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National Employee Appreciation Month

The phrases, ‘I can’t wait for the weekend!’, ‘Thank *insert preferred word* it’s Friday’ and ‘I’ve got the Monday blues’ highlight a common theme of human existence – people don’t want to be at work. It’s estimated that the average individual will spend around 90 000 hours of their life at work – that’s around a third of your existence. That can be quite a depressing fact if you’re unhappy in your job, or are experiencing some tension in the workplace.


However, the reality is that a happy work environment brings with it a whole lot of associated benefits for both employer and employee. So, in light if it being National Employee Appreciation Month, here is a look at some of the reasons employers should be creating a positive work space.


Benefits of a happy work environment


According to a study undertaken by the University of Warwick, employees who are unmotivated or generally unhappy at work are around 10 percent less productive, while those interviewed who indicated a happy work disposition were 12 percent more productive.


This productivity is not limited to an employee’s set tasks either. There is believed to be a correlation between happiness and creativity which means that these productive employees are also able to innovate. No matter what industry you work in, innovation is absolutely key to business success. Stagnation will see competitors, with their office full of happy employees, overtake you at some point.


This positive workspace also brings with it improved employee morale, with more collaboration (teamwork!) and a loyal workforce. When employees feel appreciated, that their ideas are being considered, and that they are actually contributing to something meaningful, they are much more likely to remain in their workspace rather than seeking alternative employment.


How do employers show appreciation?


To create an inspired workplace, employers need to show appreciation for their employees, and this can be done through a number of channels. Firstly, there needs to be a sense of trust. Trust employees with responsibilities by always ensuring they have the necessary training and prerequisite skills to get the job done. By micro-managing, employers are basically showing a lack of trust, and without trust there can’t be happiness.


Retaining employees is big issue in the working world, but – as mentioned above – stagnation will kill any organisation eventually. Employees must be given the opportunity to advance and by investing in skills’ development, employers are showing individuals they are valuable resources who are worth the time and money. There is always something new to be learnt, it’s just a matter of motivation.


In addition to investing, employers should also incentivise. It’s unlikely that every employee is working in their dream job – money and reward is a major contributing factor. So show appreciation for a job well done by incentivising with a bonus, free meal, vouchers or even time off.


Finally, purpose and inclusion are vital elements for a happy workplace. By giving employees a platform to share their ideas or by including them in the process behind decisions, you are showing them respect. By acknowledging the importance of their role within the business, you are validating their worth.


A recipe for workplace success


By combining these various factors, it’s likely that you will create a much more conducive working environment, where staff aren’t celebrating Fridays and bemoaning Mondays – or at the very least, not quite as much. It’s worth mentioning that the responsibility of a happy workplace doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of the employer – employees need to be proactive in their approach as well – but for there is a lot that can be done from the top to positively impact the lives of employees, and ultimately benefit the business as well.


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