Growing interest in employee happiness is putting companies on their toes. Business press and blogs are revealing psychological findings, case studies and strategy insights that make happiness a must-have for profitable workplaces.
After issuing their Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte concludes that workers today want more.
“They want something different. They are demanding, they want meaningful work, and they expect their employer to make work more rewarding in many ways.”
We didn’t take their word straight away. Instead, we did a lot of research, took a deep look into our own company, and found that they were right. Our team at Hppy is driven by meaning in what we do, passion for surpassing ourselves, good team relationships, and a responsible leadership body. That’s how we stay happy and it’s what motivates us to help other businesses achieve the same.
So why do happy workers make better workers?
Three reasons: they care more, they give more and they stay longer.
Happy workers care more
When you offer someone the freedom and support that they need in order to grow and maximize their potential, you create an emotional connection with that person. A smart CEO recognizes the changes that have impacted workplaces over the last couple of years. We’ve witnessed massive cultural variations that can be easily summed up in one sentence: Employees want to be happy at work.
What does “happy at work mean”? It’s not that they want to have fun, laugh all day, have a good coffee and then go home. Happiness is a complex concept that goes beyond what brings you joy.
Employees want to be happy in the sense that they find purpose and meaning in their work. They are happy when they are valued and when they are offered growth opportunities.
Happy workers give more
People are happy at work when they are given freedom and autonomy. In a work environment based on this premise, people will give more of their attention, discretionary effort, trust and advocacy.
Like this recent report shows, companies that offer their employees freedom outperform so-called “low-freedom” companies financially, creatively, and in long-term success. The results of this study showed that high-freedom companies were over 10 times more likely to be financially successful and 20 times more likely to innovate and be successful long-term.
Happiness makes people more productive, as confirmed by this latest study. In three different styles of experiment, randomly selected individuals are made happier. The treated individuals measured a 12% increase in productivity.
“Companies like Google have invested more in employee support, and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37 percent; they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”
Andrew Oswald, author of the study
Happy workers stay longer
Your turnover rate tells you how healthy your company environment is. If you design your workplace in such a way that it breeds loyalty, devotion, gratitude and fulfilment, that turnover rate will be at a benchmark minimum.
Happy workers will not leave your company. They might not be happy 100% of the time but they will be comfortable enough to come to you when they have a problem, instead of going behind your back, straight into your competitor’s arms.
Happy employees are engaged both with the work they do, as well as with the company they work for. The 10th annual survey by the Queen’s School of Business Centre for Business Venturing (QCVB) and Aon Hewitt highlights the economic cost of employee disengagement, revealing that companies with a high employee engagement rate achieve 26% less in turnover rates and a 20% decrease in absenteeism levels.
It’s no small task to foster a company culture that drives high employee engagement levels. But it certainly is worth it. Because happiness is important. Amazon, for example, knows this. The company is offering $ 5,000 to its warehouse employees if they decide to leave. In a letter to shareholders this week, Chief Executive Jeffrey Bezos outlined the details of a rare human resources strategy the on-line retail giant has launched.
“In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company. (…) The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”
Amazon Chief Executive Jeffrey Bezos
Today’s typical worker is overwhelmed. People are working harder and longer, they are constantly connected and invaded by technology and they are losing their bearings when it comes to a work-life balance.
Companies translate this into worrying leadership pipeline issues, retention and engagement numbers or talent recruitment challenges.
It’s time for workplaces to focus on employee engagement and happiness. Not because it brings more revenues and lower turnover rates, which it does, but because we owe it to ourselves turn to what truly matters: sustainable growth through people’s well-being.
About the author
Paula Clapon is the Marketing Officer for Hppy Apps, an employee engagement software company committed to increase workplace happiness. Building content and trying to take over the world, one lead at a time, Paula lives online. She’s learning the ropes of digital marketing and content creation. Connect with her on Twitter or Google+.