Ways to keep employees happy

All employers want to foster a positive environment that will breed the best morale and work ethic. Even a drill sergeant wants to instill a sense of confidence and positive energy into his troops, despite the seemingly tough love approach to his orders. When it comes to an office or corporate environment, routines can get rather stale and employees may grow bored, weary and frustrated. To keep employees happy, it’s a good idea to implement strategies and rituals that can fortify your business.


We all have special days we look forward to each year. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or even a day of remembrance for a departed loved one, remembering your employees’ special dates can go a long way towards establishing positive connections. Consider offering treats like a personalized cake, card or gift. It doesn’t have to be particularly elaborate or expensive, but you want it to resonate emotionally in a way your employee will fondly remember.

Enhanced Decor

A bland office space can sap the creativity from a human soul. Obviously, you want your employees to remain focused on their work, but some thoughtful decorative measures can lift the mood of a room into the skies. Consider painting the walls with brighter colors, as neutral hues can read quite stale. Yellows and blues generate a calming effect on the mind, and it’s amazing what a few strategically placed plants can do.

Food and Drink

A kind boss may be apt to take his employees out to lunch on occasion. It’s a great way to convene with coworkers and connect beyond work projects. This is a practice that is culturally done quite often in the Far East, and Western countries would do well to glean the highlights of business dates. Having a break room stocked with healthy snacks and beverages can also assuage hunger pangs and promote healthy blood sugar levels, all of which will generate a more happy, productive work space.


A bit of mood music can be as effective in a work environment as it is on a date. You don’t have to blast ear-splitting heavy metal through a loudspeaker, but you can certainly offer some atmospheric tunes that will keep the mood lighter and make time progress more smoothly to your employees. If your business is in the entertainment industry, such as a club, skating rink or bowling alley, consider allowing your coworkers to pick song lists in rotation.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement can create a foundation of good vibes in your company. The easiest way is by merely offering statements of gratitude and affirmations for a job well done. Everyone likes to hear they’ve done a good job, especially when the work is behind the scenes and seemingly “thankless.” Small handwritten notes can be especially endearing, and they may even trigger nostalgic school moments of papers embossed with red ink pen scrawl and bright stickers.

Nuanced Criticism

Employees should always expect criticism on the job, but it’s important that bosses respect their workers and offer critiques that are appropriate and helpful. Scolding a mistake will only go so far. It’s more beneficial to have a one-on-one dialogue that addresses problems while offering meaningful solutions. By giving nuanced criticism that is tailored to the individual, your employees will feel more comfortable voicing their fears and concerns in the future.


Safety is paramount in any work space, especially when it comes to businesses that are open during the late hours of the night. Club scenes are especially notorious for attracting unsavory characters, and women often feel vulnerable leaving their work place after dark, regardless of whether it’s a bar, studio, office or department store. Employers should consider the merits of efficient security measures, including cameras, guards and evacuation plans. Potential safety hazards should be addressed regularly so that employees feel secure coming to work each day.

Ultimately, the best way to keep your employees happy is to offer an open dialogue. You want to encourage communication so that small problems don’t snowball into monstrous ones. If employees feel they have confidence and trust in their boss, they are more likely to look forward to work each day. Honest transparency is the key to a healthy work environment, so don’t hesitate to ask your employees for their opinions, concerns and suggestions.

Adam Richards

About Adam Richards

Adam Richards is a semi-retired business professional originally from Bangor, Maine. He spent the majority of his career in sales and marketing where he rose to the marketing lead of a Fortune 1000 company. He then moved on to helping people as a career counselor that specifically helped bring families to self-sufficiency through finding them rewarding careers. He has now returned to Bangor for his retirement and spends his free time writing. This blog will be about everything he learned throughout his career. He'll write on career, workplace, education and technology issues as well as on trends, changes, and advice for the Maine job market and its employers.