A Business Owner’s Guide on How to Keep Employees Engaged and Happy

As most business owners know, happy employees are productive employees.

But not everybody feels satisfied in their workplace. Only 32% of American employees were considered engaged in their jobs. This means that the majority of workers are showing up just to kill time until closing.

That's a lot of unhappy employees.

In today's work environment, keeping your employees engaged is critical. When your workers are fully engaged in their activities, they can achieve amazing results.

But without that drive to excel, teams can fall apart. That lack of commitment can destroy a business from the inside.

It's important that businesses create an environment that encourages good performance and engagement in the workplace. By creating a targeted leadership strategy and communicating with those you work with, you can learn how to keep employees engaged and instill a desire for excellence in your business.

But keeping your employees happy is a lot easier said than done. So what can you do? Let's take a look.

Why is Employee Engagement so Important?

When it comes to job satisfaction, employees are looking for a workplace environment where they're valued, appreciated, and part of a team. Employees who are happy and engaged will approach their work with purpose, enthusiasm, and energy.

Creating this environment will lead to more than just happy workers. Employee engagement ultimately leads to greater productivity and time management too.

Strategies for greater engagement have been proven to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce staff turnover.

Here are some examples:

Want the same kind of success? Here are some strategies you can use to keep your team engaged and excited.

How to Keep Employees Engaged and Happy

When employees are engaged and happy with their work, they can give you great results. But how do you go about creating a satisfying work environment?

Even though some of these steps might seem like common sense, you'd be surprised how many business owners don't follow them.

Putting just a little bit more effort into employee engagement can help you achieve a better, brighter workplace.

You want your employees to move mountains--and be happy while they do it.

Start from the top

Before you turn towards your employee's engagement, it's important to look inward first.

Are you as engaged as you want your workers to be?

Your employees will model after the people at the top of the company. If you're socializing and celebrating with your team, they'll learn that the business leaders aren't people they should fear.

Plan dinners, celebrations, or parties for your work team--and be sure that you're in attendance. It's important that you show your employees that you like them and enjoy spending time with them.

Even something as simple as smiling every now and then will help workers see your human side. Once you engage personally, they'll become more engaged professionally.

Make sure you're engaged and having fun first--your employees will follow your lead.

Give them what they need

Never assume that your employees are satisfied with their tools, training, and resources.

Check in with them personally on a regular basis to see if they're looking for more support from managers or supervisors.

Whether it's team meetings, one-on-one talks, or even online surveys--make sure you understand what your employees want and need. Listening to your team will help you learn how to keep employees happy in your workplace.

Give them a voice and some sense of ownership in the business. Make them feel like they have a reason to be invested in the company--and that you care about their opinions about the workplace, including the potential for improvement.

Set short-term goals

Motivating individuals to stay engaged is all about encouraging excellence.

You need to create a workplace culture that is oriented around goals, accomplishments, and celebration. Set monthly or even weekly goals for the whole team. Dedicated some time to talk about these goals in meetings and celebrate your employees when they hit these goals on time.

When everybody is pushing together, individual employees will push even harder.

For even greater motivation, you can add some monetary incentives on top of their regular compensation. Don't enforce negative punishments like quotas--instead, aim to celebrate individual achievement.

Even beyond monetary rewards, managers should always be celebrating and recognizing team members with good work ethic or performance.

Not only will this improve workplace engagement, but it can boost morale and stimulate team performance too.

Establish long-term goals

While short-term goals can keep employees motivated on a day to day basis, it's important that you keep looking towards the future.

Make sure your employees feel like they're a part of the company--contributing to a greater cause or a worthy endeavor. This can help them stay more engaged, focused, and excited about their work.

Clearly define what your company's mission is. With a core long-term goal to follow, employees will begin to see your vision for what the business could be.

When employees recognize the purpose behind the work that they do and share in a singular goal, engagement will thrive in the workplace.

Give regular updates

Taking a completely hands-off approach might lead employees to think that you don't care about them.

It's crucial that you stay in close communication with your employees. Set realistic expectations, give regular updates, and check in on how your workers are doing.

You want to find the perfect balance between micromanaging and having your finger on the pulse of workplace operations.

Regular communication like training sessions, memos, emails, text messages, or weekly meetings can all help you stay engaged with your employees and their work.

Make it fun

Your business can't be all about work all the time. Be sure to add some fun into the workday.

Just adding a touch of play and humor can go a long way to transforming your office into a lively, energetic, and enjoyable place to work.

Add some fun elements to the workplace like a station for food and drinks, comfortable chairs, or a place to play music to destress. Get creative and think outside the box!

Anything from the appearance of the office, the comfort of the employees, or exciting new events can help bring something new to a regular workday. Happy employees will be prepared to work hard.

Don't be afraid to blur the lines between work and play--you just might get better engagement and more productivity in the end.

Don't be afraid to crack down

Creating positive business environment is impossible without positive employees.

If you identify certain employees who have a bad attitude about their work or complain about the workplace, try sitting down with them to find the source of their dissatisfaction.

Sometimes employees might have legitimate concerns about the workplace--and they might be able to expose weaknesses in your current employee engagement policy and recommend some potential solutions.

But you won't always be able to reason with them. One employee with a poor attitude can bring down an entire team.

As much as you want your employees to succeed and be happy, certain individuals just won't be a good fit. If they don't cooperate with your company's mission, cut them out before they do more harm to your workplace culture.

Be transparent

The key to effective leadership is good communication.

You want to create a culture of transparency. Employees should feel comfortable being honest with their managers, and they should trust that their supervisors are looking out for their best interest.

All the leaders in your business should be trustworthy communicators. By practicing transparency, being honest with others, and following through on their words with concrete action--they're demonstrating personal integrity and sincerity with their employees.

When your employees are shown this kind of respect, they'll respond with hard-earned dedication and loyalty.

Make sure that your work environment encourages accessibility and openness to conversation. If employees trust your word, they'll be more interested in engaging with your business's mission and goals, and your business's reputation can only benefit from it.

The Bottom Line

Workplace engagement is all about being present, focused, and energized. When your employees are engaged, they'll go above and beyond your expectations in an effort to contribute to the company's purpose.

Engagement is the foundation of a happy, productive workplace. It's the first step towards creating a positive work culture for your employees.

It's important that you take concrete steps towards learning how to keep employees engaged and happy. You need to prove that you care about their well-being--and that this is a permanent focus on employee engagement, not just a passing trend.

Looking for more business advice? Check out our blog here.