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18 Top Tips To Create A Happy Workplace & Boost Employee Engagement In 2024

By September 15, 2023 April 8th, 2024 17 Comments

happy workplace

Mind-blowing fact: The happier your employees, the more successful your company.

Happy employees are more creative, innovative and dedicated than their unhappy counterparts. And, they’re more likely to stick around long-term. A simple “Thank You” can go a long way! Bonusly Vet ExampleSound too good to be true? Many studies & workplace reports show that happiness has a direct correlation to your business’s bottom line.

In particular, a study cited by Harvard Business Review is part of a growing body of research on the impact of a positive organizational environment on benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.

Not to mention, the cost of disengagement. HBR explains, “engagement in work – which is associated with feeling values, secure, supported, and respected – is generally negatively associated with a high-stress, cut-throat culture.”

Get Your Free Guide to Boosting Employee Motivation

Going further, the research explains that disengaged workers had:

  • 37% higher absenteeism
  • 49% more accidents
  • 60% more errors and defects.

Now that sounds like it could get expensive.

When you couple the benefits of having a happy workplace with the overall improvement to your coworkers’ lives, making conscious upgrades to your culture is a no-brainer.

Here at SnackNation, we want to help you create the happiest workplace possible so that you and your team can thrive.

We’ve laid out the top tips for taking your workplace vibes to soaring heights.

With these tips, a little love, and some elbow grease, we know you can elevate the happiness of your team. We’ve also include several workplace improvement ideas designed for managers to implement and create a more positive work environment for their staff.

1. Deliver Praise and Recognition Often


Were you aware that feeling underappreciated at work is the #1 reason Americans leave their jobs? Number one! Beating out low salary, limited vacation days and not enough flexibility for life outside of work.

A statistic as powerful as that one needs to be front of mind for managers and leaders.

By offering consistent praise and recognition, your team will be excited and eager to contribute to company-wide initiatives.

Ask team members how they want to be recognized for a job well done. Send out a quick email or commence a team huddle to get their feedback on how they prefer to be recognized or complimented when and where credit is due. For some, it may be a quick “You did it!” shout-out during a meeting. For others, it might be a one-on-one positive feedback session.

You can learn all about the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, in Gary Chapman and Paul White’s book or online here.

The key is to be consistent. If a team member deserves to be recognized for outstanding work, tell them right away: Don’t wait for their “review.” The days of annual reviews are ancient history.

Pro-Tip: Make delivering praise and recognition often easier by implementing a tool like Nectar at your company:


2. Nurture Workplace Appreciation

Simple, everyday gestures of appreciation in the workplace have proven to work magic in bringing teams closer, lift employee morale, and improve overall productivity. For instance, this Walden University study shows that doubling the number of employees who receive regular and adequate recognition has a snowball effect, resulting in 24% rise in (output) quality, 27% reduction in absenteeism, and 10% reduction in shrinkage.

Many companies have started to adopt employee recognition programs as a way to make it easier for distributed teams to include appreciation as part of their daily work-life. These are some of the top-rated tools to build a happier workplace for your employees:

Motivosity 🏆 Reward your team’s priorities, culture, and performance with premium incentives Visit Motivosity
Bucketlist 🎁 Award them an eGift Visit Bucketlist
WorkTango 🌟 Engage and retain employees with recognition, rewards, surveys, and more Visit WorkTango
Bonusly 🥇 Recognize and reward employees for their achievements and milestones Visit Bonusly
Nectar 😃 Peer-to-peer recognition, Amazon integration, boost your engagement and retention Visit Nectar
👉 Compare more HR-vetted and approved options here


3. Reward Employees For Their Hard Work


Creating a well-rounded recognition program will take time and energy, but the payoff can mean the difference between stressed and burnt-out employees or a company culture built around engaged employees who feel appreciated beyond their paycheck.

From spot bonuses to anniversary gifts and beyond, these reward opportunities fuel a healthy team dynamic. The team at Motivosity specializes in employee rewards that encourage employees to enjoy their passions, shop for themselves, and reward their peers — all in one easy-to-use platform.

