There’s a simple secret to a productive workplace and a successful business – maintaining high morale amongst employees. So how can you ensure that your employees are happy and subsequently more effective at work? Here are a few tips and tricks to make everyone smile.

1. Remember your manners

As the old adage goes: “Good manners cost nothing.” However they are an excellent way to make your team feel valued. When you walk into the office in the morning, walk in with a smile and be sure to greet everyone individually. If it’s feasible, ask each employee a question about their weekend, hobby, or family. Between the smile which radiates confidence and the question which indicates attentiveness, these actions will make employees feel respected and appreciated. In addition, listen with focus when people talk to you instead of tapping at your smart phone or facing your computer screen. When you thank employees, thank them sincerely. Praise them for hitting their targets or doing something special with verbal recognition.

2. Create a comfortable environment

A dimly lit and dingy workplace littered with stacked boxes and piles of paper will only serve to drag the mood down. Consider brightening up the office, perhaps with a fresh lick of paint, updated lighting, or new equipment. A second way to ensure a positive atmosphere is to maintain a clean and orderly space. Ensure the bathrooms are kept spotless and the kitchen doesn’t pile up with dirty dishes, as undesirable facilities are a quick way to bring down morale. Companies at the same address for a number of years frequently build up a collection of unnecessary paperwork, outdated technology, and unused furniture. Be sure to clear the clutter to keep your work atmosphere pleasant for all. A communal space is a great way to create an agreeable area for employees to relax and socialize Something as simple as adding a few comfortable chairs can do wonders for the atmosphere. If it’s in keeping with the style of your company, try incorporating a football table, pool table, or dart board to encourage a playful setting where employees can wind down and smile.

3. Embrace the special occasions

When you start providing things regularly for employees, they become expected – so it’s a good idea to keep treats spontaneous; that way they continue to be special occasions. Find good reasons to celebrate: successful wins, targets hit and big projects delivered. There are consequences for missing deadlines; why shouldn’t there be rewards for reaching them?

One idea is to have a “company birthday” when you can celebrate everything you’ve achieved in the last twelve months. Events don’t all have to be organised by you; create a social committee to coordinate, promote, and organize special occasions.

4. Make your employees feel valued

In the run up to the festive season there are many opportunities to make your employees feel valued. During Halloween, a fancy dress competition can be a fun way to shake things up. At Christmas time, consider writing cards to your employees, taking time to personalize each message. Include something you value about the employee or take the time to mention their family. Do people sometimes work late in your office? Surprise them by ordering in pizzas to keep up morale or offer assistance in other ways. Providing practical support is a great way to say thank you for going the extra mile. Another way to inspire good performance and make staff smile is through awarding a trophy for hard work. Some companies find that an employee award encourages celebration of hard workers and the value they bring to the company. This value can be based on revenue generation, customer feedback, or alternative metrics significant to your business.

In short, all of these tips revolve around one big idea – your employees are more likely to be productive and positive forces in the workplace if they are happy, and this happiness will be reflected in a smile. Don’t forget, there’s no way to cheat on this, people can spot a forced smile a mile off.

What tips do you have for keeping your staff’s spirits high? Have you tried any of the above ideas? What are your thoughts on making employees smile? Share your small biz diamonds in the comments section below.

This is guest post was provided by a leading human resource software provider Cezanne OnDemand – leaders in intergrated SaaS (Software as a Service)

Image credit to lululemon athletica from Flickr