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The Secret to Greater Employee Happiness

Updated: Feb 15

Employee Happiness: Why It Matters & How Employers Can Help

The Secret to Greater Employee Happiness

As an employer, you want all employees to realize and achieve their potential. So how does employee happiness factor into that?

Employee happiness is important when it comes to things like:

  • Productivity

  • Job satisfaction

  • Retention, and more

This guide will break down three benefits that employee happiness has for your business and eight ways you can promote and maintain it. Keep reading to find out more on how to support mental health at work!

Table of Contents

Why Is Employee Happiness Important? 3 Benefits for Your Business

When it comes down to it, happy employees are better employees.

Employee happiness is essential for businesses as a whole — so the more you invest in worker satisfaction, the greater your return on the investment will be.

If you show your staff that you value their work-life balance in meaningful and tangible ways, you will reap the rewards of that effort. Let’s look at some of the ways your employees will show their happiness that will benefit your business.

#1: Increased Productivity

Research has shown that positive employees are more engaged and productive. There is a link between efforts by employers to increase happiness and organizational effectiveness.

Trends show that companies who focus on improving company culture — like Google — attract top talent. The sky’s the limit in terms of productivity and quality of work when happy, talented people work together.

If happier employees are more engaged, and engaged employees show increased productivity, you, as an employer, should be doing everything you can to maintain this cycle of positivity.

#2: Increased Employee Retention Rates

Unhappy employees will leave your business to find happiness. If you have trouble hanging on to your workers, you could end up spending a lot of extra time and money because of the costs associated with hiring and training new people.

Instead, why not invest that money into your company’s culture and retain your happy employees?

How can you do this? Maybe have a gaming area with free snacks. Or host a happy hour to kick the weekend off the right way. Ask your employees what would make them happy and do your best to provide it.

One way you can increase employee happiness and retention rates without spending money is by using Sorbet. This innovative paid time off solution helps you encourage workers to use their vacation time and allows them to cash advance their hours if they won’t be taking them — and it’s free for businesses.

#3: Fewer Call-Offs and No-Shows

Have you ever had a job you hated and you just couldn’t bear the thought of going to work each day? At times, it was probably pretty tempting to call in to work at the last minute and tell them you wouldn’t be in.

Employees who think their bosses don’t care about them are less likely to have loyalty to the company. Their last-minute call-offs and no-shows can put businesses in a huge bind and cost them money. This can also put stress on the workers who do show up as they may have to pick up the slack of the absentees — which leads to even more unhappiness company-wide. This is especially problematic during the busy holiday season. So, how to avoid holiday season burnout at work? Provide opportunities for employees to refresh and re-engage,

Happy employees like coming to work! They are also less likely to “call in sick” at the last minute if they have an easy way to take vacation days and work in a culture where employees are encouraged to take time for self-care.

How to Measure Employee Happiness

It is common for employers to measure happiness by periodically asking employees to complete surveys designed to evaluate and track track employee wellbeing and overall employee satisfaction. If you aren’t taking advantage of this method, you should!

Most employees are happy to fill out a satisfaction survey, especially if you let them know that their answers can contribute to positive changes in the workplace climate.

While designing your employee happiness survey, be sure to include questions that deal with areas such as:

  • Employee empowerment

  • Communication

  • Teamwork

  • Leadership

  • Coworker engagement; and

  • Mission and vision

Then take this information and use it! You may be surprised at how much valuable information your employees can provide about what will make your organization better.

And even if you can’t use everyone’s ideas, just the knowledge that you find your employees important enough to seek out their feedback will add to their happiness!

Our Top 8 Tips on How to Promote and Maintain Employee Happiness

Now that we’ve shown you evidence that happy employees are better employees, let’s examine some methods you can use to foster happiness in the workplace.

#1: Maintain Transparency

Setting expectations with your employees from the get-go is one of the most important things you can do as a leader.

Employees who have confidence in their job and are comfortable in their environment will be happier. As an employer, you need to maintain transparency from the start of the hiring process and beyond regarding exactly what you expect, including the onboarding process and all necessary training.

