12 Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy Without Raising Wages

An article from : http://www.bschool.com

The old adage, “a happy employee is a productive employee” has been proven to be true time and time again. Looking at many of the most successful companies today, many of them have a wide variety of ways they keep there employees happy and working. While it’s true that raising wages will always make employees happy, there are several other things you can do to ensure their happiness. These things will also probably be significantly cheaper than an across-the-board wage hike.
1. Flexible Hours
All businesses are different, and some are much easier to allow flexible scheduling than others. However, simply making any effort can have positive results. Employees have lives outside the workplace, and sometimes issues with children come up, family emergencies, or simply needing a nice vacation. Allowing employees to have some flexibility is a great way to keep them happy. If a employee asks to leave work early to pick up their child from school, letting them go, and having them make up the time later (if you so desire) is much more effective in terms of employee happiness.
2. Casual Fridays and Other Themes
 Businesses have many different kinds of dress codes. Some are strict, and business formal, while others lean towards business casual. No employee likes wearing a suit and tie every day, so allowing employees specific days of the week to “dress down,” is a great way to keep them happy. Making the dress-down day theme oriented can also produce great results (usually, something more inventive than a simple Hawaiian shirt day will have better results). Potential ideas include, sports teams, colleges, wear your favorite sweater, and so on.
3.  Coffee and Tea for Everyone  
It’s no secret that a little caffeine can do wonders in terms of motivating an employee. It’s often difficult to complete tasks if you are run-down, or otherwise simply very tired. Giving employees a high quality coffee-machine, with a variety of options (including tea, for those who don’t like coffee), is a wonderful decision. In terms of cost, it won’t be as much as raising wages, but it will certainly help motivate some employees to keep working away. There will always be those who disagree, but in my experience, half of the office would be asleep before lunchtime without some coffee or tea.
4. Family Events
Employees like to take their families to work-related events. It’s a great way for them to build new relationships, and just have a good time outside of the traditional workplace. “Family Days,” as they are sometimes called, can be tremendous for employee motivation. Serving good food, maybe some beer, having fun games, and generally making a great experience at a family event is fantastic from an employee-motivational standpoint.
5. Company-wide Competitions
Competition is the mother of productivity. If you can come up with a great competition, with a great reward, you just might find that your employees really get into it. It depends on your industry, but one example would be a sales competition for a sales company. Other competitions can involve things outside of the work place, such as fitness competitions.
6. Child Care Facilities  
Sometimes things happen, and employees will need to bring their children to work. If you don’t have anything that could be used as a childcare facility, you risk unhappy employees who will be forced to jump through hoops in order to take care of their kids in difficult situations. Google allows their employees to, in an emergency, bring their kids into work, and Google has nice toys (such as legos) for kids to entertain themselves. If you don’t provide emergency child care for employees, then they may have to start their own daycare business, and that wouldn’t make anybody happy (unless you really like kids).
7. Nice Office Supplies
 This may seem funny, but consider it. I don’t know how many employees have complained over the years about a lack of office supplies, but it’s a large number. Employees need supplies to do their work. So having nice post-its, pens, and paper readily available is a must if you’re going to be keeping your employees smiling and working.
8. Parties
Who doesn’t love a good party? In my experience, some of the happiest employees are those who are celebrating a coworker’s birthday and eating some cake. If you are diligent and get everyone in the workplace’s birthdays written down, then you might just see happier employees. The gesture will look great on you as a boss, and it will keep employees being social and happy. Remember to change the cakes though, people like variety. Also, don’t ever cancel the office Christmas Party, it’s the most exciting one of the year.
9. Friendly IT personnel
 IT is the bane of the existence of many employees in companies all over the world. There’s nothing more angering and frustrating then coming into work, only to find that your computer is malfunctioning which prevents you from doing your work. Having a friendly, well-staffed, IT department can do wonders for employee happiness. IT people should want to help employees. In fact, at a company like Google, they provide their employees with an opportunity to play video games while they wait for their computer to be serviced. Having this won’t just improve employee happiness; it will also probably improve productivity, as there will be less down time due to computer issues.
10. Delicious Food
 If there’s one thing workers really care about, it’s food. Recently, my friends’ work place changed their kitchen manager. The food now apparently “sucks,” which has lead to my friend being unhappy, as well as many of his coworkers. How can employees work hard and be happy if they have empty stomachs, or view the cafeteria food as awful? If the food is delicious and healthy, then employees will be much more well fed and therefore happier. Once again, at Google, employees have access to more food than anyone would ever need. Their employees are ecstatic when it comes to their work, and I think it has a great deal to do with how full their bellies are at the end of the day.
11. Decorations and Windows
There’s nothing more depressing than a dark office with very little windows and seemingly endless rows of cubicles. Employees don’t want to feel as if they are working in a sweatshop. Adding color to the workspace, paintings, and making sure that it is well lit with ample windows can do wonders in terms of employee morale. You don’t have to do a full-scale remodeling, but investing in some artwork and color for your office can have a tremendously positive affect.
12. Be Open to Suggestions
 If there’s one thing that people like to do, it’s voice their opinion. Being open to suggestions is one of the simplest and most-effective ways to keep employees happy. If employees feel that their opinion is valued, and if they see some of their suggestions implemented, then they will be much happier. The improvements could also turn out to be really great for your business. After all, two heads are better than one, so if you have all your employees thinking and making suggestions for improvements, then that’s a very positive sign.

Businesses should always be concerned with how happy their employees are. A happy employee will work harder, be more social, and will simply be better for the business than an unhappy employee would be. While raising wages is the quick and easy fix, in the long term, it’s better to focus on a variety of elements to help make employees happier and enjoy their work more. If you take any of these suggestions, I’m sure at least one employee will come into work with a smile on hides or her face every day.

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