On average, we will spend 90,000 hours of our lifetime at work. That’s a lot of hours. 1/3 of our lives actually. So, shouldn’t we at least feel comfortable and happy there?
It's proven- happy employees bring more success to a company and are likely to stick around for longer. Studies at Warwick University found that we work harder when we are happy; 12% more productive in fact, more creative and generally more efficient.
Happiness is powerful! But how do you ensure that employee well-being is a priority at your workplace? After all, without said employees and businesses rapidly appearing here, there and everywhere in the UAE, yours may struggle to survive amongst them (and reputation goes a long way here too). Many employers in the Middle East have been updating and transforming their workplace environment ever since the pandemic, refocusing their attention on mental health, employee experience, development and more.
We have compiled what we feel are the top 7 ways to create the happiest, most thriving and functioning workplace in the UAE.
1) Show appreciation- the little things mean a lot. Noticing if an employee has made a conscious effort to stay later that week to finish a project or assisted other employees/new starters with their tasks. A recognition program can help to boost and fuel performance now and in the future. Studies at Quantum Workplace found that employees are 2.7x more likely to be highly engaged when shown recognition. Being valued helps people to feel supported and decreases employee turnover.
2) Host team bonding events- a crucial way to keep your team feeling happy at work. Creating regular team events can boost morale and increase employee satisfaction by 50%. Not only this, but it can really bring a sense of community and team spirit within the group as well as enhance company culture and give the team something to look forward to. Personally, working in an office with many team events in comparison to previous companies with fewer, I notice how much closer-knit the team are and how they genuinely celebrate one another's success.
3) Promote a healthy work/life balance- according to a study by Aviva 41% of workers are attracted to a more balanced role compared to 36% preferring more salary; a switch in the ranks compared to 2019. Maintaining a work-life balance is key for health and relationships but also helps increase productivity and performance; win, win! A less stressed employee is definitely better than someone running themselves into the ground, heading for a burn-out!
4) Refrain from micromanaging- employees that feel trusted and more supported will be more confident in their role- FACT! Micromanaging is probably one of the most damaging and mentally draining ways of managing people and it has the opposite effect on a team than what the manager hoped for. Henry Stewart, business author and CEO of Happy noted that in his opinion, the number one frustration employees experience is micro-management!
A great way to prevent this is by documenting your processes so that it’s in writing, printed, loud and clear and every employee knows where they stand. Also, make space for learning and over-communicate when necessary to leave no room for misunderstanding.
5) A career path- having a clear goal is important for employees to feel invested in the company and help them to feel they have a direction, something to focus on and reach towards. It helps to show future employees that they too can have a long and successful career at the company. The power of building a clear career path is often overlooked, yet could be the reason someone has more loyalty to your business than elsewhere.
6) Ensure everyone feels included- there’s nothing worse than an office with little-to-no communication between the team/s. Just a simple good morning to everyone and asking how their day is can go a long way. Adding the team into a group chat, where employees can safely share ideas and some laughter can be a great way to help people feel included too. At Discovered, we have a pool table and tv for people to wind down together during work breaks- it gets everyone together at lunchtime and creates banter and a bit of healthy competition between the team.
7) Make work meaningful- identifying the strengths and values that connect employees to their work will enable them to feel more driven, creative and thrive in their role. If something is important to someone, they will usually put their heart and soul into it as a showcase of their own principles. By showing employees that their work matters and building an environment that helps everyone maximize their personal growth can only lead you to success. A positive work environment is the only way forward!
That’s a wrap!
- Happier people are 25% more satisfied in their jobs
- Happiness at the workspace boost sales by 37%
- Happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees
- Happy employees stay in their jobs 4x longer than unhappy employees
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), happiness is a key component of a successful workplace. Times are changing and people no longer want to stay somewhere they feel unhappy and undervalued. Happy, positive employees are much more likely to succeed at work assignments and exceed expectations as well as become great role models for trainees and others around them. So, if you'd like to become an exceptional company; invest in your team- it’ll be worth it!