There was a time when people thought money was the most important factor when deciding between jobs. However, times have changed. Obviously, we are not saying people shouldn’t be paid for their contribution, but what we are saying is that money is not everything. More often than ever, employees are placing greater value on things like flexible working hours, paid time off, and other offerings that fall into the emotional salary category. Employee happiness is no longer solely dependant on the amount of money a company can offer their workers. Let’s dive into the topic of what is a happy employee, and everything else that goes along with it.
As the name suggests, an emotional salary is one that touches on emotional gains rather than monetary benefits. These can include products or services that employees value more than money (ie. 1 hour of free afternoon daycare).
There are a number of ways to answer the question, how do you increase employee happiness? But, before we get into that, let’s look at why you should care in the first place. We’ll touch on this by sharing some of the residual effects that result when a company focuses on increasing the emotional contribution for their employees:
- Psychological well being: When employees see the company caring for their personal life and needs, they tend to feel more motivated and that their work is being recognized, which ultimately, leads to reduced stress levels.
- Reconciliation: Offering flexible work hours or benefits like child care helps parents balance their work and family life.
- Opportunities for self-development and improvement: Talent development courses, coaching, mentoring, and learning a new skill or language provide great opportunities for an employee to improve. Employers should encourage self-improvement as much professionally as personally.
There are times when companies can’t increase employees’ salaries. That doesn’t mean that the employees can’t be compensated for their hard work though. The happiness of an employee depends on more than throwing more money at them.
One of the main reasons companies are beginning to include emotional salaries in their retribution policies is due to the appearance of millennials in the working environment. Millennials are a generation that commonly values other forms of compensation, other than money. They are also the ones in the workforce that thrive most in an environment that provides constant professional challenges. In addition, they are qualified professionals that have experience in a wide variety of areas and are no stranger to an environment of uncertainty. Collectively, millennials are part of the workforce that sees change as something good.
Things to have in mind if you are hiring millennial employees:
- 60% of employees between 18 and 34 will quit their job if their boss forbade them the use of a mobile phone.
- 2 /3 millennials could change jobs at any moment and probably will do so in less than 2 years of having started in a company, according to a survey by Deloitte.
Attracting new talent is complicated, more so if the positions are technical ones. For these new generations of workers, location, social benefits and flexible hours are as important as money.
With that said, retaining millennial employees is not an easy task. For this reason, companies should focus on offering these employees constant growth opportunities. A solid career plan that allows employees to expand their knowledge and scope of responsibility is key! Employees thinking about leaving an organization, aren’t normally tempted by a monetary increase of 100 dollars/month. You’re going to have to get creative if you want to retain millennial talent and decrease turnover in your company.
More and more companies have started offering benefits and compensation plans t0 their employees. Companies who offer you a gym membership, health insurance or help you pay for your out of the office meals, definitely win brownie points.
Working 8 hours a day, but without a strict timetable. Employees don’t always need to be at the office. What’s important is that employees do their job correctly. Flexible hours are especially attractive to employees with children, or caregivers of other people or even pets. Allowing your employees to work from home from time to time is no cost to the employer, but offers a huge benefit to the worker.
Offering paid out of office training to your employees is a great way to motivate them to continue learning and improving. In addition, any extra training your employees undergo ultimately benefits the company in the end.
The best way to help employees manage child care is by providing them with a little extra assistance to alleviate the stress of them having to manage on their own.
Office conditions are important things to think about too as they directly affect the work environment. If you have space, consider setting up a leisure room for your staff. Here, they can come to relax and disconnect. Maintaining a good work environment is vital to the happiness of your employees.
Some companies offer employees extra time off when they contribute hours to volunteer for a cause. This not only helps the collective but it also provides satisfaction to the employees themselves.
Also called custom compensation, allows employees to choose from the services offered by the company, based on their needs.
Health care, restaurant vouchers or transportation cheques paid by the company are the best way to recognize an employee’s performance and retain talent. Workers feel appreciated when they can see that their employer is focused on employee happiness.
Do you want to help your employees schedule their working hours better?