7 Things You Must Be Doing To Create A Happy Workplace (2023)

Would you believe me if I told you that the happier your employees are, the more successful your company will be?

It may sound like the definition of a “Care Bear” management style, but study after study has shown that employee happiness has a direct correlation to your bottom-line.

Consider this:

Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%, and happy salespeople close 37% more sales.

It’s hard to ignore those numbers.

Ok, I know you’re probably thinking,That’s great, Sean, but can I really create a happier work environment for my team without breaking my back?

Well, today you’re in luck, because I’m not only here to tell you that yes, you absolutely can, but I’m also about to share with you my list of the top seven things you absolutely must be doing in order to create a happier, more productive workplace.

1) Consistently Deliver Praise and Recognition

Did you know that feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason why Americans quit their jobs? It’s true.

(Video) The Secret to Building a Healthy & Happy Workplace | Wolter Smit | TEDxBrighton

So what can you do to ensure your team is being consistently recognized for their hard work?

Create a system that makes it easy.

At SnackNation, we hold a “Crush It Call” every Friday. It goes like this: our entire team gathers around in a circle and we go around the room calling out someone whose work we want to recognize (i.e. “someone who “crushed it” that week).

You can also create a monthly or quarterly award for the team member who most embodies your core values. Brand it with something inspiring to communicate the intent behind the award (for instance, at SnackNation, the entire team votes every month to name the “Value Victor”).

I also highly encourage impromptu praise. Send out an email to the company when you notice someone going above and beyond, or give it a personal touch by writing them a handwritten note. The unexpectedness of the gesture will give it greater impact.

In my opinion, you can never, ever underestimate the power of a handwritten note (especially when sent to your employee’s home).

7 Things You Must Be Doing To Create A Happy Workplace (1)

2) Make Work Fulfilling

No one wants to feel like their work doesn’t matter.

In order to make work fulfilling, you first have to know the purpose behind your organization. Why do you exist? What purpose does your company serve and who do you help?

(Video) This is what makes employees happy at work | The Way We Work, a TED series

Once you can answer these questions, then you can map how each individual’s contributions help drive the company closer to fulfilling that purpose. You can literally write down and illustrate how each team member’s’ role is critical for the company to fulfill its purpose.

Even if you’re in a commoditized industry like insurance, there are still ways to give your organization purpose.

Zappos is a great example. They sell shoes and clothing online, but their mission is to “deliver happiness.” All new hires at Zappos spend two weeks fielding customer service calls, no matter which department they’re going to be working for. This ensures that everyone sees the value of their work – “delivering happiness” to their customers.

3) Offer Meaningful Perks

If you automatically assume that paying people more is the key to workplace happiness, guess again. A recent study found 16 unique perks that employees value over a pay raise.

This is especially true of millennial workers, who see compensation more as a threshold than a scorecard.

So what does move the needle? Perks that improve quality of life and demonstrate that your company cares about employees, things like health and wellness programs, child care, and unlimited vacation.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise – it’s the reason you see top companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple offer extensive perks to boost workplace happiness.

4) Invest in Your Team’s Personal and Professional Growth

I’m a huge believer that personal development is a basic human need, and that your employees need to constantly grow in order to feel fulfilled. When employees feel stagnant, that’s when many start scrolling through the job boards in search of something new.

(Video) 7 Strategies to Create a Happy Workplace

Here are some ideas that a lot of top companies are doing (and most of them don’t cost that much):

– Subsidize education for team members who want to take classes, purchase online courses, or attend industry conferences to improve their skills.

– Host “lunch and learns” where a team member presents on a topic he or she is passionate about.

– Start a book club or crowdsource a library.

– Launch a company-wide Individual Development Plan (IDP for short) where employees come up with four personal and four professional goals that they want to achieve by the end of the year. From there, the manager and employee break down each goal into component parts, setting quarterly and monthly benchmarks. Dates are set so the employee has a realistic pathway to achieving her goals.

7 Things You Must Be Doing To Create A Happy Workplace (2)

5) Throw Fun Events that Allow People to Interact and Bond

It’s a fact: having friends at work just makes going into the office more fun. It helps create a sense that you and your colleagues are all “in this thing together.”

Having ongoing fun events at a set cadence, gives your team the chance to connect with their coworkers on a more personal level.

Offsites are one of my personal favorite ways to get people mingling, but you can also do things like a Happy Hour once a month or half-day Fridays in the summer to hang out together. The magic of a summer beach day with the team cannot be overstated!

