5 Rules to Keep Your Employees Happy and Your Workforce Productive

Customers make a successful business, but you won’t have customers for long if you don’t have happy and productive employees. Just think, if you walked into a business where the employees were visibly unhappy, would you return? Most likely not – you’d find a business that treats their employees so well that the employees can’t help but be happy. And a happy employee is a productive employee.

Work-Life Balance

Make sure your employees have plenty of time off. While that might be difficult if you are short-handed, you’ll lose more employees if they can’t take time off for life. Personal and family commitments are important to employees – they must have the time to attend to those commitments.

Rotating shifts or even rotating weekend work, unless you have an employee that prefers working the weekends, helps ensure that everyone has time off to spend with family members who might have only the weekend off.

Ensuring that everyone has enough time off significantly reduces the risk of burnout and unhappy employees. Offer flexible work options, encourage breaks, change time-off policies, and increase support for employees who are parents.

Career Mobility

If you want your employees to feel as though they are needed, create career mobility. Make sure your employees know that they can move up in the company. Even if a job is a dead-end job, be sure to offer additional perks for milestones, such as the number of years working. If any job has more than one person working, you can offer a supervisory or co-management position to help with scheduling or minor issues between employees.

Also, encourage employees to come up with new ideas to make a job better or easier. Be sure to provide transparency with each position when discussing the position, including the availability of moving up in the company or receiving raises or paid vacation as the employee gives you more years.


Regardless of the type of job, be sure employees have available training so that they can move up in the company. For example, if you have a restaurant dishwasher, make sure he knows he can attend training for other jobs in the restaurant. If the jobs require additional training to move up or yearly training, such as additional training for lawyers, be sure that training is available. Employees enjoy learning more about their chosen profession, and additional training allows them to take on added responsibility.

Reward Employees

Nothing says that you don’t appreciate an employee more than not rewarding her. Even a simple “thank you” goes a long way. Recognition doesn’t have to be expensive. Verbal recognition throughout the year with a yearly bonus or a group lunch with the boss also tells employees how much you appreciate their work. Other ideas include:

  • A reward system for accomplishments.
  • Prizes at company celebrations.
  • Giving positive feedback.
  • At team meetings, “call out” employees for doing good work.

Create a Positive Work Environment

If an employee doesn’t have a positive work environment, he will drag his feet when coming to work. He might even call out more often. A positive work environment features many factors, including transparency, open dialogue, training, creating a whistleblower channel, and just smiling at your employees, even when you are having a dumpy day.