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3 principles for creating a happy workforce

Singapore has a lot to be proud of, but a happy workforce isn’t one of them. According to a global report on the impact of COVID-19 on employers and employees, the Lion City has the unhappiest workforce in the world, as 48% of its employees stated they were not happy in their workplace and will unlikely recommend it to a friend. For employers in the city-state, this happiness in the workplace statistic is obviously bad news. Unhappy employees mean unhealthy and unproductive employees, so this Pacific Prime Singapore article offers 3 principles for creating a happy workforce. 

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1. A positive work environment is a happiness magnet

Sometimes a simple ‘thank you’ to your employee can go a long way in making them feel valued and lifting their spirits. The best part? It’s contagious. Setting a good example by appreciating your employees makes them more likely to recognize each other’s contributions and give praise, which fosters a positive work environment, builds strong relationships, and raises employee happiness in the workplace.

In addition to appreciating employees, a positive work environment can also be built by promoting diversity and inclusivity, so everyone feels welcomed and prioritizing humor in the workplace. This means cracking jokes yourself and making the mood light-hearted, so employees feel comfortable doing so as well. That said, it’s important to ensure that your jokes don’t offend and/or alienate any particular group. 

Employee reward and recognition ideas

Short for employee reward and recognition ideas? Here are some things you could do:

  • Give out a handwritten card along with a small gift (chocolates, gift card, etc.) 
  • Subsidize team lunches 
  • Offer paid time off to volunteer
  • Introduce wellbeing programs 
  • And more!

2. But work is just a part of life, not the entirety of it

While appreciation goes a long way in making employees feel happy, it doesn’t change the fact that employees have lives outside of work. As such, it’s vital for you to recognize this and support employees in achieving a good work-life balance. One easy way to do so is to be open to flexible working arrangements because it provides employees with more freedom in where and when they work, which allows them to work around their personal commitments. 

As a matter of fact, a shift to flexible working arrangements would hugely benefit working moms in Singapore. This is because they face “double burden” (the burden of work and household duties) and discriminatory practices at work, which the COVID-19 pandemic has simply exacerbated. This is not unique to Singapore, as women in many countries (including the UK) end up with a larger share of domestic chores. 

Flexible working arrangements to implement

There are a number of flexible working arrangements. Here are some options you should consider:

    • Remote working: Employees aren’t obliged to come to the office, as they can complete all of their tasks at home/anywhere. 
    • Hybrid working: Employees split their time working at home and at the office through a model that’s agreed upon with their employer (e.g. 3 days at home, 2 days in the office)
    • Flexitime: Employees choose when to start and end work (within agreed limits), but work certain core hours. 
    • Compressed hours: Employees work their full-time hours, but this is spread over fewer days. 
    • And more!

Further reading: Did you know that the UK gives employees the legal right to request flexible working

3. When in doubt, honesty (and transparency) is the best policy 

Open and honest communication (and transparency) in the workplace is a good way to go about things because it builds trust between you and your employees, and amongst employees as well. This leads to better workplace relationships and a stronger company culture, which invariably increases employee happiness and employee engagement.

Be clear about the organization’s policies from top-down. You can also ask your employees for feedback, demonstrating that you don’t have all the answers and valuing their input. What’s more, you can demonstrate respect for them by giving them your full attention when they speak to you. This means making eye contact, turning away from electronic devices, and ensuring your body language communicates attentiveness. 

Delivering bad news with compassion

One area where employers struggle with maintaining open and honest communication is in delivering bad news. Here’s how to overcome this:

  • Getting the facts straight of the bad news in question
  • Finding a middle ground between being empathetic and being direct

Need more guidance on delivering bad news? This article by Pacific Prime goes over the structure to follow.

Get in touch with Pacific Prime Singapore today!

As a global health insurance brokerage and employee benefits specialist, Pacific Prime Singapore has over two decades of experience helping companies of all sizes and industries in the Lion City and beyond design and implement the right employee benefits solutions. We know what makes employees happy at work and can advise you on the best benefits to keep your employees happy. We are up-to-date with the latest industry trends and government regulations, and adopt a tailored, technology-driven approach

To learn more about what we offer and how we can help, you’re more than welcome to arrange a FREE consultation with our corporate team.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Singapore
Suphanida aims to demystify the world of insurance by creating informative and engaging content. As a wordsmith, she spends the majority of her day writing and editing website content, blog posts, in-depth guides, and more.

Outside of work, Suphanida enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
Suphanida