What’s the best way to treat employees?

People deserve to be treated with respect, especially in the workplace. Just because we are paying people to work for us does not mean we can treat them any way we like. To that end, as employers we should consider how to treat our staff in ways that benefit them. There are good reasons, aside from ethical or legal ones, to do this and we should embrace methods to make staff feel welcome.

Happy employees are good employees

Every business wants to do well. Central to that are hard-working people, able to deliver on their tasks at the right time. People required the right environment to deliver on tasks, however.

As Fast Company notes:

“A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, ‘We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.’”

Thus, if we’re looking for a business reason to find ways to improve employees’ lives, here’s the evidence. We benefit because business is improved.

Become good at listening

One way we become better at creating a happy environment is by learning to listen. While we are in charge, we have all the power. However, that should not mean we are always the ones speaking. We must take time to listen to employees, whether about their personal lives, their aspirations or what they think needs improving in the company.

Often, we overlook areas simply because it doesn’t affect us. Are we providing a competitive salary? Are we giving benefits, whether as an annual bonus or hospital plan? Even small ideas – coffee machines or paid lunches – could make all the world of difference, if we listened to what employees want or need. While this doesn’t mean we give in to every demand, it means we can always do better by taking a few minutes to consider their needs.

Celebrate ownership

Businesses are not operated alone. We may own or run it, but the work is a collaborative effort. Everyone is essential. Encourage this view by having employees own their work. As researcher Francesca Gino points out, “My research suggests that ownership also triggers a ‘mindset of possession’ that, once activated, persists over various contexts and tasks and influences later choices.”

We always want to do better and more for the things that are ours. This benefits employees, since they’ll enjoy their work. It also benefits us because we get better quality work out of it.

These are just some ways to encourage a happier staff in the workplace.

(Image credit: Raimond Spekking / WikiPedia)