By Andy Bailey

I work with leaders around the country who want to take their businesses to the next level. When I meet with them, they come with printouts on critical numbers, important statistics and past performances. These are good and necessary for understanding the health of a business, but these reports ignore one of the most important ingredients in a company’s success – a happy team.

To increase the happiness of your team, you must meet the following four core needs, as reported by Harvard Business Review.

Rest (physical).

Have your team members take breaks throughout the day, even when it’s busy. Taking a few minutes away from pressing work every 90 minutes will allow your team to rest, refresh and refocus. If possible, make lunch away from your desk mandatory. This will prevent burnout and oftentimes leads to a more productive afternoon.

Appreciation (emotional).

When it comes to office morale, your team is similar to a significant other. Every team member needs to know you like them. Sit down and write thank you notes to them. Acknowledge when they’re working efficiently, cranking out excellent work or really helping crush your company’s quarterly goal. Team members who feel appreciated will spend less time seeking affirmation and more time doing noteworthy work.

Concentration (mental).

Remember when you were a kid and your parents tricked you into playing the “quiet game?” Set aside 30 minutes every day, at the very least, for your team to disengage, be quiet and get some work done. Creating a productive environment where your team can focus will increase the quality of work being performed and will help them do their best.

Meaning (spiritual).

Everyone wants to work for something. Ask yourself why the company exists and why the work you do is important and then pass this purpose on to those in your organization. Team members are more likely to stay engaged and passionate when they feel like the work they’re doing contributes to a larger purpose.

Meeting just one of these four needs will reduce stress, increase focus, raise engagement and spread positive energy to the rest of the team. A great leader understands that a happy and healthy team member is far better than one who dreads the office and is unfulfilled.

This quarter, instead of focusing on getting more from your team, strive to meet their core needs and give them the best possible environment to do their greatest work. They are one of the most valuable assets your company has and this will ensure you keep them.

Andy Bailey is lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra and serves as the entrepreneur organization’s global membership director. Visit his blog at for more business and leadership insight. @PetraCoach.