How do you keep employees happy?

Quick byte from www.30secondmba.com (a great Fast Company find), on How you keep employees happy. Jonathan E Johnson III of Overstock.com, says it simply: be fair and honest. Fair is construed as instituting a meritocracy, and discouraging boot-licking and political cliques, and honest translates as giving people clear objectives, and letting them know where they stand.

Over morning coffee, listening to this 30 second take on one of management’s biggest dilemmas, here’s what I thought I’d say if asked the same question (without repeating what the paraphrase above already says).

In order to keep employees happy, you need to chastise and reward. And do so consistently. Meaning that you need to give feedback on performance, take corrective measures when somebody misses the mark, and offer recognition or some other type of public reward when somebody does a legitimately good job, and do both consistently over departments and at all levels in the company.

Sounds easy? Well, it ain’t.

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