How to Create a Happy and Motivated Workplace

Karen Mosier, Research Coordinator and Navigator, University of Saskatchewan


Happy employees are more productive. Employees want to feel essential to their organization. They want to be acknowledged for their hard work. They want to know that their work is having an impact and they need goals to work toward.

Here are some simple ways to create a safe, empowering and positive work environment:

Acknowledge your employees

Don’t wait for the annual review to let employees know they are important to your organization

Recognize hard work and praise your employees for a job well done, and be specific as often as you can

Say thank you often or send an email that shows you have noticed their accomplishments

Have a flexible work environment

Flexible hours allow employees to have more control on their work-life balance and give time to their families

Employees who are able to maintain a work-life balance, and refresh their minds as often as needed, will love their work environment and will stay working with the company

Giving employees options to work remotely or come in late after working extra hours is seen as a signal of trust and appreciation

Have a positive demeanor

When the boss is smiling and positive, employees will feel relaxed, communicate more, learn more and be less focused on worrying about making mistakes

Regularly check in with your employees

Check in regularly with your employees.These interactions are actual and valuable points of connection and will keep them from feeling invisible

Simply hearing a “Good morning” or “How are you?” from the boss is as meaningful as formal recognition

Give positive and developmental feedback

Employees want to know both what they’re doing well and where they can improve

Avoid the sandwich technique of giving both types of feedback at once to prevent confusion

Spend time with employees

Promote a social workplace where employees are free to talk, share their opinions and communicate freely

Spend time outside the workplace with employees as a group to get to know them and build friendships

Give Meaningful Perks

Food and gift cards, childcare programs, unlimited holidays, and health and wellness programs are ideal ways to show appreciation for your employees

Recognition of and feeling your work is meaningful is crucial to workplace happiness. Be strategic and implement some of these small ideas to create a happy and motivated work environment to ensure that your teams are happy and feel fulfilled at work.


  1. 7 Ways to Create a Happy and Motivated Workplace.
  2. Kerry Roberts Gibson, Kate O’Leary, Joseph R. Weintraub. Harvard Business Review. The Little Things That Make Employees Feel Appreciated.

Praseeda Nair. How to create a happy and motivated workplace.