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How to maintain a happy workplace

Having a happy and engaged workforce is the key to business success. However, knowing that your staff are enjoying their jobs and feeling like they are developing in the right direction is not always the easiest of tasks!

One company that has not only been praised for being the number one company for FUN in the UK according to The Sunday Times Best Companies Awards, but has won three Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards, including 11th top CEO for Bill Mills, is tuition provider, Explore Learning.  With 139 centres located across the UK, the company employs 3,500 people and has tutored more than 250,000 children since launching in 2001.

Natalie Riddick, Head of HR at Explore Learning shares her top tips on how to create a fun and engaged workforce:

Have fun! 

When staff look forward to coming to work, they perform to a high standard. Part of this is down to having a fun workplace.   So, constantly find ways to make an individual’s job more fun and exciting.  For example, every summer we organise ‘ExploreFest’ which is a summer party where all of our full time staff get together and celebrate their achievements for the previous year.  This is a brilliant way of bringing everyone together in one place, recognising success and of course having LOTS of fun!  

Listen to your employees 

It is so important that employees have a voice and help shape the business. Whether through staff surveys or focus groups, invite employees at all levels to frequently put forward solutions to business issues and help implement them across the organisation. 

Personal growth

Training and development of staff not only helps ensure they are doing their job to the best of their ability; it helps develop their skills and ensure they are getting the most out of their job role.  Make sure each person knows where they require training and invest.  If an individual feels like they are being valued and nurtured, they will be more loyal to the company – and happier!

Reward and Recognition

Rewarding staff for their hard work, and ensuring they are recognised among their co-workers and senior management is a great way to say thank you.  Setting targets and rewarding them with team holidays or individual vouchers is a fantastic way of improving team morale – and bonding! And when it comes to yearly reviews make sure you show your appreciation where they deserve it in ways they would like, whether that’s giving more time off, increased pay or more flexible working hours. 

Interest in wellbeing

Mental health in the workplace is thankfully given a lot more attention these days with many companies, including ours, introducing counselling services for their staff where they can have a safe space to talk about what’s on their mind and work through any problems they may be experiencing that we won’t know about.  You can also support your staff through regular one to one catch ups, subsidised pilates or yoga classes on site in lunch breaks, or a company-wide wellbeing day, with activities and training sessions that support employees continued positivity.

Family feel

Creating a family feel at your company helps ensure that staff feel they can talk openly with each other, whether that is their line manager, or the CEO of the company.  Making sure a person feels like they’re making a real difference to a company – and not just a cog in a machine – is so important.  Celebrating those members of staff for their success at all levels is key and will increase longevity.  For example, at Explore our Operations Director, Lisa Haycox, worked her way up from a tutor in a centre to becoming the first female on our board of directors and is instrumental to the company’s development.  Similarly, staff remain with us for a very long time, with the majority of head office staff rising up the ranks from Assistant Director, to Centre Director to Regional Manager to where they are today.  Seeing this happen will inspire all individuals and encourage them to do their best.  The key though – nurturing them from the top down.