Happiness and health are like two sides of a circle; inherently linked yet decidedly independent. As millennial work environments move from erstwhile work-like-a-dog-until-you-collapse establishments to setups deep-seated in wellness and wellbeing, it is apparent that there’s more to corporate contentment than sky-high salaries and princely promotions. But how much does happiness really matter to the success of a business, you may wonder.

More than you think.

Happy employees tend to have a more favorable disposition. They are also invaluable fountains of innovation, creativity, productivity, and dedication. And as a bonus, they are likely to stay with you long-term.

It doesn’t take a huge investment or sophisticated initiatives to raise the bar for happiness at the workplace. With these thoughtful measures, turn yours into a harbor of positivity.

Feedback & Recognition

Everybody deserves a pat on the back for something they’ve achieved, however big or small. A free flow of feedback and recognition can be the cornerstone of an agreeable employee environment. While feedback is usually an organic process that serves as a control measure, a culture of recognition needs to be nurtured. Offer heartfelt gratitude for the contributions your colleagues are making, remind them of what they are good at and offer constructive feedback where required.

Balance Between Work and Play

Ask any employee, and they’ll likely list work as the second or third priority on their list – family usually clinches the top spot. Of course, as easy as it would be to form a cookie-cutter 9-to-5 framework for work, it’s easier said than done; which is why flexibility becomes key. In an increasingly mobile economy, a flexible schedule and remote access can lead to enhanced productivity, greater work-life balance and benefits all around. An equal focus on work and play can also minimize the risk of employee burnout.

Holistic Benefits

Contemporary workplaces are shining stars of wellness, thinking beyond the usual health insurance and provident fund. GoPro and ViaSat, both California-based companies, have set the gold standard for healthful work environments, with swanky indoor gyms, boutique yoga studios, gleaming rows of beach cruisers, and fluid work hours. But you don’t have to spend millions of dollars on plush facilities to give your employees a ticket to wellness. Affordable options like third-party gym memberships, in-house wellness programs, periodic workshops, and social events can fortify your team and improve job satisfaction.

Open Layout Work Environment

When you put up walls (literally and figuratively), you’re on your way to cutting off communication and transparency. More and more contemporary workplaces are moving from restrictive cubicle layouts to open office plans. Fewer walls can be less physically imposing and encourage better relationships across the hierarchy, boosting the free flow of information and giving employees a greater sense of belonging.

Individualism

Giving your employees a sense of autonomy can build empowerment and independence. It’s important to trust your team without hovering over their every move. An effective control mechanism is one without micromanagement. This is only possible when your expectations and goals are conveyed and understood in the same way. Individualism also gives every employee a unique platform to display their skills. By recognizing these early on, you have the opportunity to create personalized growth plans and find each employee a perfect role that fits.

If you haven’t ever considered your employees’ happiness quotient, now is as good a time as any to review some of your workplace parameters. Ask yourself whether your employees stay back too long, whether recognition is shared often enough, and if your workplace layout is conducive to communication. Ask your employees their thoughts on what would make them happy. With a little introspection and a few conversations, you can take your company’s happiness index several notches higher.

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