Things are slowly but surely looking up. A recent study conducted by SHRM.org, the Society for Human Resource Management, showed that hiring for Q2 will continue to rise. Of the HR professionals who took part in the recent SHRM study, 44% expect to increase their staff size in Q2 considerably. As we slowly crawl out of the recession, the emphasis on our workplace cultures and health of our employees should be top of mind. Many companies who chose to put their people and cultural practices on hold during the recession because of the financial climate will now need to rethink their strategy to ensure they find and retain the best.

The question is, though, where to start? Where to focus as we gear up for a growing and thriving team:

  • Make them happy. Easier said than done, but it’s critical to the engagement of your best and brightest. And if you want them to stick around, this becomes non-negotiable. The impact of happier employees isn’t just that they are better to be around. A happier workforce can yield higher sales by 37%, better productivity by 31%, and task accuracy by 19%*.  A recent article discussed a new offering known as Happiness Training and the impact it had on one lucky team at media agency MEC, boosting a range of overall happiness in the attendees from 12%-32%.
  • Put your money where your employee handbook is. Open up any employee handbook, or skim a recent offer letter, and you can read all about the great culture. The desire of leadership to keep people happy, challenged, and ultimately fulfilled is written all over it. Unfortunately, once an employee looks around, they rarely see business processes and practices that support this. With easy-to-use and affordable tools available to executives and HR today, there is little to no excuse to continue putting off an intentional, strategic, and sustainable focus on your employees’ well-being.  For those organizations who claim that their informal, manual program meets their unique needs, I am sorry to say that this is rarely the case. Research proves that employees lack awareness of and engagement in these manual programs.
  • Make them happy. Long-term. This was deserving of the final bullet due to the unfortunate business practice we often employ in regards to most things talent management. Engagement is easy to lift with events and team hoorah sessions, but monitor these metrics long-term and you will see the real challenge is to sustain this positive vibe (and the impact) over time.  It’s easy to boost engagement (or happiness) numbers post a big event, training session, or even post something as awesome as Happiness Training. Consider the day-to-day offerings and programs for all employees to maintain this culture and enable them to create a truly happy, engaged place to be.
* Source:The Happiness Advantage: Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
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