By ROHINI RAJARATNAM
What does happiness mean to an employee? Why does it matter to the success of a business?
To some, it means job security and minimal office politics, or the level of motivation one has that pushes him/her to work every day.
To others, it could mean job satisfaction, the ability to feel like one has contributed to a bigger purpose at work.
If this is how employees define happiness, how then does that correlate with the success of a business?
When employees are happy, they are motivated to work harder – resulting in higher productivity, which in turn profits the company.
A study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happy workers led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.
As the research team put it, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”
How then can you build a happier workforce?
Here are three ways.
1. Show your employees that you care
Employees feel happier when employers take the time to ask them about their lives or even remember details about their families and activities.
That doesn’t mean one has to spend hours at the pantry making conversation. Rather, a simple “How are you?” or “How are the kids?” would suffice in making the employee feel cared for and remembered.
2. Be flexible
Today’s workforce generations are big on the need for flexibility. This actually allows employees to have more control over their work-life balance.
Based on a study conducted on the Fortune 500 companies, it also ensures employees are less prone to burnout.
It is unfair to expect employees to perform better if they are unable to spend quality time with their families or refresh their minds after long hours of work.
Hence, to create greater productivity among employees, it’s essential to allow them to maintain a positive work-life balance.
3. Show gratitude
The main reason most employees quit their jobs is because they feel unappreciated.
Simple gestures, such as saying thank you or even giving credit where it is due, will go a long way in creating a workforce that feels valued.
As American writer William Arthur Ward once said, “Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
Maybe it’s time to reassess priorities and ensure that employee happiness is taken into account for the benefit of all shareholders and stakeholders.
How bad can it be if there’s a possibility of business success and profitability?
Rohini is a law graduate and freelance writer. Her areas of interest are personal development, social rights, and reflective writing. Share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.