Creating a Happy Workforce
Written by: Dawn Lee
Singaporeans are the world’s unhappiest workers yet again.
The latest study conducted by Employment Hero showed that Singapore along with the United Kingdom (UK) is ranked at the very top of the unhappiness ranking, with 48% of their workers and employees indicating that they were unhappy and dissatisfied at work. This is followed by Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia at 42%, 41% and 40% respectively.
Source: Employment Hero
52% of Singapore workers said that they would prioritise their mental wellbeing over career satisfaction (35%). Interestingly, 68% of employers mentioning that they supported the measuring of their employee’s mental health levels, but only 41% of workers felt that their bosses cared enough.
Singapore has been identified repeatedly in prior studies for having high-stress levels and poor work-life balance and this study proves that more needs to be done to improve employees work satisfaction and wellbeing. With the additional effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies will have to create better frameworks to take care of their employees as most of them work from home.
According to Employment Hero founder and CEO Ben Thompson, "companies who intend to continue working remotely or flexibly post-COVID-19 will need to make work-life balance, mental health, and overall employee wellness initiatives a priority in the organization". Furthermore, “lack of clear structures, workflows, and open communications across the organization is adding unnecessary stress and strain on employees that are already struggling to cope with general pandemic-related anxiety.
So, what can be done to help alleviate stress and dissatisfaction from your employees?
- Make work-life balance a priority
On top of compensation and benefits, having an engaged workforce is necessary to remain competitive in today’s environment. The best employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization while ensuring that their personal needs are met.
By ensuring that your employees get enough rest and time to do the things that they want, they will be able to feel better physically and mentally. This in turn results in a happier and more productive workforce since your employees can recharge themselves and focus better while at work.
Work is important, but so is maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Transparency and honesty
Listening to and understanding your employees’ concerns is another important factor in retaining your employees. Employers should always strive to be transparent and share what they have learnt and what is the course of action to be taken to address certain issues.
Companies can consider coming up with one or two surveys a year so that they can understand their employees and identify areas of improvements that can be made. For example, after conducting a survey, the results can be shared with all the employees to show that they are being heard and then communicate the plans to address these issues moving forward. Such communication and acknowledgement show that communication is going both ways and not one-sided.
- Creating a positive work environment
After putting in hours of effort at work, sometimes your head work may go unnoticed and this can extremely demoralizing. Did you know that being underappreciated at work is one of the top reason’s employees leave their jobs?
When your hard work is ignored, you may feel frustrated and perhaps even resentment due to the lack of appreciation. Employees who face such incidents frequently will eventually end up lacking in motivation or leave for somewhere else, where their efforts matter. Furthermore, such negative feelings will foster an unhealthy environment and may affect the team’s dynamics.
Thus, it is very important to ensure that the company emphasize building positive relationships through encouragement and showing appreciation to those that deserve it. After all, happy employees equate to a happy company and it starts with a simple “Thank you”.
- Recognition and rewards
According to Deloitte, recognition is highly correlated with improving employee engagement, in turn improving job performance and capturing business value. So, the question what is the best way to recognise your employees? To ensure everyone receives the recognition they deserve, take full advantage of a leading employee recognition system.
Make recognition a common practice across your organisation to ensure employees feel appreciated for their hard work every day. Having an employee recognition system in place that showcases praise on a company-wide platform has massive positive reinforcement power and can provide an extra motivational boost for your workforce.
While noting to be periodic in your recognition system, the frequency will matter more compared to the size of the reward given. What this means is that providing regular recognition and reward, such as positive feedback, is much more effective than given one big award, which novelty will wear out over time. Be transparent and specific when praising the behaviour demonstrated; it can make all the difference when it comes to strengthening their ongoing performance.
Recognition and rewards help employees to feel that their company values them for their contributions and successes and builds motivation as employees know that their efforts will not be in vain.
Remember! Keeping your employees happy and satisfied should be the top priority especially during turbulent times. Employees are important assets of the company and happy employees will almost always bring better performance and results.
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