Taking on new employees is an exciting time for a business. As a business owner, you will want to create an environment where employees feel supported and equipped to thrive and develop. Employee happiness is a key factor in this, and happier employees are more creative, dedicated, innovative and loyal. Research has consistently demonstrated that workplace happiness has a direct correlation with the success of your business.

Anna Wells, director of Liverpool HR, has rounded up five simple and research-supported ways to create a happier workforce.

1. Strive for more day-to-day happiness

As an employer, you are setting the tone for relationships and behaviours in your organisation, so make sure you model courteous and respectful behaviour, better listening, being empathetic, displaying gratitude, keeping interactions mostly positive, showing interest in others, and creating a sense of security and comfort in the work environment. 
If you can, also organise social events so employees can connect on a personal level outside of work this will strengthen bonds between employees and develop a sense of team spirit.

2. Encourage personal development 

Helping employees become better personally can help them become better employees professionally. Not only show an interest in their personal development, but offer training and development in areas such as like personal empowerment, conflict resolution, communication, emotional intelligence, assertiveness, stress management, and time management. 
Reaching one’s potential and thriving at work are predictors of success and happiness. You can create opportunities for employees to grow and develop and eventually reach their full potential by helping them become more actively involved in their work, providing them with challenging work, allowing them to work on important and difficult business problems, and shaping/supporting their career path. Give them the opportunity to develop into their roles and avoid micro-managing.

3. Make work fulfilling

Meaning is strongly correlated to happiness. Employees want to make an important impact on the world around them and accomplish meaningful work. Creating a culture and an environment with a deeper sense of mission and purpose can help drive more happiness within your team. People want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselveswhether it is the team, the company or the community at large. For many employees, meaning is as simple as a desire to be aligned with the company goals and mission, and to feel like a valued member of a team.  

4. Make work-life balance and health a priority

Happy employees are healthier and more energetic. For this reason, help employees become healthier by promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours such as good nutrition, exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep, and by providing the resources, time, and support to help them become healthier. 
Companies who report high levels of employee happiness are those who, among other things, emphasize great work-life balance. Promote flexible working when you can and recognise that your employees have a life outside of work and accommodate this whenever possible.

5. Create trust

One of the single biggest contributors to employee happiness is simply creating a culture of trust within your organisation. This means not only your employees trust in you, but also in one another. Enhancing trust and employee commitment creates an environment that fosters happy, committed and productive team members. 
Maintain an open, multilateral dialogue within your team, help employees to understand and contribute to the big picture, and above all, be sure that you are honest and accountable for your decisions.
Anna Wells runs Liverpool HR, which provides HR support and advice to small businesses and start-ups. Anna is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development who is passionate about empowering small businesses to be great employers, enabling their employees to grow and thrive.

To find out more, you can visit www.liverpoolhr.co.uk/. You can also connect with Anna on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.