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Here’s how to keep your employees happy (and productive)

June 19, 2015, 3:15 PM UTC
power meeting from above
Photograph by Getty Images

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “What’s your best advice for staying productive at work?” is by Michael Keoni DeFranco, founder and CEO of Lua.

When trying to create a space where both me and those I work with feel encouraged to work hard and efficiently, I have found that certain dedications to the office culture have been vital to a happier, more productive team:

Implement traditions
Despite the advancement of technology in the workplace, there’s no replacement for person-to-person communication. For instance, every Monday morning at the office, we host a breakfast where our team recaps the company highlights from the previous week. This meeting motivates and inspires everyone to have a successful week.

Encourage open-communication
Throughout the week, each department head leads a one-on-one meeting for the members of his or her team in order to gain insight into everyone’s personal progress, and develop better workplace relationships between our management and staff. Be honest with employees and explain how their roles fit into the “big picture.”

Give recognition when it’s due
Running an organization isn’t easy. The larger it gets, the easier it becomes to overlook the value each employee brings to the team. But a true leader remembers what’s important: the staff. At the end of each week, we host a “luau” in celebration of the company’s progress and acknowledge the employee(s) who made the biggest impact on the company in his or her department. Proper recognition is crucial to cultivating good work ethics and a positive morale.

Provide a flexible work environment
We give our employees the freedom to select their own projects, design their own tasks, and offer unlimited vacation time. If employees are free to work in a comfortable, encouraging environment, then ultimately everyone wins. Because every employee is accountable for his or her own level of productivity, providing everyone with the necessary tools and encouragement will do wonders for a small team.

Read all answers to the Leadership Insider question: What’s your best advice for staying productive at work?

9 things you can do every day to be more productive by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

How managers are killing the productivity of their employees by Todd McKinnon, co-founder and CEO of Okta.

Warby Parker’s Co-CEO: Why it’s okay to say ‘no’ to your boss by Dave Gilboa, co-CEO of Warby Parker.