What does it take to create a happier and more productive work environment?

It does not matter what type of industry an organisation is in, its size and what products or services it provides. A business cannot move forward without the right people. Successful CEOs, leaders and managers know keeping their team motivated increases productivity and drives growth.


Studies show when employees are loyal and engaged by an organisation, profits increase. On the contrary, when personnel feel unmotivated or undervalued, the organisation suffers. Moreover, studies show that engaged employees have fewer days time off, improved performance and are more supportive of change. In fact, they are willing to embrace change and help others adopt and adapt.


Happiness in the workplace is not as easy to achieve as it sounds. Being happy is very personal. It is the inner self that truly commands happiness. Family, friends and employment can all contribute to someone’s happiness level. For example, if the workplace is stressful, there is a culture of blame and unethical behaviours, employee’s productivity naturally suffers. Satisfied employees that feel a sense of accomplishment and have reduced stress at work tend to be more productive and creative.

To make your organisation a place where happiness and productivity flourish, consider the following tips.


1. Give Purpose, Expectations and Direction

An employer who sets clear expectations for employees, on what needs to be done, by when and the purpose of the task, lead to higher productivity and satisfaction. If there is an ambiguity on the role an employee is performing and obscurity on what “good” is, people tend to be confused, unproductive and damaging the output of the organisation. Giving clarity to your workforce could result in higher ownership levels and process improvements.


Communication is key for employees. Confusion on the direction and updates of the company lead to a lack of engagement and unsatisfaction. Aligning individual and team strategies to the business’s strategy create higher engagement and purpose. Also, employers should not use “one size fits all” engagement practices. A flexible model that allows organisations to adjust their approach according to the individual is vital. For example, some people need consistency, and some others crave challenge in the work environment. As an organisation, you have to support both environments.


Participating in Corporate Social Responsibility programmes can give purpose to employees beyond their day-to-day jobs. For example, taking part in charity events, mentorship programmes or environmental friendly activities can boost the pride of working for a particular organisation.


2. Make your employees feel valued

Money is important, but not everything.


Nowadays, it is more common for an organisation to give perks to their employees. For example, discounts on selected shops, gym membership offers, medical insurance and cycle to work initiatives create satisfaction and people feel proud working for a company.


Additionally, by having regular meetings where everyone can voice their opinions and concerns can add benefits. It can also be a valuable source of information concerning a company’s products and services. This can have a positive impact on an organisation’s bottom line.


Feeling appreciated by the place you devote most of your time is significant to your happiness and productivity. Congratulating a team or an individual for doing a good job can motive people when they know their employer values them. Celebrating achievements is equally important as achieving them. Team activities when reaching a milestone can bring people closer and improve collaboration in the workplace.


Work-life balance is a significant stress for people. Flexible working can increase employees productivity if appropriate for a job. For example, by giving your employees the opportunity to work from home if needed and be flexible on the arrival and departure time can be a great stress release.  Also, employees have to take time off to avoid burn out without feeling guilty. Parents should not have to be in a constant battle to choose between work or their families. Employees should be able to attend their kid’s school events, go on parental leave and stay at home when their children are ill without using their holidays. It is important to focus on results, not the amount of time spent in the office.

3. Form a productive environment

The physical layout of the office is essential to maximise productivity. People need enough room to work, the right supplies and materials, and a comfortable and pleasant environment to get motivated.


Elements of a productive environment could include:


a) Ergonomic and up to date equipment and technology. Having a lower standard of technology at work is frustrating.
b) Live green plants make people feel better about themselves and their jobs when they feel a connection to nature around them.
c) Offer healthy food choices in the cafeteria, break room or office space. For example, providing fruits and nuts is a healthier alternative to sweets that helps people think better, increase energy and improve mood.


4. Give your employees space to grow

In a workplace, individuals need to learn and progress with their careers. To improve productivity, employees should be part of an honest environment. Individual personal development plans are vital for keeping track on performance and identifying areas of development by running effective performance reviews frequently. However, day-to-day constructive feedback through 1-to-1 or team meetings is equally important to ensure employees are on the right track and encouraged to improve their skills. Thus, training (which can be compulsory or upon request) make employees feel that their development is crucial not only for themselves but also for their company.

5. Respected and visible Leadership

Leadership is vital to keep people happy and productive. If your boss is someone that you do not respect or look up to, it is unlikely for employees to stay productive, take initiatives and work for the best interests of a company.


Organisations might suffer when employees do not recognise or understand who is the leadership team and its strategy. Being known by the CEO or an influential person in a company makes employees feel valued. It is common for large firms employees to feel lost and unmotivated when they never met the leadership team or are unclear about the structure of the company.

Keep Them Happy; Keep Them Working

As an employer, there is an excellent opportunity to make a difference in employees’ lives. This may mean a smile, asking how their family is, or asking about their interests or problems. Loyalty and commitment are traits a company can cultivate to align employees to the enterprise’s goals. When a corporation has a happy and productive workforce that is eager to contribute, a prosperous future with growth and increased profits are more likely.


At the end of the day, we need to care about each other to get the best results.