How to Keep your Employees Happy: 5 Ways

Research shows that people spend over 30% of their entire lives at work. Spread out over 30 to 40 years of employment, the aforementioned percentage translates into some pretty hefty working hours indeed. This partly explains why nowadays people prefer to hop from one position to the next in search of the right job for them instead of sticking with any one place for the entire duration of their careers.

If a company is truly interested in keeping its employees happy and content, here are the five measures they must take in order to ensure their wellbeing:

Happy programmer at work
photo credit: mammal / Flickr

1. Create safe and optimum working conditions

Play is play, work is work. That being said, a modern workplace knows how to bring a bit of the former into the latter. From installing a dedicated relaxation room, replete with games and musical instruments, to providing your employees with the occasional treat, there are plenty of ways to enhance their experience at work.

In addition, take steps to ensure employee safety, from discouraging toxic behaviors like compulsive overworking to providing quality health insurance that will protect them in the case of unfortunate accidents or illnesses.

2. Communicate better

One of the most common problems that employees have with companies, particularly large corporations, is that they’re being kept in the dark when it comes to what’s going on inside the company. No one likes being at the receiving end of a silent treatment, which is why shoddy communication is one of the top three causes of negativity in the workplace.

For high levels of engagement, make sure you keep an open door to employees at all times, and maintain a policy of transparency with regards to company decisions. Also, don’t hesitate to ask them for employee input whenever possible, either by collecting feedback or by encouraging their direct participation in the ideation process.

3. Insist on accountability and reward performance

Despite being creatures of comfort, the last thing that people want or need is to be coddled. In the workforce, especially, they have to be held accountable for their actions. Setting goals together with your employees can help them gain an understanding about what’s expected of them as well as motivate them to reach higher levels of performance.

It’s always a good idea to reward your top employees through revenue sharing initiatives, thereby helping them feel appreciated and cared for when they achieve notable results.

Happy and empowered employees

4. Support career development

Another essential aspect for the vast majority of people who are searching for employment lies in the opportunities afforded by their potential job. Simply put, people want to evolve and grow constantly. Whether that means earning promotions or simply gaining new skills through workshops and training sessions, it’s important for employees to see themselves as moving forward instead of being stuck in a rut for too long.

Try to invest in your employee’s’ professional advancement by constantly providing them with new challenges and opportunities. It’s an investment that is sure to pay dividends as they stick by your side.

5. Be flexible and trusting

Today’s employees value flexibility quite a lot. Whereas once upon a time, a strict 9 to 5 regimen was the norm, nowadays for many people the chance to occasionally work from home or keep an unusual schedule can lead to a big boost in productivity and overall wellbeing. Not all companies can be this accommodating due to certain constraints inherent in their business model, but it’s always worth taking steps to try and empower your employees.

Of course, trust is the most valuable component in this type of relationship. An employee has to take comfort in knowing that he isn’t constantly being checked up on, but some guidelines also need to be set in place to make sure that such privileges are not going to be abused.


When it comes to the current job climate, the truth is that finding and retaining the right employees is equal parts science and art. People want to be happy, and they will ultimately choose the things that bring them the most happiness. That being said, maximizing the chances of retaining a company’s brightest talent is one of the best and most cost-effective ways of ensuring its long-term viability. It’s a win-win situation for both employer and employee, and one that should be sought after equally by both parties.