by Justin Reynolds
Studies have shown that happy employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy colleagues. If you’ve ever been miserable at a job, you know how true this is.
For unhappy workers, being in the office can be dreadful. You stare at the clock all day long in anticipation of quitting time. Sure, you might get a few things done — just enough to keep your job. But there’s no way you go above and beyond every day. You do the bare minimum, hoping to slip under the radar.
On the flip side, when employees love their job and are happy to be at work, it’s a lot easier for them to become productivity beasts.
Any company that wishes to grow needs to develop an environment that creates happy employees. One easy way to do that is to shower your workers with cash, perks, and gifts.
Unfortunately, not every company has an endless supply of money to invest in employee happiness initiatives. The good news is that there are a number of ways companies can increase employee happiness without breaking the bank. Here are five of them:
Solicit feedback from your team regularly
Your employees log long hours every week. Many of them know the ins and outs of your business in a way that you simply cannot. An easy way to increase happiness is by asking your team for their feedback on a regular basis. Ask them to let you know how new initiatives are unfolding and whether they have any ideas as to how to improve processes or functions. Their answers will help you build a stronger, more efficient company while letting employees feel a sense of ownership.
Allow your employees to work on pet projects
Working on the same tasks day in and day out can get discouraging for anyone. Let your employees mix it up a bit. Someone in finance can write a blog post every now and again. A member of your marketing team can go on a few sales calls. If a worker comes to you with a great idea that’s outside the scope of their traditional responsibilities, let them work on it.
Embrace remote working and flexible schedules
Does it really matter when and where your employees work? Studies show remote workers are happier than their peers who sit in an office all day. Research also suggests employees who can make their own flexible schedules are more engaged with their jobs. Give your team the freedom to dictate what their weeks look like and they’ll be happier.
Let your employees bring their dogs to the office
If you have space, create a pet policy that allows your employees to bring their dogs to work occasionally. In addition to creating a more exciting environment, having dogs in the office is a good way to encourage spontaneous conversations as employees stop by to pet a colleague’s furry friend.
Communicate clearly and be transparent
Nobody wants to be blindsided by major developments or announcements. You don’t have to tell your employees about every single thing that’s going on in your organization. But you should tell them all of the major news that will impact their positions as soon as you know it.
You don’t need a ton of cash to make your employees happier. Just get a little creative and be willing to take a few chances. It’s worth it. The happier your employees are, the happier you’ll be.
This article originally appeared on TINYpulse.