Tim Baldwin: Have a "no A-hole rule" and foster an environment that is devoid of politics.
Christine Santimaw: Listen to them and foster a culture of inclusiveness. Use "we" instead of "I."
Rebecca Lieb: Help them to ensure that their battles are external, not internal.
Mark Wildman: Create a real meritocracy -- set benchmarks of performance and corresponding rewards for all levels of the organization; make them reflective of the market environment and clear the road of organizational obstacles to help them achieve them. Make the rewards a choice -- monetary, additional time off, the ability to incubate a new business idea a la Google.
Andrew Goldberg: First, hire well. That is the first secret to happy employees. If you hire people with the right attitude -- often very easy to see -- you get a happy work environment. Having downers brings everyone else down. A few years ago while shooting commercials, we had a guy who was obsessed with overtime. After a few weeks on our shoots with him, everyone was asking for overtime -- even when it was not due. So we got rid of him, and now we don't hear about it anymore. Google is the best place to work because they pay really well, and everyone loves Google as a brand so people feel really cool working there and think they are, ergo, cool too. But I doubt working there is really much different from any other fun place.
Ted Wright: All the comments [in this article] are true. The key to using them for employee happiness is to do them consistently especially when they are obviously expensive for the company to do.
ConclusionRegardless of which ideas you think are the best match for your culture and your organization's goals, the underlying point here is to pick some, promote them, and follow through with them -- consistently. Ninety percent of the ideas in this article, whether from Fast Company or from my network, are free -- or close to it. And there is proof, even anecdotal, that they work. So, make 2013 the year of your employee -- or colleague -- and you will see your profits grow. And probably your popularity too.
Julie Roehm is senior vice president marketing and "chief storyteller" at SAP.
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