Simple ways to make your employees happier

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We have all been to conferences and watched inspirational speakers talk to us about how the best-run businesses are based on the best and brightest employees. I think most of us believe that. But too often, employees are the ones most adversely affected by changing economic conditions or the changing needs of customers. Keeping those fantastic employees becomes a significant struggle in challenging times. So what can be done -- outside of big bonuses and pay increases -- to keep them happy?

"Happy" employees are often confused with the "best paid" employees. Don't get me wrong: People want and need to be paid a fair wage. But too often, managers hear complaints or see upsetting employee satisfaction results and automatically think that if they could simply throw more money at the problem, all would be better. And maybe it would be -- for a while. But if I have learned anything over the course of my career, it is that money is a Band-Aid and happiness is tough to find. Raises and bonuses are certainly not a one-size-fits-all fix.

Simple ways to make your employees happier

Just how big of a problem is it to have disaffected employees? Well, according to Fast Company, it's pretty expensive. Citing data from the Gallup Organization, the article notes that disengaged workers cost the U.S. economy about $350 billion each year in lost productivity.

The article goes on to describe some of the key attributes of happy employees. Not surprisingly, employees are happier when they see movement and improvement in their roles, have a sense of meaning tied to their jobs, are recognized for a job well done, are acknowledged as people and not just as employees, and feel that their work and personal lives are well integrated.

So what other factors contribute to employee happiness, particularly in the digital marketing space? I reached out to my esteemed panel of friends on Facebook, many of whom are entrepreneurs and masters of business in their own right. The following article presents 28 of their best tips for happy employees. They are a quick read, and I promise you will find some really interesting ideas.