How to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated

How to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated

How to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated


Happy employees tend to stay at their job longer, are more productive & have more energy.

Employee happiness in the workplace inspires employees and fosters role models.

Keep employee satisfaction high because

Happy Employees Are Productive Employees


15 Strategies For How to Keep Employees Happy and Motivated



1 | Have an Organized Work Place

Employees should be able to find what they’re looking for. A messy workplace in disarray is frustrating and after a while it’s easy to associate our work place with frustration.

Once we make that association, we’re walking into work irritable and dread just about every task we do there. Having an organized space is not only more functional but makes us feel calmer and at ease. 



2 | Use Labeled Praise

Instead of

“good job yesterday”

say things like

“You were so helpful when you gave our new employee your old notes to refer to.”

What specifically was good that they did? and when did it happen? Recognize and emphasize exactly what it is that you appreciate. It sounds more endearing which makes the praise more uplifting.

We’re much more willing to be helpful when we think others notice what we do. 



3 | Do Things Outside of Work

Connecting outside of work is a good way to humanize our coworkers. These more personable experiences will give people the chance to build friendships and that will transfer into the work setting.

We’re typically more considerate and more willing to help others once we’ve established a more intimate connection with them. 



4 | Recognize Achievements in Group Settings

Praising someone in front of the group establishes a supportive work environment. People will feel more inclined to be an asset and recognizing them as that will continue to inspire the entire team.

Recognizing employees’ accomplishments nurtures a positive and supportive work environment. When we are supported by others, we feel increasingly obligated to keep up that status quo.

Simply acknowledging what someone does well is one of the most inexpensive ways to keep employees happy.



5 | Celebrate Birthdays and Milestones

Working is work so when someone’s made it another year, recognize them for the accomplishment. Birthdays are a given, we should feel appreciated and seen as a person at our workplace. Overlooking someone’s birthday is insensitive and a sure way to make someone feel lousy, on their birthday.



6 | Create Gaming Opportunities

It doesn’t have to be much but you can easily create a space that encourages playfulness. Trivia, Heads Up, Yahtzee, Guess How Many & cards; they’re all simple ways to allow people to relax, bond, and take a break.

Obviously some work settings will be harder than others to create this. You may have to get creative in coming up with ways to lighten the mood. It doesn’t have to be a 4 hour game of Monopoly at the office. But any way to bring their attention off of work, even momentarily. 



7 | Play Music

Listening to music can release dopamine, which lifts our mood. There is even some evidence suggesting music lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Used in the right setting music allows people to feel more relaxed and cheerful.



8 | Encourage Breaks

If you’re wondering how to make employees happy and productive at the workplace, make sure they step away from time to time. There is a lot of evidence that breaks increase productivity and creativity.

Ecotherapy is the practice of using nature to improve our wellbeing. It has been shown to have numerous positive effects on our mental and physical health. It is centered around the idea of biophilia: people’s bond between themselves & the ecosystem. Here are some things to do outside in every season;

Ecotherapy in the Winter

Ecotherapy in the Spring

Ecotherapy in the Fall

Ecotherapy in the Summer

Taking breaks may not be one of the most innovative ideas to make employees happy but it is one of the most essential.

Allow staff to take breaks, acknowledge that breaks are healthy, & set an example of how to actually take a break. Not everyone has the understanding of setting boundaries and these employees will easily become burned out.

Many people feel too guilty to step away form work. You may have to remind staff, provide coverage for breaks, and put into practice some healthy break habits.



9 | Encourage Lunches

I worked in a hospital for years that insisted you “take your lunches” but rarely provided the opportunity for you to do so. To make matters worse, after your 12 hour lunchless shift you had to STAY LONGER just to fill out paperwork & find a supervisor (good luck) to ask them to sign paperwork stating you did not get a lunch just so you were compensated for the lunch you never had.

Spoiler alert; I didn’t stay employed there.

If you want people to take a lunch, ensure that it is a possibility for them. Does staffing allow for lunches? Is there coverage? Is there even an area to take a lunch? Being able to eat lunch shouldn’t be too much to ask at work.



10 | Make Sure Tasks Are Manageable

If you were handed the task your employees are receiving, what would your response be? Consider the time it will take, the mental stress it may be on someone, and the likelihood of them finishing the task.

Having an awareness of the job duties involved in a position can help employers learn how to keep employees from leaving.



11 | Make Resources and Support Easy to Find and Connect With

I can’t tell how many nursing supervisors I’ve had that were never seen once during their entire shift while I was drowning in work. It was disheartening and it  quickly becomes infuriating.

A quality supervisor makes a huge difference. If your job is to supervise; make it known you’re clocked in, make yourself accessible, make rounds occasionally just to make sure things are going smoothly.

A supervisor should be reachable. If a supervisor is off, the employees who report to that supervisor should know who is covering & how to contact them. It should not be a maze for employees to find support.



12 | Support Wellness Practices

Many agencies are implementing wellness programs that encourage and reward healthy lifestyle choices. Incentives are a good idea to motivate employees to make healthier choices.

Healthier choices improve our moods and make us feel empowered. Employees will be more likely to be happy and productive. They’ll also be more likely to feel valued because of the rewards from the wellness program.



13 | Improve Functionality

It’s helpful to pay attention to equipment, the layout of the work place,  processes in place and other elements that make the work place function smoothly. Faulty equipment can be a huge source of frustration that brings down morale.

Having a layout where employees are tripping over each other, working too close to each other, or too far from areas they need to frequently use are another way to irritate employees on a daily basis. Everyone is likely to be short and irritable if their day to day tasks are much harder than they need to be.



14 | Eliminate Bullying/Hostility

A hostile environment is NO GOOD & creates

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Ulcers
  • Burnout
  • Sleep issues
  • Low morale
  • High turnover
  • Fatigue
  • Increased illness

None of those things keep people happy and motivated. Here is powerful video about eliminating bullying in the workplace. 

15 | Continue Learning

As a leader, employer & even coworker; it is important to be open minded and learn new things. The world changes, staffing adjusts, processes and policies get altered.

Keep an open mind to new perspectives, especially if you’re a leader in your work place. Leaders that are more flexible and open will foster more ambitious and opportunistic employees.

The Importance of Confidence at Work [4 Free PDFs]

Free How To Build Self-Confidence at Work PDF


301 Ways to Have Fun At Work



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