Keeping 160 people cheerful under one roof is not an easy feat. In fact, when your company gets bigger and bigger simply leaving people to their own devices and hoping they’ll remain a cheerful and productive member of the team isn’t an option.

We have a whole team dedicated to making sure Crunch Towers is an enjoyable and productive place to ply your trade.

facilities team 2

Employee happiness is something every growing company should be thinking about. It’s not just about attracting and keeping the best people, there are direct business benefits too. Research from the University of Warwick found that happiness increases productivity by 12% and more productive employees make for a harder, better, faster, stronger company.

Here are the areas we look at when deciding how to best take care of our team.

Wellness

You may have heard the term ‘wellness’ being swung around your office, with the same vigour as an overly-keen poi enthusiast, and – without giving off too much of a laid-back vibe – wellness is a totally positive word, man.

Research by Gallup states that to “enhance well being – in body, mind and emotion” is a primary method of boosting employee engagement and happiness in the workplace.

At Crunch HQ we have a weekly fruit basket delivered that all employees can graze from – super healthy and a lovely perk on a Monday morning after a weekend calorie binge. We also have a discounted gym membership and Cycle to Work scheme – exercise has been proven to stimulate endorphins, a chemical that triggers a positive, almost euphoric feeling. We’re not saying that working at Crunch is a euphoric experience, but you get the jist.

Not all companies are as progressive. A study by Endred found that around 40% of organisations had progress on health and well-being blocked by indifference from senior management. Come on chaps and chapesses, wake up and smell the benefits here!

Balance

Unless you’re a severe workaholic, there is always room to have a life outside of work. Providing your employees with a good work / life balance is a fantastic way to make employees feel happy – who wouldn’t want to be able to fit work in around life, as opposed to life around work?

Companies by law have to offer flexible working options, with many businesses seeing the benefits in requests to work from home, use flexitime, compressed hours or a job share. Happy work / life balance equals happy employees, who will undoubtedly perform better whilst undertaking their duties.

Whilst we’re in the office we can also think about maintaining a good balance. Research by BUPA estimated that over six million UK employees don’t get away from the shackles of their desk for lunch – and only 13% of their sample took a full hour lunch break. The impact of cutting corners is a decrease in energy and productivity levels, costing businesses across the UK £50 million per day.

During our recent office refurbishment we put in quiet breakout areas – breakfast bars, sofas and armchairs – where people can go to escape their desks, read a book, and get some meaningful downtime.

Perks

You may have heard about companies like Google offering their employees an array of exotic perks including sleep pods, massage chairs, free onsite gym, haircuts, laundry service and gourmet food, to name but a few. However, perks are a good example of the age old saying ‘quality not quantity’.

Even if your business is just you and your first employee, the right perks can lift happiness and productivity. For example, paid half-day off on an employee’s birthday is a brilliant perk, and one that goes down a storm here at Crunch. Arrive at the office, eat some cake, and take the afternoon off – happy days!

No employer has to provide perks for their workforce but many see the benefit of doing so. Make sure whatever perks you decide to offer fit in with the ethos of your business – would there be any point in offering an all expenses paid trip to an abattoir if your business was a vegetarian cafe?

Nurture

Growth and development are a key part to any business. Gallup’s research showed that to create happiness at work you need to:

  • Hire talent – find the right people for the right jobs
  • Nurture skills – build a sense of purpose and validate abilities

It’s also been proven that happy employees stay with a business. Deloitte published a global report on HR finding that “not only are happiness and contentment key to efficiency… they are also key retainers for talent in organisations”. Examples to ensure that talent stays with your business include promotions, in-house training, away days and development plans.

We heavily favour internal promotions – in fact it’s quite rare that we hire externally for a line manager position – and have regular team outings. The last was just three weeks ago.

Further to this, creating regular opportunities for employees to speak openly and honestly – without fear of losing their jobs – not only builds trust, but opens the doors to changes that can be made in the workplace. This could be through an employee forum, an open-door Q&A session or asking for feedback via a questionnaire.

We have an open Intranet forum where employees can make suggestions to improve working life. These have ranged from the bold “fish tanks in the office!” to the eminently sensible “can we recycle more cans?” – whatever the idea, it’s crucial you listen to employee ideas on how to improve working life.

Remember, a well looked after employee is a happier employee, and a happier employee is a more productive employee.