Written by JO STEVENS

They say if you love your job, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Hand on heart, this might not be the feeling most of us have every Monday, but most of the time we should still feel happy at work and look forward to the week ahead.

Staff who are happy at work are likely to be more productive, creative, flexible and work more effectively with colleagues and customers. That’s the focus of the International Week of Happiness of Work, which runs this week (September 23 – 27). It’s a good opportunity for all businesses, big and small, to take a step back and consider how they help support staff wellbeing and reduce stress and anxiety.

So, what can your organisation do? The Reality HR team have come together to contribute their top tips – and here are the results:

Recognition – Positive feedback goes a long way. You’re guaranteed to make an employee’s day by recognising their hard work on a project, or just by offering praise for a good idea. It’s a real motivator.

Flexible working – It’s not always possible for people to be in the office Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Being able to choose your hours or work from home some of the time makes a huge difference to employee morale.

Team – Getting on with the group of people around you is the key to happiness at work. Think about team-building exercises, after-work drinks or even taking a break for an office quiz to encourage bonding.

Communication – More friendly day-to-day communication in place of a strictly formal approach makes everyone feel more relaxed. Encourage an ‘open door’ policy where staff and management can communicate at all times. Employees who trust their colleagues and managers are likely to be happier.

Rewards – Not every employer has the means to shower their staff with gifts. But small rewards like personalised notepads or gift cards can boost workplace morale and improve employer/employee relationships.

Time for tea – Providing tea, coffee, healthy snacks such as fruit and the odd sweet treat can help keep energy levels up and work wonders for morale.

Mix it up – Try to make each day different from the last! Whether it’s going out to meetings, running errands or working on exciting projects – new tasks and challenges will help prevent staff feeling bored and undervalued.

Support – Let staff know that support is there if they need it Even having a chat over a cuppa can help employees feel less concerned about their workload.

Be inclusive – Make sure various teams within the business have a good idea about what happens across departments. Encourage shared forums and staff socials – the more people feel part of a single team, the more they will pull together towards your goals.

Trust – Mutual trust between employee and employer is essential – talk to your management about what they can do to create a happier workplace. Don’t be defensive about negative feedback – listen and act upon it.

A Wellness Action Plan can help spot the early signs of stress and unhappiness and ensure staff stay happy and productive. Find out more about how Reality HR can support your business here.