By Hannah Campbell, Operations Director at The Work Perk

It won’t be a shock to hear that research recently revealed from a survey by the EU Commission shows how Britain’s are happy with their personal relationships, accommodation, and commuting times, but many are unhappy at work. Similarly, most of us wouldn’t be bowled over by the figures released from a Gallup report that revealed that there are twice as many ‘actively disengaged’ workers in the world as there are ‘engaged’ workers who really love their jobs. If you consider that from a study of more than 180 million people, this boiled down to a mere 13% of us considering ourselves happy at work, like me you may find that it’s not groundbreaking, but it certainly is a little heartbreaking.

To make the workforce a little perkier, employers can tune into ways to motivate and satisfy their employees. If they don’t, the decline of staff engagement can result in poor performance, and high churn rates. By understanding why staff are disengaged, employers can effectively design employee initiatives that will achieve measurable, positive business outcomes.

Many organisations see a dramatic increase in employee and business performance when they effectively set individual employee goals and align them closely to the company’s overall strategy. Unfortunately this collaborative process of goal setting is not always appropriate to a wide range of organisations, especially in instances where individuals are set quantitative targets (ie. Sales targets). In these cases, HR initiatives can really help to bolster staff enthusiasm, even if the nature of the job remains the same.

Often, these initiatives are not cheap, and can leave many small to medium sized businesses missing out on the benefits. In order to perk up the workplace, I have put together my top tips for employers to use to take practical steps to ensure staff stay happy and engaged, that don’t have to break the bank.

Get fruity

Supply staff with free fruit to help keep their energy levels up and add a bit of colour to the office. We should all strive for our five a day, so this helps keep the workforce healthy too.

Beat the slump

Get the team together for a cup of tea, biscuits and a chat for 20 minutes on a Tuesday afternoon: statistically the most miserable time of the week. Using this as a fun and informal forum to share ideas and solve day to day issues can bring a whole new meaning to the word ‘refreshment’.

Points mean prizes

Set up a system for staff members who ‘go above and beyond’ to win weekly points that can be converted into prizes. Or even the traditional ‘Employee of the Month’ approach shouldn’t be overlooked. Recognition in front of colleagues is a proven driver of employee happiness.

Sign up for freebies

Sign the office up to trial freebie products from market leading brands. You’ll be surprised how many brands from food and drink to cosmetics are looking to share samples with the UK workforce in exchange for a little feedback on whether people like the products.

Get active

Start a company sports team, there’s always enough for a friendly five-a-side. If not, rope in your suppliers and customers. Or, how about signing up a team for a charity race? Even a 5k gives people common ground to train for together.

Gallup’s study found that engaged employees work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organisation forward. Conversely, those who are ‘sleepwalking’ through their workday are weighing down the bottom line.

The difference between engaged employees and satisfied employees is that they are emotionally connected to the company and to their work. By providing your employees with some weekly perks, they can become happier, and more purpose driven as a result. Engaged employees generate engaged customers which ultimately makes the customers happy, and the workplace a better place to be!