Organizational Wellness

10 Great Ways to Increase Employee Happiness

May 9, 2024
Last Updated May 9, 2024

Imagine working in an office where each team member arrives to work excited to tackle the next project. Although it’s work, people are genuinely happy to do what they’re doing! 

Does that sound like a far-off dream? It doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to create a culture of employee happiness that will keep your team smiling. And creating a workplace like this is more than just increasing people’s job satisfaction. — it  ultimately creates teams that are more productive than ever. 

Here are 10 actionable strategies you can start deploying now to improve the employee happiness at your company. 


What Is Employee Happiness?

Employee happiness is an individual’s holistic wellbeing and sense of fulfillment at work, including job satisfaction, enjoyment of day-to-day tasks, and how they feel about the overall work environment. 

Signs of employee happiness can manifest in a few different ways. For example, engaged individuals often show increased productivity and creativity. A happy workforce can be characterized by a lower rate of absenteeism and turnover, both of which indicate strong job commitment. That’s why employee happiness is considered a powerful HR metric. 

Benefits of High Levels of Employee Happiness

High employee happiness is intrinsically linked to productivity. In fact, 95% of workers say that their emotional wellness impacts their productivity levels. Essentially, when a fulfilled individual approaches their tasks with enthusiasm, it’s often connected with higher levels of efficiency. 

In addition, employee happiness plays a pivotal role in retention as satisfied employees are more likely to stay with a company. This can help reduce turnover costs and maintain institutional knowledge, which contributes to a more cohesive company culture. That, in turn, can also help contribute to your brand’s reputation. 

Another reason to prioritize employee happiness is the link to creativity. Happy workers are more likely to think innovatively and contribute fresh ideas to the team. This creativity can help foster a culture of continuous improvement and adaptability. 

Finally, this metric matters because it can help you attract great talent. Potential hires are increasingly prioritizing workplace culture and wellbeing initiatives over traditional factors. Recruiters often underestimate how much candidates value their happiness, which creates an opportunity for you to distinguish your company and attract new employees. 

10 Ways to Keep Employees Happy at Work

High levels of employee happiness don’t happen by accident. It requires building a robust organizational culture optimized to provide a great employee experience. Here are 10 ways you can go about doing just that! 

  1. Promote Work-Life Wellness

Work-life wellness is a state where your professional and personal experiences amplify each other. For example, taking care of yourself physically at home can help increase your productivity and focus at work. Or a successful day in the office can help you feel good and connect with your family after work. 

Helping your employees live in this state can help them feel happier about work because their career is only enhancing the other good parts of their lives. One way to promote this is to focus on establishing clear boundaries. Doing so can help prevent burnout and allow people to recharge. This ultimately leads to increased job satisfaction.

Boundaries could include encouraging breaks, both during the work day and with vacations.  You might also teach workers to respect non-working hours and actively discourage after-hours communication. 

Another way to improve work-life wellness is to enhance time management. Empowering your employees to manage their time effectively with flexible work schedules can help them address both professional and personal commitments. You can also implement management workshops that address tactics like Eisenhower Matrices to help your team learn how to balance their priorities. 

  1. Nurture Workplace Relationships

Connections at work are an important part of employee happiness. In fact, 99% of workers say their relationships with colleagues are a critical part of their overall wellbeing. And they’re right! Having a best friend at work can lead to improved engagement and job success, according to a study from Gallup. Healthy relationships with colleagues and managers can contribute to a positive work environment by fostering a sense of camaraderie.

Your organization can keep employees happy and engaged by investing time and resources in interpersonal connections. One way to do this is to partner with company leaders. Managers play an especially important role in building rapport by actively listening to their team and recognizing individual contributions. You might have these supervisors hold team-building activities — both formal and informal — to cultivate a sense of unity. 

  1. Allow Flexible Workplaces

Flexibility can come in many ways, from scheduling to the environment. Allowing individuals the power to choose where and when they work can help boost their satisfaction. That’s why so many workers want companies to include these perks. Flexible work arrangements are one of the top 10 benefits for workers, according to research from Remote. Offering benefits that people want helps you attract great talent. 

Some strategies for boosting flexibility include compressed workweeks, where employees fulfill their weekly hours in fewer days. To provide this while also ensuring consistent staffing, can stagger hours where teams start and finish at different times. 

You could also focus on providing work environment flexibility. That includes remote options and hybrid models. These arrangements allow people to work where they feel most comfortable and can be productive. It also empowers them to meet both their work and personal commitments because they can be where they need to be when needed. 

  1. Make Employees Feel Heard

Actively listening to the concerns and feedback of staff not only boosts morale but also empowers a sense of ownership that is crucial for employee happiness. When employees see that their voices matter, that can help them feel included and valued. 