For more information, speak to the Motivosity team to see how you can reward employees at your company this year.


4. Get out of your Work Routine (Occasionally)

company retreat offsite

The SnackNation team at a corporate retreat in Malibu, CA

Sitting at a desk all day or conversing with customers for long periods of time, day in and day out, can no doubt become mind-numbing.

Surprise your team by holding your next meeting outside or at their favorite lunch spot. Tell them that instead of coming into the office on Monday, they have to do one thing that brings them joy like writing, getting a jump start on their side hustle or playing with their kids.

This will actually make team members ultra-productive during the following workdays as they should be well rested, refreshed and more than ready to tackle projects.


5. Provide Office Snacks


No employee wants to drink cheap coffee at work. That is a universal truth. That is why many office managers are taking charge of the office kitchen and break room by providing healthy office snacks and fresh fruit to go along with a nice coffee machine.

This may sound like a simple way to create a happier workplace, but sometimes the closest way to get to an employees’ heart is to get to their stomach.

Plus, delicious snacks can provide employees with energy that will boost productivity, mood levels, and make the office a more friendly place.

To get started, try building your first box with SnackMagic. They provide all kinds of healthy snacks to energize your employees as they rock their workday!


6. Say thank you!

Saying thank you at work can help to ensure your team is happier since employees will feel recognized for their individual contributions.

Your team members are all working on their own projects in their own areas, so it can be easy to get caught up in your work. That is why saying thank you on a regular basis can help break us out of those routines and encourage employees to recognize each other for hard work!

Along with your “thank you” you can send your employee something special through a digital platform here like:

– A digital gift card
– Tickets to a local concert or sporting event
– A gift off their Amazon wishlist

With more “thank yous” flying around the workplace on Mo, your team will find that next level and help to create a truly happy workplace.


7. Host Engaging Team Building Events

Fun leads to happiness.

This might not be a golden rule, but it’s pretty close.

Having team building events where employees play together, laugh together, and solve problems together goes a long way to cultivate happiness and fulfillment. In fact, Go Game surveyed workers and learned that most employees think team building events are meaningful, inspire people to stay at their jobs, and even foster creativity.

They make it pain-free to incorporate team building games and events into your office happiness journey. Talk to Go Game here, tell them what you want to do, and watch them make team building magic happen – it’s seriously that easy.


8. Greet Your Team

shaking hands greeting

A little hello goes a long way in the workplace. Your team members want to feel and be happy, so give them a little nudge in the morning with a big old smile that says, “I’m happy you are here and I want you to love your job.”

Pop around the office periodically and see how everyone is doing. Ask your team how their weekend was, and check in to see if anyone needs assistance with ongoing projects.

Make your greeting even more joy-inducing with a fabulous swag box from SwagMagic. Choose from a variety of items your team will love, and have each piece customized with your company logos, colors, taglines, and more. The Swag team will pack everything in gorgeous colorful boxes and ship them to you to hand out at your leisure. Giving out desirable tokens of appreciation has never been easier or more attractive.

Pro-Tip: Take a minute to customize the box here for a specific employee to gift them swag they will appreciate. Showing you know and recognize their individual interests can go a long way!


We can’t stress enough how creating an environment that makes everyone feel comfortable equates to happy employees. Creating a positive workplace atmosphere is crucial in terms of both workplace happiness and your team members’ productivity and energy levels, and that all starts with you setting a cheerful tone.

Something as simple as a smile, a token of your appreciation, or a “Good morning!” can be enough to turn Andrea’s bad day right around. Being upbeat and genuine in your approach boosts your team’s self-esteem, causing them to be more motivated, increasing employee happiness, and reminding them that working with you is pretty great.

As you make your peppy office debut a routine, you will find your team members begin mimicking your welcoming gesture to one another, putting everyone in a better mood and snowballing into a long-term vibe increase.


