The Science of Happiness in the Workplace
The first thought that comes to my mind when the word ‘happiness’ pops up is Pharrell Williams. Only because he’s made a smashing hit that mentions the word ‘happy’ approximately 57 times. Besides the point, going back to all things HR and all that progresses HR, happiness is actually pivotal in a modern workplace. It’s pivotal in the way that it’s how your employees show their enthusiasm for work. To put it into perspective, if you’re happy with eating at your local diner, the chances of you returning there is pretty high, right? In essence, if your employees are happy at work, they’re bound to return.
Employee Happiness Defined
Happiness is more than just seeing a smile or laughter on your employees’ faces. It delves much deeper than that, and it’s a feeling that can be disrupted by a bad workplace. When I say a bad workplace, I mean one that doesn’t foster for employee engagement. In saying so, the type of work environment you provide will actually affect your employees’ happiness. It could be relatively happy one period or not at all the next. Now that we’ve established the workplace is what affects happiness, it’s clear that in order to sustain it it’ll involve doing something about the workplace environment you offer.
5 Hidden Benefits of Employee Happiness
It’s important for you to consider happiness as what you want your employees to feel. If you do put it as a priority, you’ll see them more inclined to be productive. In fact, it’s a discovered fact itself that it pushes for 12% more of productivity. With productivity, of course we can clearly identify that as a gain. A series of benefits just start happening; from peaking performance levels that meet goals and objectives, all contributing to sustaining the viability of your organisation. These just mentioned are what we generally receive from promoting happiness in the workplace. Others that we didn’t think of would include:
- Minimal accidents at work – It could be severe ones like being a victim to poor housekeeping or lack of preparation leading to the task done blindly. These accidents can be minimised to ensure of no hazards and less error in work done.
- Innovation sparks – When you enable your employees to feel happy, they feel like they’re able to take on anything. When asked to think of new ideas, they feel invincible in doing so. These ideas will work to your own benefit as you’ll be able to access new perspectives and thought processes.
- Fewer Sick Absences – It’s a common assumption that some employees who call sick are not really sick. It’s a fact that 30% that do, are feeling just fine (while the other 70% really are sick in bed). Having already established that happy employees are more likely to return to work will see the minority who call in sick for reasons other than being sick, to minimise.
- Increased Value to Investors/Shareholders – It’s believed that if you display what the public want, they’re bound to be interested. If you’re displaying happy employees who exert positive word of mouth about who they work for, you’re bound to attract a few eyes. Ideally, these eyes belong to your existing shareholders or potential investors.
- Profitability Increases – Continuing on from point four (4), by attracting the right attention you’re able to see their investment in your organisation grow. Of course, that translates to positive figures resulting in a worthwhile financial bottom line.
How to Increase Employee Happiness
Now that we know of the importance of happiness in the workplace (which so happens to be objectives of many), we should concentrate on how to facilitate this happiness. It’s about cultivating the right workplace with a balance of:
- Greeting employees – As simple as it is, a “hello!” brightens anyone’s mood for the start of their day.
- Initiate conversation with them – About things other than business that is. It could be asking them about their interests or any life changing happenings.
- Ask questions or for their opinion – Let them know their opinion is important in your organisation in contributing to its growth.
- Know how to compliment – Compliment on an employees’ latest achievement. It could be as easy as saying “awesome work fixing the printer, Tim!”. It doesn’t have to be all delegated task related.
- Attend to needs promptly – Your employee may be requesting you for an annual leave form. Rather than saying, “will do soon” and forgetting it when the time ticks home time, get on it ASAP!
- Provide Rewards and Incentives – These two motivational tools will see a few determined smiles pop up.
- Encourage your employees – Sometimes those rewards and incentives are merely not enough. Words of encouragement can be considered stronger to boost motivation. Not just that, but I’m sure your employees will feel happier knowing you care and support them on a personal level.
To be a smart leader, you’d understand that engaging your employees is essential for your organisation’s growth. More importantly, now understanding happiness is a root to engagement is something to focus on. There’s about a high chance that your employees are inclined to feel happy from trying to implement the above in your work practice. Not just that, but you’ll see distinct improvement in their work performance – as an employee myself, I would know for a fact.
It might be as simple as your best seller dish or your five-star service you deliver at your diner. Whatever it is, your customers have bookmarked that it’s a place to return. You ideally want that to happen with your organisation, providing happiness as the attraction.