So simple, yet still quite difficult to understand by so many companies. Yes, happiness is an awfully underestimated prerequisite for doing business successfully.
There is a scientifically evidenced correlation between productivity and happiness at work, as the American Psychological Association estimates a staggering $500 billion is lost in the USA yearly due to stress in the workplace. The influence of happiness in the workplace has also been aptly addressed by Shawn Achor at his TED speech, which we highly recommend.
The office: a home away from home
Happy teams need a happy office, so make your workplace likeable. Since people spend a substantial proportion of their day in the office nowadays, it makes much sense for every company to make their workers feel at home.
Yes, how your office looks may have serious implications for how they perform and perceive their duties. This is science: according to a recent survey by the American Society of Interior Designers, the decor is one of the top factors influencing people’s productivity and willingness to accept or leave jobs.
It does not take much to make the first step towards a happier workplace. For some teams, it’s enough if you change this awful coffee you normally order to the office. As long as it’s your employees who choose the new one. If it’s someone’s birthday today, a personalized coffee mug will be remembered and rewarded with a smile.
Those are the small steps. What about some bigger ones? Something to bring the team together and have fun? Maybe a foosball table you could play tournaments by? Or a relaxation room with chillout music in the background or staff trips with solving mysteries and collecting clues.
But creating favourable workspaces takes a little more than comfortable, colourful sofas, relaxed dress code and a canteen with fancy cocktails. Yes, these things may be important, but it is all about the mindset. You have to start building your working space from the essential foundations: honesty, respect, openness and trust. Then take a step further and empower people to shape it and have an influence on. Let your employees, like family members, express their opinions freely. This may take time, but will certainly pay off.
We can see the benefits ourselves.
We are family
Trust yields results and people want to prove they’re worth the trust. At Briisk, we know the benefits of a family atmosphere full well. Nobody is left alone with their needs and problems. Support is something that applies not only to our clients but also to team members. For example, we hold monthly review meetings where the CTO sits down with every developer and sounds out their individual needs. By implementing the changes, we make sure everyone knows they are listened to, that their voice matters. We want all our staff to know they constitute an important part of the company.
Make your team members feel you are not their enemy. Take some time every month to listen to their opinions, identify obstacles and areas for improvement.
Show your team some love
Creative jobs such as software development or graphics design need more loving care and friendly environment. Remember to consistently (and immediately) recognize exceptional work, reward great teamwork and leadership.
As Jeff Lawson, Twilio’s CEO stated in his presentation for Web Summit 2016: