how to make your team happier at work

How To Be a Better Leader & Make Your Team Happy

In light of Season 7 of Productivity Paradox, which is all about boosting productivity in the pursuit of happiness, I thought I would take a little bit of time today to share a few helpful tips and tricks on how to be a better leader at work while making space for your team to cultivate happiness in the workplace… Because let’s be honest, a happy worker is a productive worker, right?

While I give a few productivity tips this week on Episode 084, I want to share just a few more ideas for boosting productivity for those of you that hold a leadership position in your career, or simply want to learn a few helpful ways that you can become a better leader to your teammates at work… Let’s jump right in!


1. Give Praise

We all appreciate a little recognition for a job well done every now and then. Your team is no different! When it comes to employee retention and development, a little bit of praise can go an incredibly long way. Not only does giving your team praise allow them to cultivate those skills that you value the most, but it also paves the way for team productivity, confidence and happiness to flourish.


2. Communicate Clear Expectations

When your team is shown a clear path to success, all second-guessing goes out the window. It’s important to set a firm, clear foundation of your expectations immediately out of the gate so that your team is not left struggling for more clarification about their job and pertinent responsibilities… Overall, clarity in the workplace is shown to reduce stress while increasing your team’s well-being.

And when it comes to happiness, the less stressed your team is, the better!


3. Be Positive

The best leaders are those that make a point to create a healthy and happy team environment. The best way to make this happen in your own office? Be positive! No matter what tasks or projects your team has underway, maintaining positivity in the workplace has huge implications on how happy your team feels, as well as how productive they are overall.

Ever heard of the phrase, misery loves company? Think of a time in your life when you worked at a job where everyone around you always seemed to be in a terrible mood, and then think about how motivated you felt as an employee surrounded by so much negativity…. My guess is that you didn’t feel very motivated or happy to be at work each day.

Remember this, negativity usually lends itself to more and more negativity. So, the less negativity you allow into your office, the happier your team will be… and your effectiveness as a leader will increase as a result!


4. Be Flexible

One of the things that job seekers hope to find when they’re looking for a job is one that allows a little room for flexibility. Because let’s be honest… Life isn’t always predictable, and each and every member on your team is a unique individual! It’s important to maintain flexibility in the workplace for your employees in order for productivity and happiness to grow.

This could be in terms of the work hours that you expect your team members to hold, or even the style in which you guide each of your team members. For example, you might have an employee that enjoys a little bit more direction and feedback from you on the job, or you might have another team member that thrives when he or she is allowed to be in more control over their day-to-day work activities…

The key here? Be flexible and get comfortable with adjusting your management style to your team members so that they feel confident navigating their responsibilities on the job.


5. Listen Effectively 

While you might have earned your spot at the top for a reason, it’s important to maintain open communication with your team. Everyone wants their voice to be heard, no matter what position they hold… and as a leader, it’s imperative that you give your employees the space to share their ideas, air their grievances, or simply connect with you in the workplace…

An employee that feels heard is also likely to feel valued, which goes a long way in boosting productivity and maintaining happiness on the job!


6. Make Room for Fun 

While it may seem counterproductive, allowing for a little bit of fun in the workplace is a sure way to help your team to feel happier on the job while increasing their productivity overall… The very best leaders are those that know when to dial down the seriousness to allow room for fun to grow in an otherwise incredibly busy working world.

After all, each and every one of us needs a few moments to decompress when the going gets rough at work! Find some time throughout the week to allow for just a little bit of fun. This could be as simple as giving your team an extended lunch break – perhaps you could order in lunch or take your team out on a Friday afternoon. We did this recently to try out a new restaurant, and it really got our weekend started just right!

Another ideas is to take a bit of time to celebrate a team member’s birthday or other milestone. Any bit of fun you can create in your office will do wonders when it comes to your team’s happiness and productivity in the long-run!


7. Give Your Team a Break

If you remember Episode 082, then you already know how important I think breaks are when it comes to boosting productivity. Far too often, we run into leaders that believe that the only way to be productive is to make sure that our team is constantly working… but that’s just not true!

Just as it is important to allow some flexibility (and make room for a bit of fun) at work, it’s just as important to give your team a break from the demands that their work entails. Not only will this keep your team’s stress at bay, but it will also give them the space they need to recharge and regain their focus on the job, thereby lessening their chances of experiencing burnout at the end of the day.


8. Invest in a Happiness Work Culture

One of the biggest changes that I have implemented with my own team is to allow space for self-development on Friday afternoons each week. This means that, instead of powering through to the end of the day with tasks I’ve delegated to them, my team is instead given the opportunity to explore their own interests at work each and every week… And you know what? It has been a huge game changer!

My team is happier, more productive, and genuinely excited now that we have created our “Free Friday” schedule… Not only that, but the anticipation of having an afternoon entirely devoted to exploring their interests keeps them focused and motivated on their work all week otherwise.

Want to boost your team’s productivity and morale? Invest in a Happiness Work Culture. This could be as simple as allowing for a half-day of work on Fridays like my team enjoys over the summer months, investing in standing desks so that your team can adjust their workspace to their needs, or even allowing your employees to bring a pet, their child, etc. to work on a designated day once a quarter… The possibilities here are endless!



What are some of the ways that you encourage productivity and happiness in your team? Share your experiences with me in the comments below… And check out Episode 084 this week where I’m answering your productivity questions and sharing a few more productivity tips and tricks that I have up my sleeve.


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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton