How to make employees happy

When it comes to how to make employees happy, many businesses do not know where to start. Many companies mistakenly think that providing perks (like catered lunches and foosball tables) is what makes employees happy. However, as important as tangible benefits are to retaining a workforce, the complete answer to what makes employees happy at work entails far more.

To create happy employees, you must ensure that your organization’s DNA creates an environment for commitment to a job well done alongside contentment in the first place.

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How to make employees happy: Core concepts

It’s not just common sense that what makes employees happy at work also makes for happy businesses. In fact, research demonstrates the link between happy employees and thriving business. One indicator found that happy employees are 20% more productive than their counterparts; that figure rose to 37% when assessing sales people.

If employee stats aren’t enough, look to the stock market, where stock prices rose by 14% per year between 1998 and 2005 for companies listed under Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Company culture plays a pivotal role in mastering how to make employees happy.

Furthermore, research indicates that it’s not salary alone that creates happy employees. Rather, what makes employees happy at work requires something far less tangible than money: trust. Researchers measured the brain activity of people at work, and the results were clear: Trust in the workplace makes staff more productive, excited and innovative on the job. The study also found hormonal components in workplace trust. The brain chemical oxytocin facilitated trust, connection and generosity on the job, which generated employee contentment. Even more important, high stress inhibits oxytocin, thus decreasing interstaff bonding on the job.

As you endeavor to understand how to make employees happy, take every measure possible to minimize workplace stress so that employees can get their jobs done efficiently and without burnout. The study lists staff recognition, inter-peer recognition, feasible workloads and assignments, clear project direction and intentional relationship-building as strategies for ensuring employees are content and productive.

How to make employees happy: Strategies

To master how to make employees happy, take charge as a business owner and create a workplace culture conducive to employee contentment. Here are practical strategies to get you started:

Understand employees’ personalities

If you want to know how to make employees happy, first you must understand each employee’s workplace personality profile so that you place them in a position befitting their skills and disposition. Create protocol for hiring, training and promotions that assesses an employee’s DISC profile (an employee’s dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness) – categories derived from Dr. William Marston’s behavioral dimensions.


People who operate best when allowed to be direct, results-oriented, decisive and competitive are often skilled negotiators, problem-solvers, managers and leaders.


People who are largely charming, enthusiastic, optimistic, persuasive and inspiring are “influencers” capable of working collaboratively with diverse teams.




People who consistently exhibit traits like being understanding, team-minded, patient, stable and sincere are often dependable in managing or collaborating with others.


People who are known for being analytical, diplomatic, precise, compliant and objective are valued as “work horses” in business due to their ability to remain objective on the job.

Understand your own business identity


As a business owner, you must understand your business identity. What makes you “tick”? Depending on your skillset, talents and interests, you likely fall under one of the following categories more than the other: Artist, manager or entrepreneur. By understanding yourself and your perspective, you’re better able to assess staff in a fair, accurate and non-judgemental manner.

Cement your business’ highest vision

A viable, long-lasting business is characterized by far more than just record profits. Successful companies are also categorized by a culture of excellence that creates happy employees. In practice, this means that leadership and the entire team keeps morale a point of focus, an ultimate outcome. As such, embracing what makes employees happy in the workplace means creating a workplace where all staff feel they’re part of something bigger.


Ensure smooth sailing

how to make employees happy

Running a smooth-sailing business is one of the most rudimentary components of what makes employees happy in the workplace. Imagine sailing a ship without adequate supplies, technology or crew to keep the ship afloat. How long would you stick around? The scenario applies to modern businesses. When a company’s systems fail, decreasing productivity and overall job satisfaction, it’s likely (if not inevitable) that employees will look for stabler options. To ensure you really have happy employees, make sure all your business operations run smoothly. Then, and only then, can you achieve lasting business growth.

Understanding what makes employees happy at work requires diligence, patience and commitment to your company’s long-term health. Get a jump-start on creating happy employees by assessing your and your staff’s workplace personalities. Take Tony Robbins’ DISC assessment to obtain the data and know-how you need to take your business to the next level.

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