7 Tips for Keeping Employees
Happy and Engaged

Mar 13, 2023 2:54:59 PM / by Payday HCM

With the current competition for talent, it is more important than ever to ensure that your employees are happy and engaged with their work for maximum retention. These seven things will help not only keep employees at your company but help promote a positive attitude and workplace culture.

How to Keep Employees Happy and Engaged

Having a positive attitude isn’t as simple as ignoring the bad and gritting your teeth with a smile. That can come off as inauthentic and even naive at times. No one can stay positive at work 100% of the time, of course. Plus, ignoring the bad can actually get you into more trouble: problems don’t just go away when we pretend they aren’t there.

Positivity in the workplace is more like optimistic realism, where you recognize the bad and negative aspects of a situation and still choose to focus on the good. It also means you’re looking to take meaningful action when something bad happens. You’re not just going to sit there and take it - you’re going to find a solution to the problem. 

The following seven things can help keep employees happy and positive at work. 

Good Morning Routines

You don’t have to be a morning person to get the day off to a good start. Maybe the routine that works for you is a warm shower, Pop-Tarts, and a favorite podcast. Whatever puts you in a good mood, do that thing every day.

At the same time, try cutting out morning habits that cause stress or set the wrong tone for the day—like checking your phone as soon as you wake up. Weed out the negative and replace it with the positive to make your routine serve you.

Set Realistic Goals

If you’re setting realistic, achievable goals regularly, you’ll constantly feel
accomplished. But if your goals aren’t realistic, you’ll always feel behind, like you’re failing.

Unrealistic “stretch” goals may motivate you for a time, but eventually, they will lead to negative feelings and attitudes. 

Setting realistic goals will not only help avoid unwarranted stress but lead to more accomplishments which in turn can give employees a well-needed boost to keep going. 


Celebrate Often

You don’t have to organize a party every day, but recognizing the excellent performance of your coworkers and celebrating their successes (big and small) can help everyone stay more positive at work. And this recognition doesn’t have to be expensive: While bonuses and raises remain the preferred form of reward and recognition, 25 percent of employees said they would be happiest with a simple “thank you.”

When you begin to offer more frequent, sincere recognition, many people will respond in kind. Soon, your whole organization can embrace a culture of positivity and recognition that will carry them forward to the next success.


Get Creative

Creating something—whether it be a piece of art or an innovative work solution—brings personal satisfaction. And when you’re creating something that will improve your company, everyone is better off.

Others will be grateful for you, you’ll be grateful for the accolades. It’s a circle of goodness.

Simply put, it feels good to find a new or better way to do things or to find a solution, and it's a feeling that can be shared across the board all from one worker's actions.


Focus on your Strengths

You were hired for your job because there are certain things you do really well. As much as possible, focus on those things, and keep your head up. Although, that doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to try and grow.

From that place of confidence, you should select one or two weaknesses at a time to work on. Trying to tackle the whole list at once is a quick way to burn out and become pessimistic.

On the other hand, making small improvements over time as you lean on your strengths is a great way to stay positive.


Maintain Optimism

“Assume the Best.” This means keeping a positive, optimistic outlook toward other people and things.

When negative thoughts come, or people appear to be acting poorly, look for the positive. Assume that people are trying their best and want to work with you to find the best solution. You’ll be surprised how much good there is in every situation.


Fake it Till Ya' Make it

If by some tragedy, none of the tips above have helped you find positivity at work, you have one more option: fake it until you make it.

The reality is, we can’t force emotions on ourselves, and sometimes happiness and positivity don’t seem to be on the horizon. So how do you find these emotions? Mimic them.

Do things happy and positive people do, and those feelings will show up
eventually. And don’t think too hard about what a positive attitude looks like to others, just replicate what you see the most positive people in your workspace do.

Learn from your team!


Get Help with Employee Engagement

While these tips can certainly improve your workplace culture, there's no reason to stop there. 

Performance management and employee engagement software can be of great help in monitoring employee performance and engagement, so you can truly pinpoint where the issues are and address them internally. 

To learn more about how Payday HCM is already helping countless businesses keep employees happy and engaged, contact us today. 


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