How to ensure your business has happy employees


Employee recognition regularly crops up on lists featuring tips on how to ensure your company has happy employees, with suggesting it should be fourth in terms of your priorities as a CEO. On top of that, Deloitte states that ‘employee engagement, productivity and performance are 14% higher than in organisations without employee recognition.

Employee reward and recognition

Yet, while it’s clear that having happy employees is closely related to employee reward and recognition, many bosses are failing hugely. But give out a little praise every now and then – and it’s likely your employees will work harder and stick around for longer. In fact, a recent National Employee survey from Each Person, suggested that over 90 percent of workers feel employee recognition is important.

Incentives are Everything

So, how can you ensure you have happy employees? Employees love incentives – incentives to work harder, incentives to stay later and longer, and incentives to reach their personal goals quicker – so how can you help them do that?

It basically comes back to going beyond the basic needs of your staff. According to The Theory of Human Motivation, which was published by Abraham Maslow in the 1940s, all human beings have the innate desire to be all that they can be. The theory is referred to as self-actualisation and it’s seen as the Holy Grail for employers. After all, who wouldn’t want to employ staff who consistently work to achieve their best?

Maslow believed that more basic needs have to be met, in order to unlock this desire in people – with the option to work their way up through a hierarchy highlighted as a key incentive for any workforce. While people are different in terms of what they need, a simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

 In order for your staff to work harder for you, then, you need to be in tune with their basic needs – and ensure your company and its principles evolve as they do.

So, what can you do to reward employees?

Here are just a few examples of how you can change the mindset – and boost the motivation levels – of your staff.

 Take Steps to Understand Your Employees’ Lives Outside of Work

 A shift in mindset when it comes to employee reward and employee recognition is needed, as is better understanding of an employee’s life outside work, in that it is now just as important as their life within it.

Employees today expect much more, in terms of emotional intelligence (EI), from the company they work for, but this has yet to translate into the DNA of employers.

Emotional Quotient actually came in at number six in the World Economic Forum’s list of the top 10 skills employees need to thrive – and it simply means someone’s ability to understand, perceive and, more importantly, manage their own emotions.

People thrive when technology enables greater efficiency, so put some time and money into basic technology; it could well equate to a spike in employee motivation – which will benefit you longer-term.

Praise Employees Individually

When it comes to ensuring your company has happy employees, a one size fits all approach to employee recognition and reward just doesn’t work, which means it falls on employers to understand the individuality and unique needs of each employee. Many organisations have already addressed the importance of a good work/life balance, progression opportunities and flexible working.

Ensure Employee Recognition is Authentic

Make sure regular employee recognition forms part of your company’s culture – and implement praise in a timely fashion. Go beyond “well done” or “good job” and be specific when recognising employees, telling them exactly what they have done that’s earned your respect or appreciation.  

 What does employee recognition look like in your business?

Employees’ expectations are changing – and people expect a lot more of their employer and of his or her emotional intelligence and empathy.

It’s vital that you adopt a long-term view of employee recognition if you’d like to ensure your company has happy employees.

Ready to find out how you can make a start? Get in contact to discuss our employee recognition and scheme.