Most small business owners would say that having employees who love their work is one of their goals. Not only do happy employees make your workplace more pleasant, they are also 12% more productive. For small businesses, every little edge you can get on the competition is so important, but happiness so subjective. How do you make sure your efforts will pay off? A great place to start is a recent article in Fast Company that gives five things that people who love their jobs have in common.youth-570881_1920

  1. They enjoy their co-workers. Creating a cohesive team of employees is important. People want to feel like they belong and developing meaningful relationships at work is one of the keys to employee engagement.
  2. They know what is expected of them. By nature, humans dislike uncertainty. The human brain responds to uncertainty in a way similar to pain. The ability for an employee to focus in an uncertain environment is decreased. Employees want to understand what is expected of them and for that to happen communication must occur. Employees need to understand the company goals and what the definition of success is in their position.
  3. They make a real impact. Employees want to feel like they are making a difference. The vast majority of recent graduates list this as one of their main career goals. This is one reason that it is important to share with employees the “why” for your business. Why do you do what you do?
  4. They are proud of the work they do. This goes hand in hand with making an impact. People spend so much of their time at work, they want to be proud of what they do and where they work. One of the first questions some asks you when they meet you is what you do for work, so there is a social benefit to being proud of your work as well.
  5. They feel recognized. With so much on your plate as a small business leader, it is easy to forget to thank your employees. Sometimes a simple thank you from the right person at the right time can have a huge impact. There are many other options for employee recognition programs that can increase engagement, productivity and happiness. Contact an HR Advisor for ideas.

More and more employers are recognizing that employees don’t just come to work for a paycheck. So much more goes into an employee’s happiness at work. Understanding that and the five characteristics above, can help small business owners attract and retain the top talent they need to compete and win in their industry.