If you are a manager or if you aspire to lead, keeping employees happy will be one of your biggest markers of success. Difficult to quantify and a factor in so many things from employee turnover to bankruptcy, employee happiness can make all the difference. It’s the glue that holds teams together, and it’s something that all the best managers target. In other words, leadership is about more than just reaching a company or departmental goal. There is also a human element to consider.

Good managers ensure that their employees work toward those goals by meeting performance metrics at team, department, and company levels. Great managers, however, take things one step further by involving their staff members in developing a strategy for meeting productivity goals. They then leverage that relationship to help the company surpass its performance standards. Their employees remain happy and fully engaged. They stay motivated to help the company reach its goals, and they feel that they are part of a coherent team or system.

Happy employees

If this sounds like a tall order, that’s because it is. Not everyone can or should move into the manager’s office. Great leadership abilities are rare, and possessing the ability to keep your employees happy is a part of that. To complicate matters, there is no easy strategy for making sure your employees are happy. Employee incentives and job perks help, but so does something as simple as having friends at work.

In contrast, employees who are disengaged or otherwise unhappy can really hurt a company. These unhappy workers are not as productive or engaged with their work, so they do less overall. The work that they do complete is often haphazard, uninspired, or incorrect. Depending on your industry or department function, errors may be more than simply inconvenient. They can be costly.

If you are looking to reach the next level in your professional life, the ability to create stronger employee engagement and foster relationships with those workers is one of the most important skills you will need. Learn more about what it means to keep your employees happy in this infographic:

The benefits of happy employees - infographic by Ohio University Online
via Ohio University Online

Recap

Unmotivated employees cause threats to business growth

According a national study, only 29 percent of employees surveyed were “fully engaged” with their work. The main cause of this is most likely the employee’s relationship toward supervisors.

Unhappy employees can be damaging to a company: Annually, $50 billion is stolen from companies by employees. Moreover, 33 percent of business bankruptcies are caused by employee theft.

Employee happiness is important: The happiest companies are the fastest-growing – in 2014:

  • Google creates 4,236 jobs;
  • Quicken Loans creates 2,646 jobs;
  • Edward Jones creates 2,013 jobs;
  • Salesforce.com creates 1,264 jobs;
  • Genetech creates 842 jobs;
  • Intuit creates 326 jobs.

So, what a business owner should do to make sure that her employees are happy? She needs to adopt the right habits from the happiest companies:

  • Offer compressed work weeks: 78 percent of those top companies offer the perk;
  • Offer family care.

What else can you do? Make sure that employees find friends at work. The more friends an employee has at work, the more likely they are to love their company:

  • No friends: 24 percent love their companies;
  • 1-5 friends: 45 percent;
  • 6-25 friends: 64 percent;
  • 25+ friends: 71 percent.

Takeaway

No matter the size of a business, creating stronger engagement among employees and with their supervisors will create a happier, faster growing and more productive workplace.