Martin Awards

This Is How to Keep Employees Happy

Post Date: May 23, 2023

When building a successful business, happy employees are key ingredients. After all, how can you expect your company to shine when your team feels unmotivated and unvalued?

According to research, businesses that prioritize employee happiness experience better productivity, increased profits, and less turnover. But keeping your staff happy isn’t about offering free snacks and ping-pong tables. It requires a more nuanced approach that factors in the unique needs of each employee and promotes a positive company culture.

This is why we’ve put together this guide on how to keep employees happy. Throughout this guide, we’ll dive into the strategies that will help foster an environment where everyone can thrive. So whether you’re a manager or an employee looking for ways to improve workplace satisfaction, this article is for you.

Why Employee Satisfaction Matters

As companies strive to succeed in today’s competitive business world, one critical aspect has risen to the forefront: employee satisfaction. Successful organizations now realize that increasing their employee’s satisfaction levels leads to:

  • Better performance
  • Reduced turnover rates
  • Higher retention rates

Why is this the case? Investing in employee satisfaction promotes a positive work environment. It creates a space where personnel feels valued, respected, and content. Studies consistently show that happy employees produce better results, are more productive, and improve the organization.

It’s not just about their happiness, though. Showing employees you care can help you attract and retain top talent. Top performers seek companies that:

  • Prioritize employee satisfaction
  • Promote organizational commitment
  • Offer opportunities for career advancement

It can boost your bottom line, too. Many businesses acknowledge that investing in employee satisfaction has a considerable return in terms of growth, profits, and long-term success.

What Impacts Employee Satisfaction?

So, what impacts how happy your workers are? Several factors can affect how content an employee feels at work. It depends on your industry and their job roles. However, here are a few of the biggest factors to consider when learning how to keep employees happy.

Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is the balance between, well, someone’s work and home lives. It’s an equilibrium between the time and effort an employee dedicates to their professional career vs. their personal life.

Studies indicate that employees with a good work-life balance experience higher morale and job satisfaction. They’re also likelier to remain with their current employer. Additionally, employees with a nice work-life balance tend to be more productive, creative, and less stressed.

Company Values

When employees align with the company’s values, they feel a sense of belonging, purpose, and fulfillment. This fosters a positive work culture and promotes employee engagement.

Additionally, organizations with strong values tend to attract more candidates with similar values. This results in a more cohesive and happy work environment. Encouraging employees to practice these values increases job satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, strong values also promote a higher level of ethical behavior. This positively affects the reputation and credibility of your company in the market.


When you recognize employees for their hard work, they feel that you value their contributions. This, in turn, boosts their self-esteem, improves morale, and accelerates motivation. Recognition also enhances employee engagement by providing a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of being part of a team.

We’ll dig into employee awards and rewards below. But employees who receive regular recognition are more likely to recommend their organizations. Every business benefits from great internal reviews and recommendations.

Overall, though, recognition is a simple but powerful tool. It affects employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

Career Development

Employees who feel they are progressing in their careers are more likely to feel fulfilled and engaged in their work. A clear career path with set goals can increase motivation and commitment. It also enables employees to align their skills and knowledge with their career aspirations. This leads to better job performance and satisfaction.

That’s not all, though. Organizations prioritizing employee career development also benefit from higher retention rates. Employees are likelier to stay with an organization that invests in their professional growth. Sit tight because we’ll explore how you can do that below.


Employees want to know that their work matters. They want to know it adds value and helps achieve meaningful outcomes. When they do, they’re likelier to feel engaged and committed. Their perceived impact can take many forms, including:

  • Feedback from customers
  • Recognition from superiors
  • Measurable business results

Pay special attention to this factor. A lack of impact or feeling that one’s work is meaningless can lead to disengagement, low productivity, and high turnover rates. Nobody wants to feel like their contribution isn’t useful or appreciated.

Working Conditions

Employees working in safe and healthy environments are happier than those working in hazardous conditions. That might seem obvious. However, several business owners overlook the importance of safety.

Besides, factors such as workload, work hours, recognition, job security, and growth opportunities could also impact employee satisfaction levels. Unfair work treatment or poor working conditions may lead to:

  • Increased stress
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Reduced motivation
  • Poor health

Over time, this could affect employee performance. If you think this is an issue at your company, consider improving working conditions to boost employee satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. We bet you’ll notice increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.

How to Keep Employees Happy Without a Raise

As you can see, keeping employees happy is essential for a productive workplace. While raises can be a great incentive, there are other ways to keep your team motivated without breaking the bank. Here are a few creative ways to do that.

Listen to Your Employees

Your employees deserve to be heard. By asking for their input and taking their suggestions seriously, you can show that you value their contributions to the company. Why does this matter? As mentioned, when employees feel valued and respected, they are more committed to their work and more likely to be satisfied.

Utilizing tools such as surveys or one-on-one meetings can streamline the process of gathering employee feedback. Automation is key here. It makes it easier for managers and team members to communicate and work together toward a common goal.