You should also set clear expectations of your processes for:

  • Projects

  • Deadlines

  • Events

  • And more

Being transparent with company failures as well as successes can also build employee happiness. When you break down …

  • What went well

  • What could have gone better; and

  • How it can be improved next time

… you are communicating to your employees that there are no secrets in the company and everyone is part of the team.

#2: Encourage Breaks

Unfortunately, many American workplaces have a culture of dissuading employees from taking their paid time off.

There may be many reasons people feel like they can’t use all their vacation days — but when they don’t, everyone suffers.

If you shift the culture in your company and make it known that taking more frequent breaks throughout the year is not only allowed but also encouraged, your employees will be happier, and you don't even have to take off whole weeks or even days to reap the benefits of employee mental health breaks. Research shows that taking microbreaks, even the shortest breaks to just listen to a song off of your favorite playlist for every mood, can help employees stay more engaged and productive while they are on the job.

Sorbet refers to these small chunks of time as scoops. We break down an employee’s paid time off into three-hour increments like this:

  • 1 scoop = 3 hours off

  • 2 scoops = 6 hours off

  • 3 scoops = 9 hours off

This gives employees a way to enjoy frequent microbreaks and not have to take off a full day if they don’t want to.

#3: Be Sensitive & Cultivate a Respectful Working Environment

Your employees aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet — they are human beings with feelings and real lives. Everyone has a bad day once in a while, and being sensitive to that can go a long way in boosting employee happiness.

You can also let people know that you respect them as employees by helping them grow and develop. Offering opportunities such as …

  • New responsibilities and challenges

  • Courses to help employees learn new skills; or

  • Chances to travel on business trips

… helps workers further their knowledge of the company and consider themselves to be assets, leading to increased employee happiness.

#4: Recognize Your Employees

Company leadership should always recognize employees for a job well done. This helps employees feel …

  • Heard

  • Seen; and

  • Appreciated

… which will likely make them happier in their positions.

Recognition doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of a bonus or a perk. A simple shout-out on a company-wide platform goes a long way. Any effort you put into showing your appreciation for your employees will encourage them and benefit you.

#5: Give Regular Feedback

As an employer, you should feel comfortable discussing challenges as well as successes with the people who work for you.

When you are honest with your employees about how they are doing, you are letting them know you:

  • Believe in their abilities

  • Care about their successes; and

  • Consider them to be a valuable part of your team

Regular feedback also serves to keep employees on the right track and in line with the company’s shared vision. Successful employees will naturally be happier overall.

#6: Stay Flexible

When people feel they have greater flexibility in the workplace, they experience happiness from the ability to balance their professional and personal lives.

Jobs with more flexibility can …

  • Reduce stress

  • Improve productivity; and

  • Lead to higher job satisfaction

… for employees.

#7: Remain Approachable

Employers who offer an open-door policy — letting their staff know they can come to them at any time, for anything — create happy employees.

As a boss, you should remain professional while still:

  • Being kind and understanding

  • Letting employees know they have your support

  • Solving problems; and

  • Having fun when possible

An attitude of openness and approachability on the part of the employer will create a positive culture in the workplace and increase employee happiness.

#8: Prioritize Well-Being

We previously talked about some ways to make the workplace fun, but showing employees that you care about their well-being matters even more.

Well-being initiatives address issues like …

  • Decreasing stress


  • Increasing emotional resilience

… which can help employees avoid burnout.

Opportunities should be offered for employees to refresh and re-engage — which includes making it easier than ever to enjoy their paid time off.

Sorbet: Helping Employers Lead With Compassion and Boost Employee Happiness

Unused paid time off is costing companies billions through a combination of accrued liabilities and employee burnout.

Sorbet is here to help you improve employee happiness and wellness while saving money for your company.

With the option of cashing out unused PTO and spending it anywhere, anytime, employees can take off a few hours to get a mani-pedi and pay for it — all using Sorbet.

It’s time to make PTO a win-win using Sorbet. Contact us today to schedule a demo!

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