The CEO’s Checklist to Keeping Employees Happy and Fulfilled by James Parsons

When employees have a casual, stress-free time at work, they’re going to be more productive in general. As a business owner, it’s your job to establish procedures that will keep your employees happy and motivated.

Before diving into specific advice, it’s important to realize that every workplace has its own dynamics. And, much like how a principal doesn’t have a grasp of how schoolchildren treat each other in the trenches, a CEO doesn’t necessarily know all of the interpersonal dynamics that go on amongst their employees. Many of the most hostile, toxic actions taken in a workplace come in an attempt to curry favor with the boss.

Therefore, it’s important to keep an even hand, avoid showing favoritism and always be aware of your lowest-performing employees. Finding out why they’re underperforming can help you boost your entire workplace.

But when considering how to keep everyone happy and engaged, here are a few tips:

Allow individuality in dress code.

Dress codes are a thing of the past. Individuality trumps uniformity every time, so let your staff’s personality shine through – within reason. You can provide guidelines of what is appropriate and what isn’t (financial companies will have a completely different dress code than journalists) but try not to make it too stringent. They will thank you for it.

The reason being is part of the problem with a restrictive dress code is the atmosphere of oppression it conveys. Mandating a certain color suit, shirt and tie, strict haircut regulations, these take professionalism to an extreme.

Provide tools for success.

It’s often much more effective to give your employees direction and tools to accomplish their goals than it is to set down rigid guidelines and a process they must follow.

You can see this in practice in retail, when cashiers are given enough autonomy to adjust prices and extend expired coupons on the fly. That simple bit of autonomy keeps customers happy, and when customers are happy, cashiers don’t have to worry about dealing with an irate customer.

In corporate problem solving, the same kind of freedom and autonomy can boost morale and productivity. How often have you come up with a viable solution to a problem, only to find a rule or policy that prevents you from acting? Allow for creativity, don’t squash it.

Make training and learning available.

Most people naturally want to better themselves, if for no other reason than to further their career. Offer free training programs and educational opportunities to anyone who wants to partake.

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