When it comes to employees, it’s worth spending some time and effort to keep them, well, happy.

Research indicates that there’s a strong connection between job satisfaction and productivity.

According to one study by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved to be 10% less productive. “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity,” the research team stated. “Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”

In addition to improved productivity, happy workers also tend to provide excellent customer service. A happy employee is also less likely to abandon ship, saving you from the cost of hiring and training new employees.

Unfortunately, though, many employees just aren’t happy at work. According to one recent study, 48% of employees report being unhappy or somewhat unhappy at work; an 8% increase from 2016.

While it’s something that’s easy for employers to overlook, and often, it’s easy to assume that your employees are responsible for their own happiness; both at work and away, the fact is, there’s a lot that employers can do to create a positive and happy workplace.

If you’re looking for ways to boost workplace morale, here’s a look at some things that you can do to help keep your team happy.

Help Them to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

For many employees, it can be difficult to find a balance between work and home life. Consider helping your team by implementing a flexible work schedule, if it’s a viable option. Allowing your team to work from home one day a week, or allowing them to choose their own hours can help to make life a bit less stressful for your employees; something they’re sure to appreciate.

Communicate Openly

Communication costs nothing but means everything. One of the biggest frustrations employees have is not having a clear sense of direction. By communicating with your team, and keeping them informed, your team will feel more of a connection with your company; and more job satisfaction too. Similarly, welcome feedback from your team. Communication is vital, and an important part of helping to create a workplace where everyone’s clear on where they’re going, and what’s expected of them.

Don’t Micromanage

No one likes to be micromanaged, and no one should have to be! If your staff is trained properly and knows what is expected of them, then you should have no problems letting them do their jobs. Giving them a little bit of flexibility can mean the difference between a happy employee, and someone who is on the verge of quitting. Instead of monitoring their every move, give them goals and allow them to finish things their own way.

Offer Room to Grow

Does your company offer room for career advancement? Giving your team opportunities to grow and advance within your company is vital for workplace satisfaction. You could also consider offering incentives for employees who would like to advance their skills. Consider reimbursing them for tuition for continued education, or for training that they receive to obtain additional qualifications.

Recognize and Reward

Recognizing and rewarding your employees for a job well done can help give them an extra dose of motivation. Consider rewarding them with things like an extra day off, a gift certificate for a restaurant, or movie tickets. It doesn’t have to be anything big; even a simple gesture or acknowledgment of a job well done can go a long way.

Your employees can put up with a lot, but a negative work environment is something that no one should have to tolerate. By taking the above steps, and looking for ways to create a better, more positive work environment, your team will be happier, and less likely to leave at the drop of a hat. And you’ll be able to reap the rewards that come from having a satisfied and motivated workforce.