Most companies believe that compensation or tangible rewards are enough to make their employees thrive. In reality, they want to feel valued and human when they come to work.
Happy employees tend to be more effective. “Business units with engaged workers have 23% higher profit compared with business units with miserable workers," wrote Jon Clifton, CEO of Gallup, in Gallup's “State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report."
“Additionally, teams with thriving workers see significantly lower absenteeism, turnover and accidents; they also see higher customer loyalty. The point is: Well-being at work isn't at odds with anyone's agenda," Clifton wrote.
Here's the bad news: Only 21% of employees say they are engaged at work, which Gallup describes as “highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace."
Most companies believe that compensation or tangible rewards are enough to make their employees thrive when, in reality, they want to feel valued and human when they come to work. But when business leaders understand their employees' emotional needs, they can create an environment that is conducive to higher morale and higher-quality work.
One of the biggest challenges regarding employee morale is the new remote work ecosystem. While remote work has brought about some wonderful things, such as the globalization of the workforce and allowing employees to work on their own terms, it also has the unfortunate side effect of making employees feel lonely. For many workers, their job is an essential outlet for socialization, and working from home eliminates these opportunities.
Additionally, it can be more difficult for an employer or manager to gain insight into how their employees feel when they work from home. Communicating with a person via email and video chat is much different than having a face-to-face conversation. Checking in with your employees regularly is more important than ever to ensure they are still feeling happy and valued within the organization. Doing so will ensure that employees feel comfortable performing their best work.
Still, for business leaders, it can be difficult to find the time to connect with employees. Leaders have so many other priorities that it can be easy for them to forget the people who help them achieve their objectives. Enlisting the help of a person—or people, depending on the size of your organization—whose specific job is to check in on employees' happiness and well-being can ensure that employees feel valued.
Although having these people on your team can help restore a human touch to business, it doesn't relieve the agency leader of the responsibility of caring for employees. The purpose of a happiness manager should be to ensure overall employee wellness, but the leader's job is to implement changes to make the culture more conducive to employee well-being.
By emphasizing the human aspects of your agency, employees may also be more likely to view agency leadership as real people, not just titles, and will therefore be more willing to communicate their needs. Leadership will gain more insights into improvements that can be made to the organization.
This human connection can go a long way in making a business more efficent and a better place to work.
Craig Goodliffe is founder and CEO of Cyberbacker.