things every employer or manager can do to up the happiness stakes and, better still, it’s mainly free!


  1. Consider offering flexi-time. In this day and age it makes good sense to allow your employees to fit their life into and around their job more effortlessly. It’ll be a perk and as long as they get their work done and do their hours in designated peak times, then why not?


  1. Despite how much any of us enjoy our job, we all appreciate time off. It’s good for our brains and our lives outside of work allowing quality time with friends, family and ourselves! If your employee is an efficient, happy and motivated one, then they will definitely get their work done regardless, so consider offering an extra day off here and there as an incentive.


  1. Get to know your employees and take an interest in them on a personal level. Knowing what someone’s job spec is doesn’t mean you know them. They are a person, and likely to have the normal host of interests, hobbies, family, friends, pressures and demands. Make time to chat with them about their role with you and their lives outside of the workplace. You could always incorporate ‘getting to know you’ time into your daily performance activities.


  1. Build trust and establish two-way communication. Make sure they feel valued. React to their feedback and make sure you follow it up. Be transparent, if you have a one to one with an employee or conduct a survey that highlights some areas you could improve, make sure you act on it. The performance initiative we launched for Sanlam to encourage meaningful conversations might be a useful read. Similarly, if employees contribute great ideas into the mix or excel at their job, make sure you recognise and reward it. Rewards can be anything from treating them to cake (and eating it) or perhaps a glass of vino, maybe even dinner out or some time off. Also, saying a nice big thank you doesn’t go a miss!


  1. Ever noticed how some of your best employees move on? Often that is because they strive to grow and develop and will always take opportunities that arise to further develop themselves. If your company doesn’t offer a career pathway or training and development, consider changing this. Good employees don’t have to leave to develop or add skills to their repertoire. Embrace the opportunity to realise your employee’s potential for the benefit of your business.

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Richard Branson

  1. Set an example. If you’re an inspirational employer/manager, your employees will look up to you and might even aspire to be a fair and decent boss/employer like you one day. Make time to say hi and see how your people are. They are the force after all.


  1. How about some employee benefits? You can supplement a salary with some easy to obtain perks ranging from gym packages to retail discounts, cinema tickets and much, much more. Check out what’s on offer from people like Perkbox.


  1. The above leads us nicely onto the current hot topic, wellness. Life can be both wonderful and rocky, often in equal measure. Juggling all life throws at us and maintaining a productive work life can be hard at times, so we all, employers and employees alike could benefit from a bit of a wellness check. There are plenty of ways to maintain a busy but healthy life. Check out some of the fabulous wellbeing apps reviewed by our friends at Real Healthy that can help keep us healthier all round.


  1. Start as you mean to go on – Morning ritual, help employees look forward to their work day. Free breakfast? Office HIIT sessions are growing in popularity to get the blood pumping ready for the day ahead.


  1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Give your team a break from their everyday to do good. Set up a charity initiative such as JDRF’s TypeOnesie campaign, MRF’s Bake Sale or action an open volunteering initiative, like Mobilise for May.


For further inspiration, read the top employers for work-life balance.