How To Make Your Employees Smile


Smile Yellow BackgroundThere truly is magic in a smile.

Too often, though, we take smiling for granted. And not just our own smiles.

But the smiles we can bring out in others.

As a boss, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind. You are busy doing your responsibilities. You’re dealing with issues and putting out fires.

Helping your team smile can seem trivial. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ease the stress of your team. Give them a little pain relief. Lift their mood.

Make them smile with these tips.

1. Reply Fast

I read about this in Dan Pink’s book, When. Great read. This was just a little sentence in the book, but it really stood out. The finding in a study was that the faster a boss replied to an email, the happier the employee was. There was a direct correlation.

Don’t just reply fast to email. Reply fast to phone messages, texts and any other form of communication.

2. Make The Effort To Be Available

Don’t just give it lip service.

You may have said, My door is always open… but most of your team won’t take advantage of that. And if you’ve ever rolled your eyes or sighed when someone actually does come in then you’re sending the wrong message.

One of the things that made me smile in my previous corporate job was when the CEO would walk around the office. He would do it about every month or so. Stop in and say hello to everyone.

That is making yourself available. Another is asking questions. Just seeing if there are any concerns.

3. Start A Meeting With A Cheesy Joke

Focus on cheesy. Some will roll their eyes. But they’re safe. Think Laffy Taffy-type jokes. Nothing that will offend anybody. Just simple and funny.

It will show that it’s not all serious. You may even get a little anticipation for your meetings as the team wonders what you’ll come up with next.

4. Stand Up For Them If They Fail

Let’s say that you know an employee made a mistake. It happens to everybody. It’s probably happened to you. More than once.

Go to their office. Let them know that you have their back. You know they’ll bounce back. They have your support if they need anything to improve.

Or it could be something simple. You see someone spill coffee in the break room. Stop and help them clean it up. Make a comment that you’ve done it before or tell them about the time you dropped the company birthday cake.

5. Acknowledge An Accomplishment

It makes people feel good to know that you recognize their hard work. It’s one of those things that’s easy to overlook as a boss. You think that the salary the person makes is enough.

If your sales team makes a sale, let them know.

If your customer service rep helps a difficult customer, let them know.

Or it could be unrelated to work. Maybe a group from your office won the city volleyball league.

Celebrate accomplishments.

6. Buy Donuts

Easy one here. Who doesn’t love a donut?

7. Do Something New and Out of Character

New things make us smile and make us feel good. You don’t have to get crazy. Buying donuts could be the one that’s really out of character for you.

But it could be something like buying lunch or telling everyone to leave for the day or renting out the bowling alley for the afternoon.

8. Respect Their Time

Don’t be late. Every time you’re late you’re taking the other person’s time. It might not make them smile big. You should be on time. But if you’ve been slacking then showing up early or on time and ending on time will probably bring about a few smiles.


Making people smile is something we often overlook. But it can really change the way people feel. And that is good for everybody. Make your team smile by trying one or two of the tips above. See how it works.

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