Keeping Your Employees Happy

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A goal of a business is to have customers who need or want the products or services offered by that business. Happy employees play a big role in making that happen, as customers see employees as the business. Keeping employees happy can go a long way in making a business successful. You may say that employers hire employees and pay them for working, which should make them happy. Thinking of yourself as one of the employees may help you determine what really makes them happy.

When you hire employees, you usually have many applicants from which to choose for each position. You spend lots of time making your selections, using the criteria that are important to you. After interviewing and checking references, you select the people who best fit with your business.

Experience and education are helpful for most positions, but many times new employees can be trained if they have a good work ethic and an eagerness and enthusiasm to be a part of the business.  Integrity is also very important.

Now, you have the employees needed to conduct the business, so how do you keep them happy?  Pay isn’t always the most important motivator. The satisfaction of doing a good job and receiving recognition and appreciation for a job well done are important for long-term happiness.

The atmosphere at the business either promotes or discourages employees.  When everyone gets to work, are they talking to each other, laughing, and just happy to see each other or do they growl a hello with not much interaction?  Although the work atmosphere doesn’t need to be a social club, it may be helpful to plan some company functions where employees and spouses get together socially.  That will somewhat break the ice so they are more comfortable with each other.  Their spouses and children may also find some degree of familiarity with other spouses and children.  The employees already have their jobs in common, so there is a bond.

Enjoying the people with whom you work is only a small part of being happy at work.  Each employee should have written goals and go over them with the employer at least once each year.  That will show employees they are important to the organization and will clarify what is expected from them and also their strengths and weaknesses.  The annual review should be a positive experience to help 
them become even more efficient and effective and help them understand how their jobs fit into the success of the entire business.

Depending on the type of business you own, you may want to periodically have a work session for all employees to train and improve their performance.  Those sessions also allow employees to express opinions and communicate with each other in an atmosphere other than on the job.  Any positive experience you can provide for employees should improve their work and productivity.  I like this quote from Harry H. Winters, III.  “When I feel bad about me, I can only feel bad about me.  When I feel good about me, I can feel good about you, too!”

You want your employees to feel like winners.  Winners have lots of solutions and plan to succeed.  They put forth 110 percent effort and tend to believe the future will get even better.  With great employees like these, you may want to think about giving stock in your company to them.  It is amazing how a little ownership can give so much pride to employees.

If you have a relatively small business, your employees may seem like family.  I’ve always found a way to allow time off for employees to attend their children’s school activities and have never had anyone abuse the privilege.  That is definitely appreciated by parents.  That, along with good salaries or wages, bonuses, vacation time, insurance, and other perks, helps keep employees happy.  Everything discussed here basically makes employees feel appreciated, and we all need to feel appreciated.  If employees feel appreciated, customers will feel appreciated and help make the business more successful!

  • Author: Pat Jones
  • Title: President/Owner - Business Broker
  • Company: Pat Jones Business Brokers
  • Company Website:
  • Date: November 16, 2017
  • Category: Buying a Franchise or Business
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