Wise Words from Dr. Eric S. Studley How to make (and keep!) your employees happy January 13, 2016 Author: Dr. Eric S. Studley and Dr. Ivy PeltzHow to make (and keep!) your employees happy “Happy” by Pharrell Williams was the most popular song in the United States in 2014. People like to be happy, and the workplace is no exception. So how do you create an environment in which your employees thrive? Realize potential. Make it clear to your employees that you are interested in seeing them grow into more responsible positions. Offer to pay for additional training or continuing education as part of their employment package. Make them feel that their association with you is a career, rather than a job. Inspire your employees to feel a sense of ownership for your practice. Encourage fun. There is a lot of research that indicates that people are more productive in a playful environment, so you should definitely create a workplace that people enjoy. Host holiday parties. Bring in cake for birthdays. Give breaks so your staff has some downtime for creative thinking and rest. Show appreciation. Make sure to thank your employees for what they do for you. A thank you can go such a long, long way! And be sure to celebrate accomplishments. If you reach a goal, do something special for the entire staff. You can buy them tickets to a show, or take everyone (with their +1) out to dinner. Pay well. Offer a fair, competitive salary. Include benefits, incentives and bonuses. We know there is a limit to what you can pay your employees, but you can also think out of the box in terms of remuneration. How about paying for babysitting fees? Earn trust. You want your employees to have confidence in you, but that doesn’t just come with the territory. You need to honor your commitments and follow through with your promises. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be honest – not just with others, but also with yourself. Communicate. Listen to your employees. They’re the ones in the trenches, and they are likely to know what problems exist and how to fix them. Show that you respect their opinions by implementing requested changes. Create clear, achievable goals. People like to know what’s expected of them. It both reduces their anxiety and allows them to meet your expectations. Try to be flexible. Remember that your employees have personal lives and are involved in more than just their jobs. Once you have an understanding of their personal challenges, you can try to tailor the job requirements to make it easier for them to help you. Like songs, feelings can get stuck in your head. Wouldn’t you prefer to have your employees stuck on happy?