Exhausted young businessman working with laptop in officeAs your employees continue to fulfill their responsibilities, you may wonder if they are really happy with their jobs. Some employees voice their frustration, but more often than not, employees really don’t let their employers, managers or supervisors know exactly how unhappy they are until it is too late and they walk out the door for the last time.

How then can employers make sure they have employees who aren’t just completing their tasks but are also happy? Here are some tips:

Ask! When was the last time you asked your employees if they were happy? We aren’t talking about a show of hands in a big employee meeting. Instead we are talking about those one-on-one conversations that should be ongoing. It also comes in the form of ways employees can anonymously make their thoughts known through suggestion boxes or online forums.

Listen! We may not always agree with what employees are providing in feedback, but it is their reality at that moment. When you provide opportunities for their feedback, listen to them fully. Don’t even let your mind start to create a defensive response to their concerns.

Respond! Make sure you are responding appropriately. It could be an individual response is enough; however, if one person is voicing a concern, it is likely more are thinking the same thing. Some responses should include more of a department or company response.

Through it all, it is important to realize that employee happiness doesn’t always come down to the dollar sign in front of their paycheck. Sure, we would all like an occasional or even annual raise, but keeping employees happy goes beyond that.

They want a voice. It’s important to find areas within your business and department where employees have a voice in how or when things are done.

They want flexibility. Not all positions allow for flexibility, but if it is available, be willing to work with employees. Also consider this when you think scheduling a late Friday afternoon or early Monday morning meeting is a good idea, and don’t be afraid to end a meeting early if everything is covered.

They want recognition. Employees want to know they are appreciated. This can come into play by providing food during an early morning or lunch meeting. This can come into play by recognizing verbally or in email employees who are doing outstanding in their work, traits and interactions. Don’t forget that a simple and genuine “Thank You!” goes a long way too.

They want to know the next step. Many employees leave because they are given a chance to expand their career pathway. When you provide a clear pathway within your organization, you are working with your current employees who already know your processes, procedures and expectations as you allow them to also grow.