How to achieve staff happiness and grow a stronger team

Owning or managing a business is all consuming and to put it bluntly – Stressful! Its hard to switch off at 5pm and when was the last time you had a weekend free without doing something for the business?

Then there’s staff and all the emotions that they bring. Ever experienced the knockout blow when that much valued top employee blindsides you with a sudden resignation. Or you walk in on a secret conversation when you know the topic was YOU. Truth is that your team is essential to you, and you love them dearly but sometimes they can cause you a lot of headaches.

The thing to remember is that quite often your stress can have a negative impact on your team. You might think that you are holding it together well but one snappy comment or a missed opportunity to give someone praise and you go from loved boss to loathed boss in the blink of an eye.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like that and with just a few simple gestures you can build up a strong and functioning team and offload a lot of your stress. Here are five simple steps for a happier workplace.

Give Praise

Recognition is a powerful way to develop and retain staff. There are clear studies that link receiving praise to dopamine and serotonin levels going up, making you feel happy and cortisol levels going down, reducing stress. So, if your team feel acknowledged for their contribution in the salon or clinic, they will feel more relaxed and confident. Confidence reduces stress, which makes us feel happier. Happier team makes for happier customers and guess who else benefits… you!

Communicate your expectations clearly and share your vision

Offering a clear structure and a transparent path to advancement reduces employee uncertainty. Reduced uncertainty leads to a more settled and productive mindset. Get your team onboard with your ideas and vision, explaining what needs to be achieved to allow for the promotion or the pay increase.  If you have a concern or worry, share it with the team. A joint effort at overcoming an obstacle creates a much stronger team bond.

Invest in your staff’s happiness

A positive work environment is more successful overtime as it increases positive emotions and well-being. This leads to better relationships with each other and amplifies their abilities. If your workplace is more connected, where staff want to work, they are more likely to tow the company line, deliver on the company ethos and complete tasks with enthusiasm and dedication. If they are happy, they will appreciate you more. Simple changes can have a big impact

  • Have regular staff reviews or chats, understand what they want as much as what you want
  • Have a budget for training and up-skilling
  • Offer an early finish as a surprise
  • Surprise your staff with kind gestures, Cream cakes on a Friday

Inject fun into work

Fun and laughter in the workplace lead to less sick days and more productive work and may serve as a welcome relief to undervalued or overworked staff. Injecting fun and team spirit allow the stress to fall and the happiness to rise, and it can be simple things like celebrating staff birthdays with a cake or a night out to the cinema. An anonymous suggestion box in the staff room with suggestions that you implement can work miracles.

Give them a break

We all know the positive affect a holiday has on your mood and mind. Getting breathing space away from the business can lift your spirits and allow you time to get perspective. Your team is no different, so allowing them a late start or an early finish or time off to go to the dentist shows that you care.

Even by implementing all the above, you will still experience the knockout blows. People aspire just like you, and your top employee could be the next big hotshot. Do not look on it with anger, instead take pride in the nurturing you’ve invested. Staff come and go but leaving on good terms keeps a door ajar.