The secrets for building a thriving workplace

Employee happiness and satisfaction are crucial to any organisation’s success. Happy employees tend to be more productive, engaged, and committed to their work, leading to better overall performance and profitability. On the other hand, disengaged employees can lead to low productivity, high turnover rates, and decreased morale, negatively impacting the organisation’s bottom line. Therefore, it is essential for employers to take measures to ensure that their employees are happy and satisfied in their work environment. 

In this blog, we will discuss some ways employers can keep their employees happy, focusing on a mix of Dubai-specific, generic, and personal factors.

One of the key factors that contribute to employee happiness is salary. While it is true that people rarely leave their jobs solely due to dissatisfaction with their pay, a fair and competitive salary is still crucial to employee happiness. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, salary and compensation are the top factors that influence employee satisfaction, with 67% of respondents citing it as a significant contributor (Jones, 2019). In Dubai, the average salary range for an entry-level employee is AED 4,000 to AED 10,000 per month (Bayt, 2023).

While offering competitive salaries is essential for employee happiness, it is not always feasible for small businesses or those on a tight budget. Fortunately, there are several other perks employers can offer their employees that won’t break the bank. Here are five affordable perks to consider: 

  1. Flexible Work Arrangements: Flexible work arrangements, such as the option to work from home or choose flexible hours, can significantly improve employees’ work-life balance. According to a survey by Owl Labs, 34% of respondents said they would take a 5% pay cut to work from home (Owl Labs, 2019). Offering flexible work arrangements can also help attract and retain top talent by providing a valuable benefit that many employees value.
  2. Employee Recognition Programs: Employee recognition programs can be a powerful motivator for employees, and they don’t have to be expensive. Recognising employees’ achievements and contributions through simple gestures like thank-you notes or public praise can go a long way in making employees feel valued and appreciated.
  3. Wellness Programs: Promoting employee wellness can improve morale, productivity, and overall well-being. Employers can offer low-cost wellness programs like healthy snack options, on-site yoga classes, or wellness challenges to encourage employees to prioritise their health.
  4. Professional Development Opportunities: Offering professional development opportunities, such as workshops or conferences, can help employees develop new skills, improve job performance, and advance their careers. While some professional development opportunities may be costly, employers can also offer free or low-cost options like online courses or in-house training sessions.
  5. Casual Dress Code: While a casual dress code may not be suitable for all industries, allowing employees to dress casually can create a more relaxed and comfortable work environment. This can help reduce stress and improve overall job satisfaction, without costing the employer anything.

While competitive salaries are essential, employers can also offer affordable perks like flexible work arrangements, employee recognition programs, wellness programs, professional development opportunities, and casual dress codes to improve employee happiness and satisfaction. Employers who prioritise their employees’ well-being and provide valuable perks will likely see a more engaged and committed workforce, which can ultimately drive the organisation’s success.

Another essential factor in keeping employees happy is company culture. A positive work culture that fosters a sense of community and values employees’ opinions and contributions can go a long way in creating a happy and motivated workforce. A positive work culture can also lead to better retention rates, with employees being more likely to stay with a company that they enjoy working for. Therefore, it is essential for employers to invest in building a strong company culture that aligns with their values and mission.

In Dubai, where the workforce is diverse and multicultural, employers must be particularly mindful of creating a work environment that values and respects employees from different backgrounds. Employers can create a more inclusive workplace by promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, offering language and cultural training, and encouraging open communication and feedback.

Employers can also keep their employees happy by creating a supportive and collaborative team environment. Employees who feel connected to their colleagues and have strong working relationships are more likely to be happy and engaged in their work. In fact, a study by Globoforce found that 82% of employees who felt recognised by their peers reported high levels of job satisfaction (Rath, 2018). Employers can foster this type of team environment by promoting open communication, encouraging teamwork, and recognising employees’ contributions.

Finally, having a good manager can also contribute significantly to employee happiness. A manager who is supportive, communicative, and provides regular feedback and recognition can help create a positive work environment and keep employees engaged in their work. On the other hand, a bad manager can cause employees to feel disengaged, undervalued, and stressed. In fact, a survey by Gallup found that 50% of employees who quit their jobs did so to escape a bad manager (Davenport, 2021). Therefore, it is essential for employers to invest in developing strong managers who can create a positive work environment and support their employees’ growth and development.

In conclusion, the key to keeping employees happy is to create a workplace that supports their growth, development, and overall well-being. Employers who invest in their employees’ happiness and satisfaction will see the benefits of a motivated, engaged, and committed workforce that drives the organisation’s success.

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