Refine Your Company Culture

Culture can make or break a workplace. In fact, a positive company culture can lead to happier employees without even having to offer a raise. By cultivating a positive and healthy workplace environment, employees will feel:

  • Valued
  • Appreciated
  • Supported
  • Motivated to come to work each day

How can you do this without investing too much money? Emphasize open communication, collaboration, and mutual respect. Offer training if you think it’s necessary. However, the key here is to listen to what your team wants. Then implement those changes.

Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Investing in work-life balance is a surefire way to keep employees happy and motivated. Many employers invest in creating a culture that values time off and encourages employees to disconnect from work once they leave the office. This can include offering:

  • Flexible work schedules
  • Remote work options
  • Paid time off for personal reasons

Studies show that taking breaks can increase productivity, and time off allows for rest and rejuvenation. The bottom line? Investing in work-life balance benefits your team’s mental and physical health. As with these other factors, it also improves job satisfaction and retention.

Offer Non-Salary Related Perks

We mentioned above that you could offer financial assistance without increasing an employee’s salary. How is that the case? Offer non-salary perks. These perks can be small but impactful.

Think of things such as a gadget allowance or a vacation budget. They don’t have to be expensive, just impactful. For example, providing a small budget for home office set-up or paid time off for volunteering can improve employees’ well-being.

Studies have shown that these perks can increase employee loyalty and job satisfaction. Moreover, companies that offer these benefits can attract and retain top talent, helping them stand out in a competitive job market. It doesn’t have to be big, just something that shows you care about your team’s well-being.

Invest in Mentorship

Another great non-salary perk? Mentorship! These programs can be an effective way to keep employees happy without increasing their salaries. Mentors can offer guidance, support, and knowledge to help employees improve their skills and advance in their careers.

By providing mentorship opportunities, employers can show their commitment to their employees’ growth and development and create a positive workplace culture that encourages learning and personal growth. This benefits you, as your employees will be learning useful skills. However, it shows you care about their professional development overall.

Offer Opportunities for Progress

Internal opportunities can keep employees motivated and happy without a raise, which is not always possible, especially in tough economic times. Employees who feel like they are learning new skills and growing in their careers become more engaged and invested in their work.

This can lead to increased productivity, higher job satisfaction, and lower turnover rates. Moreover, promoting from within can save time and money on recruitment and training costs. Offering career advancement opportunities can also create a culture of loyalty and attract high-quality talent to the organization.

Implement an Employee Recognition Program

Finally, it’s definitely worth creating an employee recognition program. In addition to boosting morale and overall job satisfaction, employee recognition programs can improve productivity and reduce turnover rates.

Furthermore, recognition programs can be implemented relatively cheaply compared to raises or bonuses, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to improve employee retention without breaking the bank.

By acknowledging and rewarding employees for their hard work, companies can create a positive and supportive work culture that benefits everyone involved. Plus, it feels good to give out company awards occasionally, doesn’t it?

The Best Types of Employee Rewards

Do you love the idea of creating employee awards to give out as part of a recognition program? Most companies see a lot of success with these programs. After all, employee rewards are a great way to reward their hard work with meaningful and impactful incentives.

However, regarding the best types of employee awards, you’ve got endless options. The choice is yours. However, here are two of our favorite types of awards.

Customized Plaques

Customized plaques are one of the best employee rewards for several reasons. First, they offer a personalized touch. Because you can customize them, you can create them to say whatever you want. This makes the employees feel valued and appreciated.

Additionally, an employee can display their customized plaque in prominent locations. For example, you can display it in the lobby where other employees and visitors can see them. Or you can let them display the award in their office. Regardless, this customization provides a sense of pride for the recipient.

Additionally, you can find customized plaques made of various materials. This includes acrylic, glass, or wood. The customizable nature means the award can also feature unique designs or engravings. These factors make customized plaques highly desirable and meaningful for employee recognition.

Crystal Awards

Looking for something slightly more elegant? Try a crystal award. These awards are made of high-quality crystal, which looks beautiful and symbolizes achievement and excellence. They can come in various shapes, sizes, and designs. You can also customize them with engraving to fit any occasion or achievement.

What sets crystal awards apart is their timeless elegance and durability. Unlike trophies made of plastic or metal, crystal awards will last years and make a lasting impression on the recipient. It’s a tangible reminder of their hard work and accomplishment, something they can proudly display in their workspace or home.

Plus, receiving a crystal award is a unique and special experience. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way in boosting morale and keeping employees happy and motivated.

Get Company Awards From Martin Awards

Do you know how to keep employees happy now? While there are various ways to do so, investing in corporate rewards is one of the best and easiest ways. And at Martin Awards, we’re here to help you keep your employees happy.

Founded by Dino Martin in ’93, we have been providing awesome awards to corporate businesses across the US. Starting as a little operation with a single storefront, Martin Awards has become one of the best award providers.

But what’s so great about our company? Our commitment to unbeatable products, service, and selection. So what are you waiting for? Check out our wonderful awards options today.

Have questions? Contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

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