9. Hire Happy Personalities

office events calendar

A happy work environment attracts good people and in turn, promotes a culture of productivity and accountability – a stressful environment will most definitely destroy your company culture.

So, it’s important to create a happy workplace to get a person that brings laughter to the workplace and will improve productivity and motivation for the whole office as that happy, optimistic outlook is contagious.

Happy people create a happy company culture, so it’s important to take the time to study facial expressions, responses and genuineness when interviewing potential candidates. These are the people who will make your workplace happier.

If you’ve already done a good job recruiting happy teammates, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

It’s not an easy goal, and neither is keeping your employees operating on an empowered and engaged level. Keep reading for 4 additional tips for keeping your workplace mojo.


10. Set up a Team Slack Channel

Create a #gratitude-wall Slack channel

Setting up a #gratitudewall channel in Slack can help build a happier workplace regardless if you are working in the same room as your employees or on the other side of the globe. Simply set up a new channel in Slack, invite your team members, and encourage them to express gratitude for their peers and managers, or list reasons why they are grateful.

This will not only add more positivity to your day, but your employees will also feel more connected.

With this low-cost strategy, you will find your employees are happier and more inclined to spread joy in the workplace.


11. Create a Happier Workplace with Shared Laughter

laughter-on-callTeams that laugh together, succeed together!

Shared laughter not only creates a connection between coworkers, but it also fosters a culture where people feel safe sharing ideas and taking risks. The Washington Post quotes Mayo Clinic Oncology Professor Edward Creagan,

“When people are funny, they attract other people, and community connectedness is the social currency for longevity.”

Laughter On Call is passionate about creating connections through shared laughter. With roots in mental wellness, their diverse team of compassionate comedians leads engaging and highly interactive sessions – whether virtual or in-person – that deliver comic relief and teach comedy tools to maintain a culture of levity and inclusion.


12. Make Work Fulfilling

Everyone wants to feel like what they’re doing at work matters.

In order for team members to feel good about the work they are producing, they need to fully understand the company’s mission and purpose. So, it’s your job to make sure they know what that looks like.

Give a rundown of what each department does and why they do it. When employees see the inner-workings of the organization from all angles and perspectives, they feel better connected to the business and therefore more committed to making it a success.

Happiness expert Shawn Achor said it best in an interview with Forbes:

Shawn says, “The greater access to inner happiness, the greater your experience of success throughout your life.”

Translation: Finding new ways to access happiness on an ongoing basis generates more success in our lives. Success does not breed happiness – it’s the other way around.

Heed Shawn’s advice and develop a habit of expressing gratitude on a daily basis.

Thank Tom for coming in early to make a deadline and let Hana know that her diligence with a difficult client is not going unnoticed.

Another way to make work fulfilling? Get your team members involved in partnering with a local charity. Giving back to the community opens team members’ eyes in realizing work for the greater good is really what it’s all about.

At SnackNation, we partner with Feeding America to donate 10 meals to a hungry family in the United States. To date, we’ve donated over 2 million meals!

snacknation at feeding america

You can do something similar by checking out places and programs near you that cater to children in need like No Kid Hungry which provides meals for children in need.


13. Make Work/Life Balance a Priority


The concept of work/life balance has become a priority for many workplaces. Team members need to have a clear understanding that you value them as a loyal employee and as a person who has a life outside of work that is just as important.

Make it known that work/life balance is a priority by offering work-from-home Fridays, unlimited vacation days, discounts on surrounding health and wellness programs, or childcare options. Offering incentives that improve a team member’s overall quality of life show that you care about their wellbeing.

If you’re struggling with what to come up with to instill the importance of work/life balance, think about what makes you happy outside of work and what perks you personally would want. Your team members probably want the same exact things.


14. Show You Care with Caroo

The Caroo employee care platform makes it easier and more fun than ever to send employees gifts that transcend cool and actually show your team how much you care. By sending employees gifts from Caroo, you’re basically sending happiness in a box that comes packed with premium items you can personalize.

