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Tops tips to keep your employees happy in the new world of work

September 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM

The media is flooded with talk about how much the workplace is changing – with more focus on remote working, automation and e-commerce than ever before – but one aspect of our working world that will remain constant is the need for employees to be satisfied and engaged. That’s why, despite all the disruption of Coronavirus, we’re celebrating International Week of Happiness at Work and thinking about what organizations can be doing right now to give their employees the best possible experience, every day.

Happiness at work isn’t just about how a person feels about their role, manager or current workload. It’s a culmination of factors, from how supported and empowered they feel, to their workplace relationships, career growth potential and how much value their benefits package brings to their life. There’s a lot an organization can do to influence levels of happiness across the business, and there are many rewards for doing so: employees who are happier at work are more productive, more present and will work harder to help you succeed. International Week of Happiness at Work is also about acknowledging the responsibility of organizations to contribute to the wellbeing of their employees for wider societal benefits too:

“Happiness at Work should be a top priority for all companies. Because this is good for employees: when they are happy at work, they are better parents, friends, neighbors, they are more likely to give to charity and do volunteering work. Don’t we all want to have nice neighbors? Yes, we do!” -International Week of Happiness at Work

So, what can you do to support employee happiness in a time when change and uncertainty make us all uneasy at work?


1. Encourage flexibility

Flexible working is consistently one of the most desired benefits that today’s employees are looking for. A whopping 88% of people rate it as one of their top considerations when looking for a new role.1 It helps employees balance their home and family commitments, pursue interests and hobbies and juggle increasingly complicated responsibilities. Home working is one of the flexible options that employees have come to expect as a result of the pandemic, so build it into your policies. Many organizations are redirecting some of the costs that would previously have gone into office maintenance into a home-working stipend so that employees can get their home offices set up comfortably. This kind of support lets employees create their ideal work environments, while demonstrating trust and a commitment to their physical and mental wellbeing.


2. Invest in education

Employees are happiest when they feel secure and positive about their future. A lot of people are now anxious about the stability of their roles and are re-evaluating their career plans. Education lets them work towards a future in your organization, while increasing their skillset, fulfilling their personal growth goals and reassuring them of their long-term employability. Many organizations already offer some form of tuition assistance program, and almost half of people rate it as one of their most desired benefits2, but now might be the time to reassess how you can enhance or promote this benefit to support your employees in a challenging time.

Learn more about education benefits with Wiley at beyond.wiley.com.   


3. Champion well-being

There are many low or no-cost ways to champion well-being for your employees as part of your organizational culture. In fact, the 2020 Global Talent Trends report by Mercer shows that 48% of executives see well-being as a top concern for their workforce.3 Showing an awareness of and support for mental health, encouraging cycle-to-work programs and other physical activities, and giving employees time to support local causes are all ways you can foster a climate of well-being. Demonstrating that you care for your employees as individuals can substantially improve employee satisfaction and loyalty, especially now that they’re facing more stress in their personal lives.

“To truly make a commitment to employee health and well-being, employers need to lead by example and create a culture of wellness in their organization. Employers should offer employees mental health days, opportunities for stress relief and opportunities for physical activity. Investing in standing desks, weekly meditation programs or even an onsite gym are all ways that employers can fulfill employees’ desire work for a company that promotes employee well-being.”  


These are just a few simple ways to increase employee happiness and make your organization the kind of place people want to work.

Discover more about the International Week of Happiness at Work at internationalweekofhappinessatwork.com.

Learn more about how education benefits support a happy workplace at beyond.wiley.com.   


1 https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/5-job-benefits-attract-quality-candidates/ 

2 https://hbr.org/2017/02/the-most-desirable-employee-benefits 

3 https://www.mercer.com/our-thinking/career/global-talent-hr-trends 

4 https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2018/07/10/what-employees-really-want-at-work/#7ba3ef4e5ad3 

Deb Volzer

Written by Deb Volzer

Dr. Debra Volzer is Sr. Director of State and Workforce Development for Wiley Education Services. Her focus is to identify, engage and secure innovative learning partners interested in closing the skills gap. Her efforts work collaboratively with Industry and Learning Partners to identify and align models and solutions that increase learner success and streamline pathways to skills attainment. In this role she works to identify and align a shared vision and promotes collaboration of next-generation education solutions. Prior to joining Wiley, Volzer worked with corporations including Pearson North America, Barnes and Noble Education and Community College Futures Assembly and held administrative and teaching positions at the Ohio Board of Regents, Ohio Learning Network, the Ohio State University, Franklin University and Ohio Dominican. Volzer holds degree from the University of Kansas, Yale University and the Ohio State University.