Recent studies have found that happiness in the workplace has fallen by almost 20 per cent, with only 41 per cent of employees being happy at work.
As a team leader at an international company with colleagues from so many different backgrounds and cultures, it has been imperative for me to cultivate and maintain a positive working environment.
A happy team is a successful team, and since we spend much of our lives at work, we should prioritise making it an environment we look forward to.
For the past three years, I have worked at Savings United where I have built two high-performing and close-knit content teams.
Together, we have successfully launched several market leading projects in both the UK and the US. The nature of our business is often challenging as no two days are the same. Therefore, it is important for my teams to remain calm and motivated in a work environment that is often in flux. In my experience, team happiness leads to hard work, dedication and trusting relationships between co-workers. We are mutually supportive through stressful times and we celebrate our success together. Here are some of my tips to encourage team happiness in the workplace.
Transparency is key
Each team member should have access to the same information about the company. When a team is on the same page, they don’t have to deal with unhealthy competition or conflict that can sometimes exist when information is withheld. I try to avoid corporate hierarchy systems as much as possible, which is inline with the culture in our company. We are not just co-workers, we are friends and for this reason our working environment is grounded in trust and openness where knowledge is shared and distributed. I have daily meetings with my team as a method to share information and achieve transparency. An open working environment allows us to reach our goals quickly and in this way, both the team and company benefit.
Acknowledge the success of your team
In my experience, when you acknowledge and celebrate the success of the whole team, as well as individual performance, it makes working together all the more fulfilling. There are so many contributions within a team that deserve acknowledgment, from someone making a suggestion, to that suggestion being translated into an action, possibly by another team member. Many personalities make up a team, and each of those personalities has a role to play. Every person should be celebrated for their contribution, no matter how big or small. Arranging team dinners, sharing news across internal communication channels, and simply remembering to say thank you are just a few ways to ensure success is acknowledged. These are often great ways to boost team morale, which in turn encourages my colleagues to feel confident about their performance and appreciated for their hard work.
Approach each team member as an individual
Although we work in teams, it’s important to remember that every person is an individual. Tailoring opportunities based on people’s skills and treating team members as individuals allows you to understand what they’re best at. It gives each colleague the opportunity to contribute more fully to overall success of the organisation. Overall, providing your team members with avenues to play to their strengths often leads to great results for the individual, the team and the company.
In our organisation, we aim to foster an environment where team members have the confidence to make decisions autonomously and hold their own set of responsibilities. If someone shows leadership skills or shows initiative, they are given their own project to manage. This doesn’t mean that they are need to be an expert in that topic from the get-go, rather that they are given the support and opportunity to develop their skills and grow.
Make time for informal bonding activities
Every Friday, my team and I play a game together for around half an hour. This could be a board game or a more interactive game, which allows us to learn more about each other in an informal setting. It’s very important for a team to be able to relax and have fun together as this encourages authentic connections. Games are a wonderful tool as you can really get to know your co-workers in a relaxed environment. I have seen that setting time aside for informal bonding activities has enabled my teams and I to learn how to laugh together and trust each other, vital ingredients for a happy team.
These are a few key tips that I implement in my working life to ensure the happiness of my co-workers, my organisation, and in turn myself. You too can raise the happiness levels in your working environment by introducing these methods, which encourage a positive and healthy workplace for all. Be transparent, acknowledge success, remember that everyone is an individual, and, most importantly, don’t forget to make time to laugh together.
About the author
Anastasia Bilzhause is the On-Page Team Lead, US at Savings United. Leading voucher code partner of premium media companies, Savings United’s partnerships connect advertisers with smart shoppers. Present in 13 countries, Savings United works alongside advertisers to engage a new audience of smart shoppers and achieve their business goals through brand-safe channels.