3 things managers can do to build happiness in the workplace

Happier workforces don’t just happen. Here are a few simple steps managers can start with

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Kim Cameron, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies positive organizational culture, says “virtuous practices” can help companies succeed in a variety of ways, including higher employee engagement and retention, higher productivity and lower employee healthcare costs. Here are three things managers can do to increase employee happiness:

1. Express gratitude

Show that you appreciate your employees in tangible, meaningful ways. Cameron points to the example set by a senior executive at Korean manufacturer LG Electronics, who makes a point of expressing appreciation to employees everyday. His assistant puts five thank you notes on his desk each morning, Cameron says. The executive fills them out personally and sends them to LG employees.

2. Foster forgiveness

No workplace should minimize the impact of employee errors. But cultivating a culture where errors are forgiven helps build employee trust and ensure that as a group, workers aren’t afraid to keep taking risks.

3. Reinforce your company’s values in a positive way

Fibernetics president John Stix posts inspirational quotes each day to help motivate his employees and emphasize corporate culture. One of his more recent posts: “There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them.”