"I need a new job." We've heard that all too often even from people who are seemingly living comfortable lives. Of course we'd expect such a complaint from underpaid employees, but it's now an increasingly common refrain even among top-level employees. Given a chance, 70% of employees would jump ship to new companies, only to stay there for a couple of years and probably switch jobs again.

This is bad news for employers for a lot of reasons, the most significant of which is the stress and corresponding losses incurred when replacing employees. According to a study conducted by CAP, it costs employers 213% of annual salary to replace a C-Suite employee, and a fifth of it to hire a new mid-level employee. Odds are, you can't afford to waste such immense resources and time recruiting new employees when you have a business to run.

So, what's the best way to get around this problem?

Yeah, you guessed it--you need to get right to the bottom of the issue. Ask yourself why your employees are unhappy with their jobs. Why are they consistently searching for new job opportunities? Is there a method of turning this around?

Fortunately, the answer is yes--you can easily change your employees' perceptions and attitudes and not only keep your workforce, but also improve productivity and competitiveness. According to recent statistics, doing so will allow you to outperform your competition by 20%, increase employee concentration seven-fold, and reduce overall employee sick days by 1000%.

Sounds great, right? Now you just need to figure out how to do it. Here are 7 tips to get you started:

1. Celebrate Your Employees' Individual Milestones

Sure, your company is important to you, but so are your employees. The attention that you give to company milestones and events should be similar to the attention you give to employees' individual milestones, like birthdays, engagements, wedding anniversaries, new babies, and any other significant occasions.

You don't have to break the bank to do this, either. A simple gesture, like a celebratory cake or a free lunch, is enough to make a difference. After all, 67% of happy employees attribute their happiness to free food at work.

2. Allow Employees To Express Their Individuality

According to Zohar Dayan, the CEO of Wibbitz, one of the biggest blunders that company owners make is micromanaging their employees. As a matter of fact, people would rather be empowered to express their individuality by solving problems their own way, as long as they are aligned to the company objectives.

Josh Reeves, the CEO of Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll), recently echoed these sentiments by insisting on the need to value employee opinions and input, consequently creating a sense of ownership among employees.

3. Foster Growth

Personal growth and development is just as critical to your employees as company growth is to you. Fortunately for both of you, these two goals can be achieved simultaneously.

Give your employees all the resources they need to grow. For example, fund conferences and workshops, and compensate employees for their time spent learning. You'll not only be encouraging growth on their part, but also boosting holistic development in your company.

The better trained an employee is, the stronger an asset they'll be to your company, and consequently, you'll be able to advance your business agenda more smoothly and efficiently.

4. Give Breaks

Sure, you have tight deadlines and a heavy workload this quarter. But that shouldn't be an excuse to overload your employees. If the workload increases, increase your overall workforce. Instead of consistently pressuring your employees to produce more and more, try giving them occasional short breaks, and watch the fantastic results.

A break may seem like it will negatively affect your production and schedule this quarter, but instead, by reinvigorating your employees, you'll actually help improve employee output and work quality, and you may even find yourself ahead of schedule. Through this technique alone, you could potentially boost your company's productivity by 12% this quarter alone.

5. Foster Friendships Among Your Employees

Imagine how incredible your workplace would be if you could actually bring your entire family with you every time you leave for work. Imagine having them around your office to help you achieve your company's goals. Of course it would be fun, right?

Well, the good news is that you can actually do that, although not literally. By fostering real friendships between your employees, you'll be creating a family that efficaciously works together to achieve common goals. Close work friendships are known to increase employee satisfaction by 50%. So start redesigning your office space to encourage interaction among your employees, and set up teleconferencing facilities to link remote workers.

6. Implement a Two-Way Feedback System

Employees dread quarterly feedback reviews, mostly because of the criticisms that come with them. In reality, it's time you shared the burden by making reviews a two-way street. Make sure everyone understands that their opinion is critical and relevant, regardless of their position in your company. This is the same strategy that Fred Bateman, of the Bateman group, has used to create a less-than-5% turnover rate in his company.

7. Recognize Them

Although this is an old trick in the book of employee motivation, most companies still do it wrong. According to a report published by McKinsey, only 42% of employees are actually satisfied by how their respective companies reward and recognize them.

Making it onto the list of these companies only requires you to understand human perceptions on rewards and recognition. For instance, recognizing your employee with a $2000 check is perceived as far better than simply adding it to the base pay. Such tricks will undoubtedly motivate your employees and foster healthy competition among them.

What are some ways that you plan to boost employee happiness this quarter? Let me know in the comments!

Published on: Jan 28, 2016