There are two steps to successfully listening to your team members. To start, consider how you can create opportunities for your people to communicate. Consider having managers host regular feedback sessions or conduct surveys. Providing a platform for individuals to share suggestions and participate in the decision-making process is a great way to encourage collaboration. 

Once you gather employee feedback, implementing changes based on those insights can demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. It also reinforces the idea that the organization values its workforce. The wealth of information that comes with listening to employees can drive innovation and growth for the organization as a whole. 

  1. Provide Career Growth Opportunities

Career development can play a pivotal role in employee happiness, as it signifies a commitment from the organization to their personal growth. For example, offering diverse opportunities for skill enhancement can foster a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Establishing clear career paths and mentorship programs are both effective ways to invest in employees’ long-term success. 

Encouraging goal-setting can also help. Regular performance reviews provide a dedicated time to align individual aspirations with organizational objectives, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. Additionally, supporting lateral moves or job rotations can allow employees to explore different facets of the company. This promotes skill diversification and job satisfaction. 

  1. Create a Positive Work Environment

positive work culture is integral to employee happiness. It provides the foundation for your team to be productive and feel fully included. To create an environment like this, you’ll want to consider what makes up that culture. That might mean evaluating communication or holistic support efforts. It could even be about how your employees interact with each other. A few ways to cultivate this atmosphere include: 

  • Establish clear communication channels, so employees are heard
  • Celebrate individual and team achievements with shoutouts or even awards
  • Encourage collaboration over competition with cross-departmental projects
  • Work with leadership to set an example and to establish a positive tone for the organization
  • Prioritize building relationships with regular interactions between team members, including remote ones

  1. Recognize and Reward Good Work

Acknowledging and rewarding employee achievements can be a powerful driver of happiness and job satisfaction. Recognizing accomplishments validates the effort of individuals, which often leads them to continue putting in their best work.

There are many ways to make this happen. Consider implementing a structured recognition program, such as “Employee of the Month” awards or peer-nominated accolades. You can also go beyond traditional recognition methods and incorporate personalized gestures, like a handwritten thank-you note. Offering tangible rewards like gift cards or additional time off can add an extra layer of motivation. 

You might also find a way to showcase success. For example, you could implement an online or physical platform that shows everyone the little accomplishments happening all the time. Peers can nominate each other, and everyone can celebrate them. 

  1. Communicate Honestly and Frequently

Regular communication forms the bedrock of employee happiness. When organizations prioritize transparency and trust, it can help employees feel informed and included in important decisions. Establishing open channels for dialogue — including regular team meetings and feedback sessions — is one way to create a culture where concerns can be addressed as they arise. 

Transparent communication about company goals and challenges also builds trust and helps employees feel more connected to the organization’s mission. To make that happen, consider encouraging leaders to be more approachable. You might even invite them to share the reasoning behind certain objectives with your teams, so everyone can better understand. 

Consider utilizing digital communication tools and platforms to promote accessibility and inclusivity, especially for remote workers. You might want to have a centralized tool that lets everyone stay in touch, like Microsoft Teams or  Slack. 

  1. Offer Above-and-Beyond Benefits

Providing employees with benefits that go beyond standard offerings like healthcare and retirement plans is a key strategy for boosting employee happiness. Unique perks like stock options and wellness programs can demonstrate a proactive approach to employee wellness. 

Offering professional development opportunities or even on-site childcare facilities are a few ways to set your organization apart from the competition. There are plenty of creative benefits that you can incorporate, including: 

  • Fitness memberships
  • Pet-friendly policies
  • Monthly stipend for personal development

Recognizing and catering to diverse employee needs is a great way to keep your teams happy and motivated. Investing in these above-and-beyond benefits goes beyond meeting basic requirements to reinforce a commitment to a supportive work environment.

  1. Prioritize Employee Wellness

There is an undeniable connection between employee happiness and their wellbeing. After all, your physical and mental wellbeing affects the way you think and the way you work and vice versa. That’s why a staggering 93% of C-suites view wellness programs as important for staff satisfaction and retention. Having this in your benefits package is a way to show your team members that you care about them — and that helps workers love their jobs. 

To prioritize this, you could implement wellness initiatives like gym memberships or nutrition trackers to help promote physical wellbeing. You can also offer mental wellness support with Employee Assistance Programs and mindfulness workshops. 

Creating a Happy Workplace by Supporting Employee Wellbeing

Employee happiness is crucial for a successful workplace. It impacts everything from productivity and retention to overall organizational health. In fact, 93% of workers say their physical wellbeing impacts their work productivity, according toWellhub research. And 95% say their emotional wellness does too. That’s why supporting your team members’ holistic wellbeing is so important. 

Ready to boost your productivity and happiness with wellbeing? Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today to get started. 

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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