Hello Manager! Have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Do you have new dreams, new goals and new plans that you want to achieve with your team this year? The happiness of your employees will play an important part in this. Did you know that happy employees have 180% more energy, are 300% more innovative and 50% more motivated to achieve their goals? If you want 2018 to be a successful year, it´s time to focus on employee happiness!

1. Say Thank You more often

Numerous studies in the past years show that appreciation at work is the number 1 driver for overall happiness at work. We are not talking about appreciation through bonus payments or other benefits, but appreciation through words. Make it your goal in 2018 to pay attention to good work and extra efforts of your team members and acknowledge and appreciate it frequently. This can be in a personal conversation with your employee, during your weekly team meeting or through an email. Just a simple “thank you” will lift your employees´ mood and have a significant impact on their overall happiness at work. Listen to opinions of your employees, appreciate opinions and take them into account when making decisions and improvements. Are you expecting new team members this year? Make it a point to spend time with them on their first day. Is anybody leaving the team in 2018? Prepare some thank-you words and make sure that there is a small goodbye gathering organized.

2. Be clear about your expectations but promote autonomy

Make it a habit to update your team regularly on organizational strategy and changes and how these might impact the focus of the team. Make sure your team always understands the link between personal, team and organizational goals. Understanding how your personal job contributes to the overall success of the organization is an important driver of overall happiness at work. Monitor progress of goals, but at the same time, try to give your team members the freedom to decide how their job gets done. Giving your employees autonomy, i.e. giving them the freedom to prioritize their own tasks, make improvements and take time off when needed has a positive effect on engagement and productivity.

3. Show sincere interest in your employees

Do you have an overview of all birthdays of your employees? Do you know since when they are working for the organization and when they have their company anniversary? Collect this information through your HR contact person and surprise your employees on these days with a personal congratulation or a small gift. Take requests for personal conversations with your employees serious. Be on time, switch off your mobile phone and listen. Make sure you have some idea about the personal and/or family situation of your employees to be able to relate to their request for time-off, flexible working hours etc. Are you planning for the 2018 goal setting conversations with your team members? Let your employees prepare their goals in advance and share them with you. Actively ask them how they would like to see their development within the organization. And again: listen.

Cheers to a year in which your team thrives through happy employees!