A man and a woman lean on a glass-topped counter and look down at an electronic tablet. The woman uses one finger to tap on the tablet's screen while the man looks on. The woman has her long hair gathered on top of her head in a bun and the man has dark hair and a goatee. Behind them on the wall are rows of acoustic guitars hanging from forked hooks fastened around their necks.
An open-door policy encourages employees to come talk to you about their concerns and areas in which they may be struggling while also ensuring privacy in a one-on-one setting. — Getty Images/The Good Brigade

A study from Oxford University found that happy employees are 13% more productive. Employees who feel satisfied with their work make more calls each hour and convert more leads into customers. Here are five ways to boost employee morale.

Promote work-life balance

A healthy work-life balance can help employees improve their relationships and health, which often translates to increased focus and productivity at work. One of the easiest ways to promote this is by offering flexible working arrangements.

Over 80% of polled employees agreed that flexible working arrangements were important to them. Employees want to have a say regarding where and how they get their work done. If full-time remote work isn’t an option, you might consider offering hybrid schedules or unlimited paid time off.

However, flexible working arrangements only go so far if your employees are buried under an unmanageable workload. Regularly review the work you’ve allocated to your employees and make note of anyone who seems overly stressed. That way, you can identify anyone who seems overworked.

[Read more: Work-Life Integration vs. Work-Life Balance]

Encourage communication

Workplace conflicts arise for a variety of reasons, but poor communication is usually at the root of the problem. When people don’t communicate at work, they often start to form assumptions about someone else’s expectations and actions. This causes distrust and can lead to a poor work environment.

One way to encourage open communication is by scheduling weekly team meetings. A scheduled weekly meeting gives your employees more opportunities to talk openly and create more transparency.

One-on-one meetings are another way to foster better workplace communication. If you meet with someone individually, they’ll share things they wouldn’t be willing to share in a group setting. Create an open-door policy with your employees and encourage them to share their insights.

Employees want to have a say regarding where and how they get their work done.

Invest in employee development

Employee development combines formal training and relationship building to help employees advance in their careers. It’s the best way to ensure you’re attracting and retaining top performers in your company. Investing in employee development also drives more creativity and innovation in your business.

You can invest in employee development by creating mentorship opportunities within the company. Roughly 70% of Fortune 500 companies offer a formal mentorship program. Mentorship programs can be structured or unstructured and take place in a group or one-on-one.

You can also look for opportunities to send your employees to conferences or other events. They’ll learn about upcoming trends in your industry, network with other professionals, and show up as a representative for your business.

[Read more: 7 Proven Ways to Invest in Employee Development]

Ask for employee feedback

If you want to create a healthy work environment, you need to ask for employee feedback routinely. Let employees know they can speak openly and honestly, and ask them direct and future-focused questions.

For example, ask employees what they think the company can do better moving forward. When they answer, ask specific follow-up questions to show that you’re listening. And always allow employees to think your questions over and come back to discuss them once they’re ready.

[Read more: How to Ask Your Employees for Constructive Feedback]

Create an employee recognition program

Employee recognition can help your business retain top talent and attract qualified workers to your company. Employees who feel seen at work are more innovative and willing to exceed expectations. They’re also 2.6 times more likely to think work promotions are justified.

But recognition must be done consistently to be effective, so it’s a good idea to create an employee recognition program. A structured program operates from the top down and ensures employees are regularly recognized for their efforts. For example, if an employee reaches a work milestone, they’ll be acknowledged by their manager or a company leader.

Peer-to-peer recognition programs can also be effective, which is why companies like Google implement them. These programs empower employees to appreciate their coworkers for large and small achievements.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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