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Love your work

Monday, January 26, 2015

After a Happy New Year, we slide right into St. Valentine’s Day. A day for love, happiness, and kindness – at work. Plenty of research shows, if an employee feels valued and appreciated, they’ll be more satisfied with their job, and generally be more productive, engaged and loyal.

But what may not be so evident is simply offering raises won’t make a happy workforce. Positive feedback, on a personal level, can be much more gratifying, especially for the long-term. Of course, good benefits are an important to employees, but don’t necessarily lead to happy employees.

For managers and companies, it’s definitely worthwhile to make an enjoyable workplace. Besides helping the bottom line, no one wants to work in a negative environment. Below are some ideas for encouraging happiness at work.

Be transparent
Employees want to know the truth about the state of the company. and be informed about issues that affect it. According to a 2013 employee engagement survey, by TINYpulse, a company that monitors employee satisfaction, the number one contributor to employee happiness is transparency.

The good news is that the cost of improving transparency is almost zero. It just involves an ongoing dialogue between leaders and employees.

At TVH, a yearly “State of the Business” address is presented to all employees. It covers all aspects of the business highlighting market trends, achievement on goals, and areas of future focus. Also, during the year, there are many opportunities to meet with the executives to ask pointed questions about the business. A bi-monthly newsletter is also published to inform employees of company happenings.

Make employees part of the big picture
Employees want to make a difference through their work and be assured it has meaning. Having the opportunity to make a contribution and help the company to its goals makes for more engaged employees.

Clear and open communications on company happenings, department direction, and individual expectations can make a big difference in how an employee approaches the workload. Being part of the “big picture” helps employees to put more meaning into their work and not just go through the motions.

Each year, clear goals are laid out for TVH as a company and for the individual departments – each contributing to the overall success of the business. The goals are monitored monthly and reported to the Executives who track progress and report back to employees. The goals and progress are publically posted so employees can see them at any time.

Recognize and reward employees
Studies from several different employment research groups concluded that recognition is a high motivator for employees, and that even small rewards add up to happier employees. Employees like to know if they take a risk and work outside the box, their efforts and hard work will be recognized.

TVH recognizes and rewards employees in a variety of ways such as service awards for tenure, attendance awards, and achievement rewards. Birthday cards and thank you notes are routinely given and several departments even have their own systems of recognition.

Ask employees for their input
As simple as it sounds, some companies just assume employees will voice ideas and suggestions. But often employees don’t have an outlet for their thoughts or they
don’t think their boss has time for them.

Gaining insight from the workforce can create a more positive and productive work environment. In the past, TVH used suggestion boxes for employees. Now TVH is implementing an exciting “Idea Program”. “In the Idea Program, employees will submit their ideas, track their ideas through a review and testing process, be involved in implementation, and be recognized for their contributions to TVH,” explains Dmitri Kekos, 2-year employee and member of the Idea Program.

TVH also conducts formal surveys and then uses the results to shape the employee experience. Knowing input is taken seriously shows employees that their ideas and comments are important.

These are just a few ways to help spread the company love during the month of hearts. If you’d like to learn more about these programs, or any other wellness programs, at your workplace, contact Bonnie at bonnie.steer@tvh.com for more information.