A lot has been written on this subject in recent years, leading to the creation of a new position: happiness manager. But did you know that you can also do your bit to make your employees happier at work? It might be a small gesture, a kind word after a particularly challenging task, or a sympathetic ear.

Take the time to listen to your employees

Every morning, it’s the same routine. You say “Hello, how are you?” to your colleagues without really expecting a response. What if you took the time to listen to their answers? Offer everyone a sympathetic ear; discuss their expectations, and what you expect from them. But don’t show any favouritism! Keep everyone on an equal footing.

Don’t be afraid to have lunch with your employees now and then, or to have a drink after work. This facilitates communication and allows information to be shared more quickly.

Show your employees that they are useful

Who doesn’t like to feel useful and needed? Ask your employees’ opinions about a particular case or a topic that concerns the business: possible reforms at work, an imminent move etc. Ask people with events-related skills to organise upcoming conferences,

Create a good work environment

Work should not be synonymous with torture, even if the word itself does carry that meaning. Improve relations between colleagues by organising occasional outings, set up a fun zone to allow everyone to express themselves outside of work, and create an environment conducive to fulfilment and well-being: mini breaks (the studies all agree: the human brain cannot concentrate for more than 45 minutes at a time) to allow employees to give their brains a breather and stretch their legs, workplace siestas etc. Don’t worry — it’s definitely not counter-productive.  

Start social traditions in your workplace

An after-work get-together on the last Friday of every month, breakfast together every Monday… there are a thousand and one ways to encourage sociability between colleagues and to develop a feeling of happiness in the workplace. You could also decide to organise an activity every week to promote happiness in the workplace. Or you could choose to hold a business event outside their own premises every week. 

Dispel tension and misunderstandings

Of course, everyone has his or her own needs and expectations, so tension is never far away. In the event of conflict, ask each of the people involved (first individually and then together) what caused it and try to find a solution together. To do that, focus on the community aspect of the office. Meetings, brainstorming, team building, after-work get-togethers… organising a company event on a regular basis is a good way of showing your colleagues that they are all part of the same group.

Organise a job-swap day

Allowing employees to swap places with a colleague for a day will bring a bit of fun to the workplace. It will also help your employees to be more open, more understanding, and most of all more tolerant with their colleagues. This can only strengthen understanding and improve the work environment.

Let them make the place their own

With open spaces, it is difficult to personalise your work space. Allowing your employees to bring in personal items that will not bother anyone else (of course)—photos, house plants, books that everyone can put on a communal bookcase, for example—will contribute to their well-being at work.