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6) Incentivize Wellness (and Make it Fun)

While a health lecture may sound like a decent idea to help people improve wellness, it’s not something that will get your team excited. For wellness to work, you have to get buy-in and make it something that’s enjoyable for your team.

Yoga, healthy potluck lunches, steps/fitness challenges with Jawbone tracking devices, or awesome healthy snacks have all been a hit at most companies we work with. Here are 121 more wellness ideas if you’re looking for some new inspiration.

7) Build Trust

Your team wants to be trusted. They want to be given responsibility because it shows that you’re confident in their abilities. Trust means micromanaging less, but also creating accountability to ensure things are getting done.

What does this look like in practice? Try a flexible or unlimited vacation policy, where you offer your employees to take as much time as they need to rejuvenate as long as they are hitting their goals.

Most of you spend a large chunk of your waking hours at the office, shouldn’t that time be enjoyable and fulfilling? Build trust, incentivize wellness, appreciate employees and implement the other suggestions above to increase workplace happiness.

Image Credit: Glen Wright

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Sean Kelly is the CEO of SnackNation, a healthy snack delivery service for offices across America. Sean is also the founder of AwesomeOffice.org, an association dedicated to helping companies maximize employee engagement, productivity, and wellbeing.

(Video) 3 ways to create a work culture that brings out the best in employees | Chris White | TEDxAtlanta


7 Things You Must Be Doing To Create A Happy Workplace? ›

Great colleagues: Mutual respect, support, trust and communication among colleagues helps in making the workplace more productive and efficient. This can also lead to higher job satisfaction and happiness.

What are the things that make you happy at work workplace? ›

Great colleagues: Mutual respect, support, trust and communication among colleagues helps in making the workplace more productive and efficient. This can also lead to higher job satisfaction and happiness.

What are 5 things that makes you happy at work? ›

Factors like a healthy work environment, fair compensation, access to employer-sponsored benefits, opportunities for development and the potential for advancement commonly contribute to employees feeling content in their roles.

What are the 3 most important things in a working environment? ›

5 Elements of a Productive Work Environment
  • Respect. Respect is the foundation of a productive work environment. ...
  • Teamwork. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. ...
  • Training. Your team is your most valuable asset. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Opportunity.

How can I improve my workplace happiness? ›

Here are some actionable steps you can take towards creating a happier workforce today.
  1. Be prepared to listen and change. ...
  2. Prioritise work-life balance. ...
  3. Create a career pathway. ...
  4. Encourage a culture of positivity. ...
  5. Saying 'thank you' ...
  6. Offer benefits beyond the basics.

How do I make my workplace a happy place? ›

7 Things You Must Be Doing To Create A Happy Workplace
  1. 1) Consistently Deliver Praise and Recognition. ...
  2. 2) Make Work Fulfilling. ...
  3. 3) Offer Meaningful Perks. ...
  4. 4) Invest in Your Team's Personal and Professional Growth. ...
  5. 5) Throw Fun Events that Allow People to Interact and Bond. ...
  6. 6) Incentivize Wellness (and Make it Fun)

What are the top five 5 things that make you happy? ›

Science Says These Five Things Will Make You Happier
  • Practice Daily Gratitude. Expressing gratitude has been shown to do more than improve your mood. ...
  • Surround Yourself with Positive People. ...
  • Do Regular Acts of Kindness. ...
  • Spend More Time with Family and Friends. ...
  • Spend Money on Experiences Instead of Things.

What are the four keys to happiness at work? ›

However, in developing our course, we have identified four key pillars of happiness at work: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness— or PERK, as in to PERK up your happiness at work, or make happiness your company's best PERK.

What factors make employees happy? ›

The top 10 factors are:
  • Appreciation for your work.
  • Good relationships with colleagues.
  • Good work-life balance.
  • Good relationships with superiors.
  • Company's financial stability.
  • Learning and career development.
  • Job security.
  • Attractive fixed salary.
Dec 15, 2014

What are the 5 characteristics of a healthy work environment? ›

“Positive” work environments can be defined as those workplaces where there is trust, cooperation, safety, risk-taking support, accountability, and equity. There are some abstract concepts when thinking about a positive work environment. You want to strive for shared purpose, values, and trust.

What are the ten ways to create a positive work environment? ›

Top 10 Ways to Create a Positive Work Environment
  • Be a strong leader. Motivate employees, mentor their growth and guide them toward success.
  • Mistakes happen. ...
  • Be transparent. ...
  • Encourage innovation. ...
  • Don't micromanage. ...
  • Emphasize collaboration. ...
  • Abandon the status quo. ...
  • See the big picture.

