February 14th.  The day of boxes of extravagant chocolates, long stem roses, and the undeniable aroma of love in the air.  Whether you have a special someone in your life or not, this holiday is a perfect opportunity to think about all of the things in your life you might feel that special four letter word for, be it your house, your family, your friends, or even your job.  Yes, your job.  Employees can and do love their jobs!  With all of the XOXO’s and fuzzy feelings that can be induced from being completely satisfied by your job, it is possible for WORK to be your Valentine this holiday.
So what can you do as an employer to ensure you are creating a work environment your employees could fall in love with?  Read below for tips from business writer Jennifer Blanchard in her HRTools.com article!
How To Help Your Employees Love Their JobsThe success of any company, large or small, comes from its people. So if employees aren’t happy, that could wreck havoc on the company in a number of ways, including:

  • Turnover rates
  • Retention
  • Cost of recruiting, hiring and orienting employees to fill empty positions
  • Less effective customer service
  • Fewer sales

All of the above directly impacts a company’s bottom line.
That’s why it’s every manager’s job to make sure his/her people are well-taken care of, happy and loving the work they’re doing.
Here are some tips for helping your employees love their jobs:
Offer Career Growth, Learning and Development Opportunities—When employees feel like they’ve hit a ceiling; when they stop feeling challenged; when they feel like they’re stagnant and can’t move up any higher in your company or make more money; that’s when they stop loving their jobs.
You can help your employees love their jobs, though, by offering continual opportunities for them to grow in their careers, learn new skills and become even better at their jobs.
Some options include:

  • Career development paths
  • Educational assistance programs
  • On-the-job training
  • Lunch seminars
  • Wellness programs

Make Work Challenging—Many employees dislike their jobs simply because they’re bored; they need to feel challenged to be happy at work. So give them that challenge.
Find new projects to involve employees in, ask employees about pet projects they’d like to take on, ask them to run the department meeting, etc. There are literally thousands of ways to challenge your employees.
Socialize—When employees spend 40-plus hours a week at work, their social lives start to go downhill sometimes because they don’t have as much free time as they did when they weren’t working full-time.
Socializing is an important part of working because if you don’t get to know your co-workers, you’ll never work as well with them as you could if you knew them. This could also create a negative work environment for employees who aren’t as social as others.
Humans, by nature, are social creatures who crave interaction. And when they aren’t interacting with others, this can have a huge effect on their happiness level at work.
Encourage socialization at your company by:

  • Holding company outings at local happenings, such as sporting events or community events
  • Having “social time” during the work day where employees take a break from work to hang out and talk with their co-workers
  • Hosting get-togethers after work
  • Eating lunch together as a group several times a month
  • Celebrating important events in employees lives, such as birthdays or company anniversaries

Be A Better Manager/Boss—Yes, that’s right. Your employees’ unhappiness at work and dislike of their jobs could possibly be occurring because you are not a good manager. You’ve heard this saying before: “Employees leave managers, not jobs.”
Push Employees Out of Their Comfort Zones—As Kjerulf mentioned in his blog post, employees can get by for years on just “liking their jobs.” But if an employee only “likes” his/her job, it’s probably because the employees aren’t being challenged or pushed out of their comfort zones.
It’s easy for employees to get into—and remain in—a comfort zone for most of their careers. But comfort zones don’t always equal happiness. And it definitely doesn’t equal loving your job.
Find ways to push your employees to:

  • Share an idea with the group
  • Run a meeting
  • Attend a brainstorming session
  • Take on a project they’ve never worked on before
  • Move into a new position within your company

Anything you can do to get employees out of their comfort zones will help you help them love their jobs more.
Offer Company-Sponsored Volunteer Opportunities—More and more companies are hopping on the community-service train and riding it to amazing levels of employee participation and happiness. Many people thrive on helping others and their local communities. So by offering company-sponsored volunteer opportunities, you can add another aspect to each employee’s job, which will help the employee move from liking his/her job to loving it.
Making a difference in your community really can help you make a difference in your employees’ job satisfaction level.
Make Work-Life Balance A Priority—When employees feel unbalanced, this can affect their job satisfaction. It’s hard to love your job when you don’t have time to do anything else, but work. And employees who are unbalanced may even start to resent working for your company, which will definitely lower their job satisfaction.
Some options to give employees a better work-life balance include:

  • Alternative work schedules
  • Compressed work weeks
  • Flex time
  • Telecommuting
  • A Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)

The benefits a company will get from having a workforce full of employees who all love their jobs are almost endless. Some benefits, however, include:

  • Engaged employees
  • Productive employees
  • Employees who are rarely absent
  • Employees who share ideas and who want to be part of things
  • Employees who make their careers at your company

But there’s one additional bonus benefit of having a workforce of employees who love their jobs: You’ll love your job more.
When your employees are happy and when they love their jobs and can’t wait to get to work in the morning, it becomes contagious.
You will love your job more because your employees love their jobs more. You will love your job more because you won’t have the high turnover rates or the low morale or the low productivity to deal with. You will love your job more because you’ll have the most amazing workforce ever.
And that’s something no employer can argue with.