Recipients are practically guaranteed to smile as they open their boxes, see their new goodies and gifts, and realize how much you care. Their gift-induced happiness will even make them feel re-energized and inspired to do their best work.


15. Refrain from Micromanaging


Employees who feel trusted and supported, without being hovered over, are statistically more relaxed and confident in the job they do.

I think it’s safe to say that not one working person likes to be micromanaged. If employees feel like they are constantly on their boss’s radar, they are not going to perform the way they normally would, and they will begin to resent their job.

It doesn’t help anyone if half the day is spent recording and reporting what tasks were checked off and which ones weren’t, so, give your team the trust and creative freedom that they deserve by setting clear expectations and fair boundaries.

You are the one who hired your irreplaceable team members. Remember why you hired them and trust that they will make the right decisions without your hovering. Doing so will keep their confidence high, further contributing to the success of your business.

Let a team member lead the next marketing meeting, and give team members the go-ahead to make executive decisions when you aren’t around.


16. Encourage Workplace Wellness

wellness massage

As “living a well life” has become integrated into people’s daily lives, working professionals are not just hoping, but expecting, their employers to provide wellness practices in the workplace. Whether through food, physical exercise or mindfulness tactics, incentivizing wellness is a brilliant idea.

Many new programs have been developed specifically to improve the work environment so it’s easier for employees to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.

Create a culture of wellness by implementing these strategies:

  • Prepare and distribute a list of healthy dining options in a 2-mile radius of your office so your team isn’t wasting time Googling “healthy lunch near me”
  • Arrange for bike racks and provide “bike to work” promotional materials
  • Negotiate corporate discounts for health club memberships
  • Hire a yoga instructor or mindfulness specialist to come into the office once a week or month to reduce team members’ stress

Showing your team you want them to live happy, healthy lifestyles is another way of showing them how important they are to your company.

For even more wellness program ideas, check this article out.


17. Use Feedback as a Mini-Mentoring Tool

Let employees lead

Effective leaders understand the power of feedback. Using it to offer constructive criticism and positive recognition clears the air of confusion and communicates how an employee’s behavior aligns with company results.

Senior Partner at Partners in Leadership, Brad Starr offers 5 tips to help you give impactful feedback that cultivates more engaged, empowered employees.

Starr states that when offering feedback from a place of respect, a leader can “move an employee away from undesirable behavior and cement the thinking and behavior that lead to personal and professional excellence.”

Incorporating Starr’s tips, you will treat your feedback sessions as two-way conversations, and invite team members to ask questions. If team members feel afraid to ask a question, that is a big problem. Make sure you are transparent and open in your approach so both of you get the most out of your “mini-mentoring” session.

The key to effective feedback? Communicate it at regular intervals (weekly or monthly) rather than all at once (semi-yearly or yearly).


18. Launch an Individual Development Plan

Goals to achieve

For those unfamiliar, an Individual Development Plan, or IDP, is a tool to assist employees in career and personal development. Its primary purpose is to help employees reach short and long-term goals and improve current job performance.

You can use an IDP to develop a better understanding of your team’s professional and personal goals including their strengths and areas they want to improve on.

Per our CEO’s recommendation here at SnackNation, launch a company-wide IDP where employees come up with four personal and four professional goals that they want to achieve by the end of the year.

This shows your team that you are serious about investing in them as individuals and puts everyone on an even playing field of reaching customized goals.

You can learn all about training and development of IDPs in this article.


Bonus: Have Meaningful Conversations with Team Members


This one should come naturally, but many managers don’t see the value because they are afraid of “crossing the line” into unprofessional territory.

That is simply not true. Getting to know your team is one of the best things to do to increase employee happiness in the workplace and maintain a happy work environment.

Make a point to learn something new about your team members every week. Finding out that Lucy is a wedding singer may give you a new respect and appreciation for her, in addition to her professional skills.

To ensure these implementations are long-lived, practice them daily and remind your team often that they are an integral part of the company.

Incorporate these ideas into your workplace and report back with the results!


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