It’s important to keep your employees happy. Happier employees are more engaged, more productive, and more likely to stay loyal to your company. But how do you do that? How do you know what they want and how to keep them happy? Here’s a hint—they don’t just want money. Sure, you have to pay them fairly, but more than that, they want to feel valued, have some level of work-life balance, and to feel satisfied by their work. Here’s what employees really want.

Good Communication

When you implement clear, effective communication, your employees are more likely to stick around. Communicate often, more often than you think you need to. Be simple, open, and honest. But communicate about things that matter, don’t waste their time with 15 minutes of new rules for the break room. Instead, provide constructive criticism and positive praise, and allow them the chance to ask questions and offer their opinions.


Be consistent in your dealing with your employees. Don’t play favorites. If you make a commitment to be somewhere or help an employee, honor it. Sure, emergencies pop up that pull you away, but if you regularly disregard those types of promises, your employees will learn they can’t rely on you.


More than 85 percent of U.S. workers like to have their efforts recognized. More than half of workers feel like they don’t get enough recognition or their company doesn’t care about them. They say they’d rather have praise from a direct manager and attention from company leaders than an increase in base pay or stock options. Workers who feel valued and recognized are more engaged and more productive. Appreciating your employees’ stellar work is a small step that can turn your company around, from struggling to great. Almost 80 percent of workers say that being recognized makes them work harder.

The Chance to Do Great Things

Trust your employees to do great work! Don’t hog all the exciting and important challenges yourself. They want to be trusted with greater responsibility and offered the chance to step up to greater challenges. Show them you respect them and believe in them by giving them this opportunity. Their reward will be that much greater when they find success.

A Good Manager

In addition to recognizing your employees’ efforts, praising their achievements, and ensuring open communication, workers need a manager who can provide guidance without micromanaging and empower them with the appropriate resources. Provide them with specific criteria for what greatness is, honor deadlines and hold your employees accountable when they don’t meet them, and follow up with recognition when you notice improvement.

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