Is my Employer responsible for my happiness?

Answer: No.

However, you’re employer is responsible for communication and feedback.

How are the two different?

Happiness can be defined in many different forms when it comes to employees. Some want training and education, others want a simple 9 to 5, some want more responsibility, others less.  In the Employer/Employee relationship catering to every whim of the employee is almost virtually impossible although we try. (Especially when wants change as the employee’s professional and personal life changes.)

In an effort to best serve the employee company’s need to respond with what they can give and that is effective feedback and open communication.  Informing the employee of expectations, when they’ve met or not met them, and the company goals helps the employee to identify where he/she fits in. In doing so the employee will understand the importance of what they are doing, why  they are doing it, and how it affects them.

Employers here are some quick and easy ways to make employees more happy:

  • Lead by example. A quick way to deject your employees is to not practice what you preach.  Do you leave the office early every Friday?  Constantly delegate work to them?  Are you consistently “late” to meetings?  They notice these things.  Be the example of a great employee you want from them.  Trust me, they notice these things. 
  • Meet with them daily. All it takes is a 5-minute meeting with your employees to go around and find out how they’re doing, what they’re doing, and why.  It’s an opportunity for them to see your face, you to see theirs and fosters a team effort.  
  • Say Thank You. I’ve been in places that over-thank and I’ve been in places that under-thank. Be the former.  Yes, they get paid to do their job – but they could be paid elsewhere.  An employer who fosters appreciation will foster employees who appreciate you. 
  • Get them involved. Strategic meetings, planning, forecasting, whatever you call it, include the department heads, or those who will be affected.  Take the time to have a committee, to have a team working on these things. Two heads are better than one, three better than two, and so on. 
  • Paint the big picture. When you have goals. Let everyone know about it.  Shout it from the rooftops, tell your customers. Every employee should know. If you set the goal, they will try to reach it for you. 
Employees here are some quick and easy ways to foster a happy environment:  
  • Make an accomplishment list. Instead of waiting to hear from your boss or complaining that you never get credit.  Create a “Look what I did!” list. Periodically look at it and remind yourself of the things you’ve worked on and how much you’re capable of doing. (also helpful for rate increase discussions!)
  • Ask your boss. If you need thanks yous, if you need 5 minutes meetings, if you want more feedback, ask! For the most part bosses are so busy with daily tasks they assume that if you’re not complaining, you’re happy.  Make sure you request what you need.  Communication is a two-way street. 
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