The Happiness Factor

The Happiness Factor

How much does your employees’ happiness affect their productivity? You may be surprised to learn the correlation.

Do happy employees work harder? That’s what Gallup researcher James Harter finds to be true. Harter conducted a study that shows the link between employee feelings and corporate results, and how unhappy employees contribute to a lost productivity value of $300 billion in the US annually.

Besides the monetary consequences, it should be noted that happy employees are more creative and productive. On the flip side, unhappy employees show more inconsistency and produce low quality work.

If that’s the case, then managers should definitely focus on the well being of their employees. But how do you do that? First, you must understand what drives worker happiness.

The first thing that drives happiness is having fulfillment in the job. Naturally, fulfillment can vary from company to company, but the overall goal is the same: to take great value in what you do. The second component of happiness is to be appreciated. Workers need to know that their time and efforts are valued. They desire to receive recognition for a job well done. Lastly, happiness hinges on being able to share your successes with colleagues and customers. Success means nothing if it can’t be shared.

You know what component rarely makes the top three? Money. That may come as a surprise, but most people place higher value on being appreciated and enjoying their contributions with others than on making a lot of money.

As an employer, what can you do to facilitate happiness in your employees?

If your employees trust you as a leader who will guide them with only everyone’s best interest in mind, they will be completely devoted to you. They will feel comfortable in their communication with you and be honest in their work ethic.

Take the time to make sure your employees understand your company’s values and mission statement. Be clear about the direction the business is headed, and check to see if everyone is on board with that direction.

Give them space to do their job – don’t micromanage your employees.

Do your part to recognize when an employee may be struggling with something work or home related. Provide a safe space for them to communicate any problems they may be having, and create opportunities for them to relieve that stress. Maybe lightening up a work load for a short time, or giving a couple of extra days of vacation. This approach has a powerful impact because your employees see that they work in a supportive environment conducive to their well being, which facilitates fulfillment on the job.

Industries that tend to have the happiest people:

  • Education (real sense of making a difference in children’s lives)
  • Construction (can share the success of a completed project with others)

Industries that tend to have the unhappiest people:

  • Entertainment (gap in level of success)
  • Retail (no significant impact on customer)
  • Toll booth workers (this job lacks all three components of happiness)

Where does your company fall on the happiness scale? Have you taken into account the above points to ensure a happier workplace? We’d love to hear your comments below!

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