How to Increase Employee Happiness - woman wearing gray blazer and smiling at camera

How to Increase Employee Happiness

Amelia Wilcox
December 28, 2021
October 9, 2022

Are you looking to increase employee happiness? It's a common question, especially during what HR leaders call The Great Resignation.

In this article, we'll cover 5 key concepts to increase employee happiness, as well as ways to start each step.  

Keys to Increase Employee Happiness and Retention

Here are 5 simple ways to increase employee happiness at your company the right way.

  1. Listen to employee concerns
  3. Get employee buy-in
  5. Keep employees learning
  7. Focus on communication
  9. Give Employee Wellness a Boost

1. Listen to Employee Concerns

Get feedback from your employees on all aspects of the workplace.

How do they like the equipment they use for the job?

How stressful is their job?

What are their relationships with their coworkers and their managers?

You can't improve anything without knowing where people stand.

To keep employees happy, you've got to start with knowing where their sources of work happiness come from. This will help you create solutions to help you increase employee happiness at work.

How to Get Started

Send anonymous surveys to employees. Ask about all aspects of their jobs. What do they like and dislike, what's working and what's broken, and what do they want more and less of at work? Capture results and distill the information into digestible data points.

Let everyone see the results and start a company-wide discussion about changes that need to be made.

Related: 5 Unbeatable Reasons for Employee Engagement Surveys

How to Increase Employee Happiness—woman wearing gray blazer and smiling at camera

2. Get Employee Buy-In

When starting a new program, ask your employees what they think about it before diving in. This brings their ideas to the table and allows for employee buy-in.

Why is buy-in so necessary? People are more likely to feel satisfied with something if they've taken part in creating it.

That means it's best to talk to your staff before making a significant change in the workplace. Otherwise, you spend time on the back end trying to convince people to like the change—or worse, not caring if they like it or not.

How to Get Started

Take a look at any new program or change you're thinking about making. Before moving forward, ask your employees what they think.

Really listen to what they say! It might mean you change your game plan or scrap the idea altogether. But it's certainly possible that getting the whole team involved will create something even better.

Related: 5 Ways HR Leaders Can Get Executive Team Support

3. Keep Employees Learning

Nothing kills morale faster than feeling like you're stuck in a dead-end job. Employees need to know there is a possibility for advancement in the organization if they want it.

Barring that, there should be support systems in place for employees to take continuing education classes or attend seminars on topics in their field. Encouraging (and supporting) employees to grow beyond the day you met them is a great way to keep them happy.

How to Get Started

Ensure there are opportunities for advancement within the organization. Keep hiring practices aligned to this by recruiting internally as much as possible. Create a policy and plan about continuing education programs.

And, finally, keep an eye on upcoming conferences in your industry, and offer to send some staff members there.

4. Focus on Communication

If you're working on getting buy-in from your employees, you're well on your way to good communication. But it takes more than that.  Having an open-door policy around communication—and truly using it—is another key to positive company culture. We've all worked for companies where a list of values and policies was just lip service, while any employee could tell you their experience didn't match the list of values posted in the employee handbook.

How to Get Started

Start by vetting your company values and goals around communication. Do they ring true?

(Hint: ask your employees through another anonymous survey.)

Create space and opportunities for good communication to happen. This could look like regular open office hours when employees are encouraged to check-in or just chat with the company's leaders.

Related: Your Guide to Running an Incredible One-On-One Meeting

5. Give Employee Wellness a Boost

Being healthy and stress-free is another crucial aspect of happiness. Employers can invest in employees' health by promoting wellness and mental health programs at work.  Nutrition, fitness, and stress reduction are the basic framework for a wellness program at work. Incorporating meditation, mindfulness, therapy, and life coaching are things to look for in a mental health program. These things are proven to reduce stress and improve employee mental health, increasing happiness for employees, their families, and the company as a whole.

Related: 3 Ways Corporate Massage Lowers Employee Turnover

How to Get Started

Here are some articles to help you find the best mental health program for your team:

Stop stacking benefits. Start being well. Set a Nivati demo


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Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.