Remember that time you were unhappy at work, dissatisfied with your boss, frustrated with the effort of your teammates, and proceeded to put forth the most productive day in the history of your company? Of course not! It’s not just you, miserable employees equal unproductive–or even counterproductive–employees.
So what exactly is the relationship between office productivity and employee happiness?
Happy Employees Are More Productive
Company culture matters. This is something most employees recognize intuitively, yet company owners, executives, and office managers sometimes lose sight of this detail.
This is not just intuition. The role of employee happiness has been verified through a study conducted by Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr. Eugenio Proto, and Dr. Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, in the UK.
The study included four different experiments with over 700 participants and concluded that happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy employees. That may not sound like much, but imagine if your sales increased by 12% this month without putting forth any additional time or effort than you did last month. Imagine if each employee (including yourself) in your office got 12% better this month. It would likely have a major impact on your office’s productivity and corporate bottom line.
Employee Happiness and Productivity Data
- Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%
- Happy salespeople produce 37% more sales
- 36% of employees would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work
- Employees who report being happy at work are 10 times less likely to call in sick
What Can You Do to Facilitate Employee Happiness?
Managers at all levels have influence over your employees and their happiness while at work. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Build an awesome office. How your shared workspace is configured plays an important role in employee mood. Large, open spaces, with a lot of natural light, for example, facilitate employee happiness. Look for ways you can improve your office layout–even if it means switching offices.
- Give employees the tools to succeed. It’s hard to be happy at work when the copy machine is constantly jammed or when easily automated processes remain manual. Invest a little money in time-saving technology and receive a large rate of return in the form of employee happiness.
- Offer lots of perks. Most individuals show up for work because they receive money on a regular basis in exchange for their efforts. That’s not the only factor, however, in maintaining a happy atmosphere. Employee Perks such as snacks, a recreation room, the occasional party, for example, can make a huge difference in employee happiness.
- Include employees when making decisions. Solicit feedback from workers on how to make the office run better. Ask them about the office layout, what processes can be automated, and what perks they would like. In addition to learning what they actually want, you’ll empower them.
Important trends in office happiness
A 2013 survey that included over 300 global organizations and over 40,000 responses indicates certain trends in regard to employee satisfaction. As you seek to create a happy environment in your office, keep the following trends in mind.
- Less than half of employees know their company’s mission statement and values. Those that do, however, are more likely to be engaged in their work.
- Co-workers are more influential than direct supervisors in regard to employee happiness. In other words, hiring the right people has a ripple effect on the entire organization.
- The ability to work as part of a team is qualities most appreciated by a co-worker. Consider this an important part of the interview process when hiring.
- Management transparency plays an important role in employee happiness. Transparency costs nothing. It simply requires better communication. Employees want to know what’s expected of them.
- Organizations that promote employee suggestions have happier employees. This is another simple change that costs nothing. Encouraging employee suggestions is one more way to empower employees.
It’s not just your personal experience, there is a statistical correlation between employee happiness with their productivity. It is never too soon to put the tools and culture in place to get the most from your workers.