How to Boost Employee Happiness

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Boosting Employee HappinessYou know the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” You get it. But startup founders and CEOs still don’t seem to understand.

When CEOs find out that their employees are unhappy, they throw money at the problem: they buy better furniture and give away fat bonuses. These tactics may help in the short term, like a caffeine boost, but they don’t solve the underlying problem.

You don’t need sleek new computers and hundreds of swagged-out items to make your employees happy. In fact, when I started my company, all we had were some cheap Ikea desks and I had to ask everyone to bring their own computers. But even back then, I had everything I needed to keep my team happy. And we’re still going strong today.

Here are six things you can give your own team (for free) to achieve genuine happiness in your office.

The Freedom To Set (And Achieve) Their Own Goals

Don’t you love the feeling of ownership? That moment when you can point to something, swelling with pride, and say, “I did that.” So do your employees. Give them ownership over projects—from inception all the way to completion.

Set clear company goals, both small quarterly ones and large, 3-year plans. Tell your team what needs to be accomplished and when. Here’s the kicker: have them figure out how to get there. Don’t nitpick; don’t hover. Remember, you decided this person was a good fit for your team and mission. Set a destination and trust them to find the path.

Clarity And Purpose

People deliver better results when they have a clear idea of what’s expected of them. They’re happier when they feel their work is part of a greater picture.

A Gallup poll found that only half of people are clear about what’s expected of them at work. Only half! If that’s the case in your office, fix it now. Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management, said that “it comes down to showing people how their work and contributions impact the success of the entire firm. Disengagement starts with having a confusing job.”

To avoid that confusion and subsequent disengagement, have a definitive mission. Ours is that everyone should have access to convenient, effective and enjoyable ways to learn. My team knows this by heart, and I often remind them of their role within that mission.

Read more at Fast Company.