happy employeesMillennials are changing the way workplaces approach company culture. As the first generation to grow up with the Internet, Millennials’ mobile lifestyles don’t understand the daily 9-to-5 grind. This year Millennials account for the highest percentage of the workforce compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers. Unlike previous generations, Millennials are looking for jobs that not only pay well, but also make them feel fulfilled and happy. As more and more “Gen Y-ers” flood the employment sector, the topic of workplace happiness is beginning to become a mainstream discussion. The question really is: How do you make your employees happy?

Create a Sense of Ownership

Employees that are engaged and feel a sense of ownership for their job or a project are more likely to feel happy and fulfilled. When an employee has a sense of ownership over something, he or she is much more likely to ensure that the project doesn’t fail. That “it’s mine” feeling will help encourage the employee to perform his or her best.

Trust Your Employees

Would you want to eat the same food for every meal, every single day? Neither would most people. The same is true for working. Very few people would be happy and fulfilled performing the same task over and over again until they retire or die. Offering new responsibilities to employees and allowing them to grow in their positions can keep them engaged while making them feel like a valuable piece of the company machine.

Engage Them in Hiring Coworkers

Asking employees for their opinions on job candidates is like hitting two birds with one stone. The employees you ask might have a different take on the candidates than you do or they might notice things you didn’t. Also, asking employees that will be working with the new hire eight hours a day will have a unique perspective into what it takes to accomplish the job. In addition to valuable information on making a solid hiring decision, the current employees will feel respected because their opinions matter to the management team.

Be Flexible

Studies show that employees are working harder and longer hours than ever before. With the addition of email, laptops, and smart phones, professional and personal lives are becoming increasingly muddled. A recent study shows that 40% of employees work at least one weekend a month and over 52% of employees feel like they don’t have time to get up and take a break. If your company can swing it, offering flexible hours to employees can help them keep from feeling overworked and will also minimize burnout.

Ask Them

Keep the dialogue open. Sometimes the easiest way to increase and keep employee happiness is by asking them what would make a difference. They likely have perspectives on their position and work situation that you may have not considered, but a small tweak could be a big change for the employee. Out-of-the-box, creative solutions can be a great way to keep the business running smoothly and the employees happy.

It doesn’t matter what your company does, it cannot do it without employees. Keeping employees happy and fulfilled is an integral part of a smoothly run business. Showing an employee that your company respects them and values their contribution will go a long way to ensuring that the employee is happy and productive for a long time to come.

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