A recent study done by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) reveals that more than 42.5% of corporate employees in private sectors in India suffer from depression or general anxiety disorder, which is largely a lifestyle disease. “The rate of emotional problems such as anxiety and depression has increased by 45-50 per cent among corporate employees in the last eight years,” said the study.
The second disease which is troubling employees is obesity, with almost 23 per cent of the corporate employees suffering from obesity due to long sedentary hours in front of screens, lack of time to work out, long work hours and high stress at work.
If you are a corporate employee reading this, chances are your organization is already facing one or both of these challenges. Even worse – you have experienced these personally. However the truth is, not all organizations suffer from this reality. There are those that are led by passionate leaders who strive to make the workplace a better place each day.
Think about it – we spend the longest hours of our days at work. Therefore the environment we experience at work influences our sense of well being in a large way. So ensuring people are happy in their workplace is imperative to individual happiness and happiness in the society. Wouldn’t you agree? For this to happen, organizations need to focus on one thing. They have to ensure they send their employees home happy. At the end of the working day, most employees feel tired, stressed and worn out. Can an organization work on reversing that experience for them? The answer is YES. Read on to find out some simple ways to ensure your employees go home happy and return happier!
Why is it important that employees go home happy? Because when they do so, they return home as energized individuals and can give their best to their families too. Spending quality time with loved ones only further enhances their sense of happiness. And those family members also go back to school or work the next day as happy people, spreading joy wherever they go. Do you see the ripple effect of one person being happy and what effect it can have on so many more people?
When employees go home happy, they return happier the next day. With this happy vibe on, they are more productive and will naturally give their best at work. Despite having highly tired minds, most of these organizations are managing to churn out great profits year after year. But remember this is all coming at a price. Remember the depression and obesity numbers? Shift gears today, to ensure your team is one happy lot!
Here are 7 ways to ensure your employees go home happy!
A happy employee won’t leave you for another job. A fat pay cheque is not the only parameter to measure happiness at work. When employees are unrecognized for their efforts, under-appreciated for their talent, and not treated with respect is when they start to look for opportunities outside the organization.
Having team based recognition during meetings and quarterly appreciation through personalized letter from the manager or presenting an award for their work is a great way to boost employee morale and happiness. Understand that happy employees give their best at work each day, so you hit all your growth targets on time or even outdo them.
A happy workplace attracts great talent easily – think Google. When you think Google you imagine a great work environment, friendly faces, facilities available for your use and a lot of personal learning opportunities. Taking your cue from here, you can do small things to create shifts in your environment. A simple team outing to a park nearby, enjoying tea breaks over a game, inspirational quotes on walls, little motivational gifts on their desks – all these go a long way in boosting happiness and don’t have to cost the earth.
You don’t have to work hard to contain attrition. Instead you spend your resources on ensuring employee happiness at all times and attrition will take care of itself. Make employees feel like a part of the big dream and how important their contribution is in achieving them.
No Anger Zone
Make your workplace a no anger zone. Does not mean you won’t have arguments or disagreements. What it means is you can express your disagreements or points of view with dignity and respect for one another, without losing your cool.
Take care of your employees and they will take care of the organization and its profits. – Richard Branson
Set an alarm to play some music for one minute, once in every hour, for everyone to pause at work. When the music plays for those 60 seconds, stop whatever you are doing. Look away from any screen, wear a smile on your face, focus on taking a few deep breaths and centering yourself again. Taking a mindful pause helps you solve problems more effectively as your tired mind gets an opportunity to relax and get a fill of oxygen supply. When you breathe consciously, you breathe fully and allow more oxygen to reach your brain. This simple routine can enhance well being exponentially! And it does not cost you money or time.
Exercise in any form increases your dopamine levels quickly and can help in relieving both depression and fighting obesity; while also expanding your capacity for joy. Take a 10 minute walk into an open space or a green space at work to recharge your energy instantly. Encourage employees to build exercise into their daily routine to enhance well being – they could walk to work, cycle to work or take walking breaks once a day to re energies themselves. Gift them smart bands to plug them into fitness as a habit.
Consider gifting your teams a dance workshop for the next occasion you celebrate. Instead of buying more material gifts, give these a try. Give them the gift of time that is dedicated towards self care and happiness. A dance workshop is an innovative answer to the challenges of depression and obesity. It allows for exercise, learning a new skill and at the same time gives you the opportunity to bond with one another in a fun environment. Feel the happy rush of dopamine and energy as you enjoy an hour of dancing after a long day at work.
Learning a new skill is considered to be a mood enhancer. It feeds our sense of curiosity to learn new things. Benefits of learning a new skill – sharpens memory, expands your creativity, increases joy and boosts your confidence.
Gift them vouchers for learning how to cook a healthy meal in less than 15 minutes, enhance their money management skills by following simple systems, gift them a meditation class, yoga sessions, culture walk around your city and so on. Each one of these activities will help them rest their working mind and allow for some nuance to come in. Break time from core work like this can help enhance their intuitiveness and creativity in more ways than one.
While it sounds counterintuitive for me to suggest you buy gifts that are not physical things (with all the corporate gifting we do!) I firmly believe that employee happiness is any organization’s key responsibility. One that is simple to understand, but not easy to implement with consistency. These above tips will help you go a long way in ensuring they go home happy and return back happier each day!
Let us know your favorite tip and how it helped you increase the happiness quotient of your teams!
The Giving Tree