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Posted by Francois Ponton, MPA, CHRP, June 20 2016
Workplace Wellness
10 tips for a happier workplace



Happiness at work! There is a growing buzz about it, but what is it exactly?

As an entrepreneur, this should get your attention. The future of your small business largely rests upon your employees. You capitalized on their skills, they contributed to the growth of your business and you certainly want to retain them longer-term. Therefore, their happiness matters to you.

The 10 practical tips below will help you maximize your employees’ happiness.

1. Nurture happiness instead of forcing it

First, do not attempt to force happiness. Pleasure is a personal feeling that will be nurtured differently from one individual to another. Besides, there is no point in multiplying happy hours and bowling outings if your employees are unhappy as soon as they are back on the job.

True happiness at work cannot come from “extras”, but from the work itself. It must be rooted in the job duties and the work environment you have created.

2. Review how you do things on a regular basis

Do not hesitate to continually review your management practices and the tasks performed by your employees. Remain open, caring and clear-headed: your employees will feel secure. Moreover, by regularly revisiting everyone’s tasks, you will provide an agile framework appreciated by all.

In short, don’t just let things happen.

3. Listen to your employees

Be open to your employees’ ideas and suggestions. They might know more than you do in several respects… This is even more important if you rely on new generation employees who are often looking to become involved and to make their mark.

Encourage your employees to share their ideas. You may even consult them on the hiring of their future colleagues!

4. Foster a climate of trust

Create a climate of trust where everyone can express themselves without fear of judgment or retaliation. Good communication that is fair and respectful is a key to happiness in the workplace.

Take the time to clearly answer each request, even if the answer is no. When trust is lacking, everything is in jeopardy…

5. Welcome bouts of folly

Your employees spend 5 days out of 7 at work, and sometimes more... They are surely entitled to occasional bouts of folly!

Fully embrace these moments of spontaneous fun when they occur: they infuse a ton of positive energy into your ranks!

6. Prevent conflicts

Minimize the possibility of power games and unhealthy internal competition. Build cooperative relationships between your employees where everyone will find respect and recognition. This is a good tip for a happier workplace.

Should a conflict arise, arbitrate the matter equitably, as fairness is highly valued by your employees.

7. Build on the natural strengths of your employees

Try to assign tasks based on each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. When they perform jobs that are more in line with their natural talents or interests, their workload will feel lighter...

Performing tasks that go against your nature is stressful and exhausting. Never lose sight of this.

8. Recognize your employees’ contribution

Unhesitatingly recognize each employee’s contribution. Inform them of the direct, real impact of their work. They will feel part of something significant.

Also consider planning the career of your best players: besides feeling properly recognized, they will develop a stronger sense of belonging and achievement.

9. Avoid work overload

Prolonged work overload brings a lot of stress and considerably dampens happiness in the workplace. Work should be distributed as evenly as possible among your employees. Establish realistic schedules.

If necessary, call upon back-up resources. Prevention is better than cure…

10. Provide adequate compensation and benefits

Let’s face it: everyone works to earn a living, and so do you… Therefore, your employees are entitled to expect fair compensation.

Why not also offer a group insurance program or a pension plan? These are highly appreciated benefits that can provide full coverage and priceless peace of mind to your employees.

Moreover, your group insurance can include an employee assistance program that will help prevent and manage the harmful effects of stress and other psychosocial risks.

Happiness in the workplace has become a potent concept. As an entrepreneur, you can really benefit from nurturing it by all means possible. No matter how one looks at it, it is clear that happy employees will be more likely to go the extra mile and be more creative.  

Always remember that happiness among your workforce will optimize not only individual performances, but also your company’s cohesion, profitability and success.

Workplace Satisfaction


Human Capital Management Advisor | Certified Human Resources Professionnal, François Ponton has a master’s degree in public administration specialized in human resources management and he has been active for more than seven years in this domain. With a structured and flexible approach, he sets up fair and transparent HR politics, programs and processes. As a generalist, he has developed skills in performance management and global remuneration.
Francois Ponton, MPA, CHRP