Happiness is good for business. As a matter of fact, research has shown that being happy makes you more productive at work. A study done by the University of Warwick revealed that employees become more productive when they are happy at work.
It is on this notion that big brands such as Google and Virgin Group operate their companies by investing hugely in employee support. Employee satisfaction in Google rose by 37% as a result of their support for employees. The CEO of Virgin Group, Richard Branson also knows that a happy team of staff is important for the business. He operates with the philosophy that if you can put your employees first, your customer second, and shareholders third, in the end the shareholders do well, the customers do better and you yourself are happy.
It is not just customer service that matters, but also your employees. “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”- Richard Branson. When employees are happy, they utilise their time more effectively to collaborate and work on ideas that can impact on the business positively.
Let’s take a look at 3 tips that can be taken from the well renowned entrepreneur who attributes his company’s success to the hard work of his employees.
- The Walk-About Management Technique
This refers to walking around to interact with your staff instead of being behind a desk all day. You get to listen to their concerns and feedback on work processes, and become very approachable thereby forming relationships with them.
He advocates active listening as an important attribute of a good leader. For example, whenever Richard Branson takes a flight, he makes sure to get up, walk around, and gather feedback from his staff and the other passengers. For him, it is “People who are on the front line that know when things are not going well. If you listen, the sooner you can improve all those negative things that are affecting the organization and turn it into an exceptional business”.
Richard Branson believes that employees should be given freedom to get creative, come up with ideas and execute them. He encourages his staff to be innovative and take risks. By allowing them to make important decisions, the employees feel more responsibility and understand the importance of their work. According to him, you shouldn’t be afraid to try out new ideas, just let your team know what you are doing. This way, your employees feel more dedicated to drive the business successfully. “Your company should act as a springboard for ambitious employees, not a set of shackles”.
- Recognition and Reward
Richard Branson believes that you should “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. Your employees are an important asset for your business so you should recognise them for the efforts they contribute. Celebrate their achievements and have fun while doing this. This way, they become more motivated to work and excel in their job functions.
For his advice to start-ups trying to create a healthy and positive culture for their employees, he points out that “There’s no magic formula. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated. People want to work on projects that mean something to them, and be surrounded by colleagues who treat them with the respect they deserve. If all companies took this approach then employee wellbeing ratings would be much higher”.
Follow these tips to help you in creating a work environment that makes your employees happy and productive at work.