We all want our employees to be productive, inspired, confident—maybe we can put it in one word: happy. But how do we know when our employees are happy? We have to do more than just ask. There are indicators to look for, and here are six of the key signs.
1. Office friendships
If you’re employees have a good network of buddies with one another, that keeps morale up and helps keep them happy. In turn, being friendly with other people in the office will motivate good collaboration, which keeps the cycle going.
2. Taking initiative
If the good folks on your payroll are taking care of some things they don’t have to, putting some nuances into their duties, etc., that shows they feel pretty good about their place in the company. This also shows they are invested in doing as good a job as possible, possibly wanting to advance. It sure doesn’t mean they’re in a rut.
3. Sharing time
If your help feels comfortable with bandying about ideas and really shooting the moon, that’s a pretty good index of contentment.
There are ups and downs in any workplace. But if your employees tend to look for positives, remembering them, bringing them up, privileging the upsides over petty complaints and small negative instances, you have happy employees in your fold.
5. Asking your opinion
The more your employees try to find out what you think about things, the more a couple of things may be true: one, they feel some sort of mutually trusting relationship, and secondly, they may feel a need to please you or win your approval. This may come from a genuine affection for you or looking up to you in some way. Liking one’s boss is very closely related to being happy on the job.
6. Pride in work
Attending to details, caring what the clients think and how the company’s image is shaping up, and generally seeming emotionally invested are all signs of a happy employee. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person is enamored of you or everything about the job, but he or she is gaining some sense of satisfaction from the work.
Asking Can Work
Soliciting feedback from your employees can prove very effective. You may get some very good responses, particularly if you ask in a way that is diplomatic enough. But one reason asking can be effective is that if you get hemming and hawing and discomfort, you know you have some degree of discontent or something less than happiness.
On the other hand, the fact that you are soliciting opinions will help build confidence and a sense of efficacy, as described above. These things should start an upward spiral of good factors that help foster other good factors, ultimately helping to build the satisfied and inspired employees you desire.
So as you can see, so much of this rests on you. You must be savvy in reading the signs above. But also starting dialogues can not only help find out how happy your employees are, but might in turn help provide an environment that increases morale.