What are the 10 keys to happiness? ›

10 keys to happier living
  • Do things for others. Helping others is not only good for those you help, but it also makes you feel good. ...
  • Connect with people. ...
  • Take care of your body. ...
  • Live life mindfully. ...
  • Keep learning new things. ...
  • Have goals to look forward to. ...
  • Find ways to bounce back. ...
  • Look for what's good.
Jan 11, 2023

What 3 things are needed for happiness? ›

The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.

What is the #1 key to happiness? ›

Contrary to what you might think, it's not career achievement, money, exercise, or a healthy diet. The most consistent finding we've learned through 85 years of study is: Positive relationships keep us happier, healthier, and help us live longer. Period.

What are the 7 pillars of happiness? ›

7 pillars of happiness
  • Rich relationships. Who you surround yourself with dictates your happiness. ...
  • Pursue your dreams and goals. ...
  • Service to others. ...
  • Good health. ...
  • Financial security. ...
  • Happy family and friends. ...
  • Enjoy what you do for a living.
Nov 14, 2022

What are the 6 steps to happiness? ›

Let's walk through each of them:
  • Number 1: Spend time and energy in the right way. ...
  • Number 2: Express gratitude for the good things in your life (big and small). ...
  • Number 3: Perform random acts of kindness. ...
  • Number 4: Be mindful and practice self-awareness. ...
  • Number 5: Exercise and sleep. ...
  • Number 6: Keep a routine.

How can employees be happy at work? ›

Reduce stress

Promote work-life balance, encourage vacation days, create a collaborative environment, give clear direction and get your team the tools they need to do their jobs well. Stressed employees are not productive employees.

What makes a workplace happy and profitable? ›

Better customer service and customer satisfaction.

They will want to spend longer with the customers improving their experience. This will result in customers being happier and preferring to deal with these employees. This will result in a higher customer satisfaction, creating more sales and client retention.

What are 7 healthy environments? ›

Clean air, stable climate, adequate water, sanitation and hygiene, safe use of chemicals, protection from radiation, healthy and safe workplaces, sound agricultural practices, health-supportive cities and built environments, and a preserved nature are all prerequisites for good health.

What are the 6 standards of a healthy work environment? ›

In the face of evidence that outlines the impact work environments play on providing safe and quality health care, AACN submits six key standards for establishing healthy work environments: communication, collaboration, decision making, staffing, recognition, and leadership.

What is key to a healthy work environment? ›

A fantastic work environment celebrates innovation and individuality. It encourages collaboration and teamwork while providing employees with the flexibility and autonomy they need to reach their personal goals. Healthy work environments are also safe, both psychologically and physically.

What are 2 tips to creating a positive environment? ›

How to Create a Positive Work Environment
  1. 1) Protect Employees Mental Health. ...
  2. 2) Look at Your Actual Working Environment. ...
  3. 3) Host Company Events. ...
  4. 4) Healthy Body = A Healthy Mind. ...
  5. 5) Create Strong Lines of Communication. ...
  6. 6) Promote Diversity. ...
  7. 7) Provide Opportunities for Career Development.

What three words best describe your work environment positive? ›

The following words are ranked by how frequently they were mentioned by employees, from most frequent to least frequent.
  • Fun.
  • Challenging.
  • Friendly.
  • Engaging.
  • Rewarding.
  • Collaborative.
  • Flexible.
  • Supportive.
Mar 13, 2018

What am I most excited about at work? ›

Personal satisfaction and personal commitment. The satisfaction that comes from knowing that you have contributed to something positive. Self-improvement and better performance.

What are 3 reasons you're excited to work? ›

I admire the company's work ethic and collaborative spirit.
  • “I've known the company for a while and really admire its style / achievements / industry role.” ...
  • “I believe I can make a positive impact on this company because….” ...
  • “I was struck by how the company's values align with my own….”

What are 3 reasons you're excited to work at company? ›

“I see this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company/industry, and I feel I can do so by/with my …” “I feel my skills are particularly well-suited to this position because …” “I believe I have the type of knowledge to succeed in this role and at the company because …”

What can motivate a person at work? ›

Inside Thomson Reuters
  • The chance to make an impact.
  • Learning something new.
  • Finding innovative solutions.
  • Staying curious.
  • Working with great people in a great culture.
  • Having fun.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Having flexibility.

What are 4 factors of job satisfaction? ›

6 factors for your job satisfaction
  • The atmosphere in the team and at the office. ...
  • Work-life balance. ...
  • Salary and working conditions. ...
  • Varying work. ...
  • Development opportunities. ...
  • Flexible working and autonomy.


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