Studies show that happy employees are 12 percent more productive than unhappy employees on average. As such, it is no wonder that organizations are constantly looking for ways to keep their workforce happy and productive. While a pay raise can help to retain top talent, it is not enough to keep staff from seeking opportunities elsewhere. Hiring and retaining good employees requires looking beyond raises as a solution. Indeed, numerous intangible benefits can boost employee happiness and retention.
Below are tips for hiring and retaining employees without requiring pay raises.
1. Offer Paid Time Off (PTO)
One factor in keeping your employees happy without a pay raise is PTO. Paid time off (PTO) is simply compensated time away from work. This leave policy is crucial for balancing a fulfilling work and personal life. The benefit program allows your workforce to attend to their personal needs without worrying about losing money.
Offering PTO goes a long way in showing your employees that you care about their well-being. Employees can take advantage of the program to rest and recharge when they are not feeling their best. Flexible PTO programs can help to reduce stress, prevent burnout and improve employees’ overall health. This, in turn, enhances productivity, employee satisfaction and staff retention rates.
2. Make Work Schedules Flexible
A flexible working environment is the future of work. About 94 percent of workers want flexibility in when they work, while 80 percent want flexibility where they work.
Flexible working hours allow employees to balance their professional and personal lives. That way, they can get enough sleep, spend time with their family and avoid rush hour. When you allow employees to choose their own work schedules, they will come to work feeling relaxed, refreshed and happier overall. Happy employees are more productive and creative and are less likely to quit.
3. Offer Extensive Benefits
Employee benefits make for one of the most effective ways to attract and retain top talent. Offering your employees suitable incentives will enable them to focus on their work, knowing that the company is taking care of their needs.
To keep employees happy, be sure to offer benefits beyond the basics. This may include simple things like providing lunch and snacks and giving staff the day off on their birthday. The benefits plan can also include remote work, gym membership, disability insurance, extra level of life insurance, health and education benefits as well as extra maternity and paternity leave.
4. Foster a Fun Work Environment
Even the most enjoyable job can become stressful at some point. For a happy and engaged workforce, consider making time for fun activities both inside and outside the office.
Traveling as a group to a place of interest, team challenges, volunteering together, having a games area and encouraging hobbies at work will help your team stay refreshed and motivated. You can also learn more about how to keep your employees happy with a yes day. In addition to increasing workplace happiness, these activities can help to improve the bond between team members.
5. Give a Sense of Purpose
Another factor is giving a sense of purpose to keep your employees happy despite not having any pay raise. Today, job satisfaction is about much more than just pay and benefits. Employees want to gain a sense of purpose from their jobs. Making sure employees find their work to be purposeful will help you hire the best talents, keep them engaged and retain them for long.
To build a sense of purpose in the workplace, start by establishing core values. In addition, provide meaningful work and ensure your employees understand the connection between what they do and the impact of their work. This will not only provide a source of energy and direction but also a sense of fulfillment.
6. Focus on Work-Life Balance
As a manager, encourage your employees to maintain a harmonious relationship between their work and personal life. A healthy work-life balance will not only benefit them but also your organization at large.
Steps to take include educating staff on the importance of work-life balance, offering flexible and remote working, regularly reviewing workloads, offering employee wellness initiatives, encouraging breaks during the day and leading by example. In the end, improving work-life balance will lead to a more engaged staff, increased productivity, a happier and less stressed workforce and low employee turnover.
7. Create Opportunities for Personal Growth and Development
Apart from professional goals, employees have personal goals that they want to achieve. To help your team members reach their full potential, provide opportunities for learning, personal growth and development.
You can support your employees by taking an interest in their personal development, creating individualized growth plans, offering innovative learning experiences, involving them in decision-making and helping team members learn from each other. Also, remove barriers to growth and help your team to improve their soft skills. Providing the required support will lead to happy personal and professional lives for your employees. This will, in turn, contribute to increased employee satisfaction, helping you retain good employees.
8. Empowerment and Freedom
An empowered staff will be more satisfied with its work and is less likely to seek employment elsewhere. Empower your workforce by giving them everything they need to succeed, including the freedom to execute their work.
Be sure to set clear expectations, provide the necessary resources, foster open communication, give employees autonomy over assignments and give constructive feedback. Empowerment and freedom will enable your employees to complete tasks faster and better. This will also help employees feel a sense of ownership and gain more confidence, ultimately increasing job satisfaction.
9. Prioritize Employee Appreciation and Recognition
Recognizing and rewarding an employee’s hard work and accomplishments can go a long way. Employees whose efforts and contributions are recognized and rewarded feel valued, are often happier and are likely to go the extra mile for the organization.
However, showing appreciation for your staff should go beyond money. An effective reward and recognition program can involve saying the words “Thank you” publicly, offering time off, giving small gifts, an office party and showcasing their great work on a wall of fame.
10. Encourage Social Interaction
Last but not least, encouraging social interaction is another factor in keeping your employees happy despite not having any pay raise. Humans are social creatures. To help your teams thrive, encourage social interaction among team members. Ideas such as sharing a meal, creating a social spot, highlighting birthdays, organizing sports activities, running a cooking competition at work and setting aside time to talk about non-work stuff will allow time for socializing. This will help team members get to know each other better, build trust, nurture meaningful relationships and create a sense of belonging. In the end, it will increase happiness and boost employee retention.
Maintaining top talent is not as simple as issuing a pay raise. At Inspiring HR, we take the guesswork out of HR policies and procedures. Our mission is to simplify HR so we can help small businesses improve their performance and bottom lines. Contact us today to learn more or read the Inspiring HR blog for more ideas on how to increase happiness at work.