As a leader or business owner, it’s easy to think of the working relationship with your employees as transactional.  They receive pay for the job that they do.  However, with ever increasing recruitment competition and desires of the workforce, you must transform that relationship.

Keeping employees happy on the job is easier said than done.  Wait, is it your job to keep everyone at work happy?  In order to maintain an engaged workforce, opportunities must exist for employees to enjoy the work they do and the company they do it for.

Show Them They Are Valued

Tell your team where they shine the most.  You may already have performance reviews in place, but that should not stop you from telling them they are valued and why.  Instead of just saying a vague thank you, be specific as to why you value what they do.  For example, if someone is great at details and catches mistakes before projects are out the door, explain to that individual how important their role is and their skill set is to the team.

Encourage Creativity

Allow employees to express themselves creatively.  We often get bogged down with legal constraints or regulations that we often forget about creativity in the workplace.  Each person has a unique set of creative talents just waiting to come out.  Even if you are finding it difficult to implement a creative environment, training and professional development may be an avenue to explore creativity with your employees.

Clarify Plans, Goals and Roles

Streamline processes for employees.  A chief complaint of employees are that it is difficult for them to do the job they were hired for because of an outdated process.  Ask them how to do it better.  While that is being done, define each team member’s roles.  You may be surprised to learn how your employees have taken on different responsibilities than originally assigned.

Your team may not understand the overall goals of the company and what they do is important to get there.  However, most are too afraid to ask.  Set aside time as a group to explain the mission, vision and goals of the company and what they can do to help those goals.


You may have expressed an open door policy with your employees.  Do you really mean it?  Ask yourself if you are approachable.  If you discover some employees are shying away from you, go out and see them in their environment.  Ask them to show you what they do if you are not familiar with the daily tasks.

 Have Fun

Reward employees in fun ways.  Special parking spaces or decorating cubicles to mark a celebration are easy and cost effective ways to keep the momentum going.  Take a survey to see what types of employee engagement activities they want to do.  Perhaps an afternoon picnic or onsite BBQ would be a winner..

You are most likely are informally doing at least one of these strategies already.  Being proactive and purposeful on employee happiness can reap big rewards on the bottom line.