If we lived and worked in an ideal world every employer would be concerned about their employees happiness simply because it is the right thing to do and they value life and value their staff. However, as we all know we don’t live in a perfect world and too many employers are far more interested in the company’s bottom line than the quality of life the people they employ enjoy every day when they come to work.
The fact is though that’s a problem for more than just the obvious reason – that that attitude is pretty cold – it’s an issue because it has been proven time and time again that happy employees add up to a better bottom line and that any money invested in encouraging employee happiness offers a great ROI for any company, no matter how large or small.
The Scientific Case for Making Your Employees Happy
There have been a number of very credible research studies published recently concerning employee happiness but one of the largest – and most reported on – was a study conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick in the UK.
After studying and questioning hundreds of employees from all over the world the researchers found that happy employees are 12% more productive, while their unhappy, dissatisfied with their job peers unhappy workers proved to be 10% less productive.
But happy employees are more than just more productive, they are also far more likely to continue working for the organization. Hey, they’re happy so why would they leave?
And, as the researchers found, happiness at work really was not about how much they were paid, many jobs offer similar salaries industry wide, it was more about the way they were treated. And as business and HR experts agree that it can cost up to twice an employee’s salary to replace them if they leave ensuring that you have happy employees who want to stick around makes very sound financial sense.
How to Create a Happier Workplace
OK, so now you understand why making a greater effort to keep your employees happy is good for your business’ bottom line. But what is the best way to go about doing so? Here are just a few strategies you can begin putting in place today, all of which are relatively painless and inexpensive.
Give More Compliments – The Warwick study found that a whopping 82% of the respondents felt more satisfied in their job if their achievements were recognized by supervisors and management. If a job has been done well it should be recognized and all it takes is a few minutes to stop by an employee’s desk and say a few positive words.
Give Employees a Little More Power – Another finding from the U of W study that you might find a little surprising is that over 80% of the respondents said that they felt happier in their jobs when they were being challenged and trusted to take on work and projects that advanced their skills and knowledge.
What does that mean on an everyday basis? As an employer, look for ways to allow your employees to undertake their own critical or innovative projects within your organization. Don’t worry too much about whether they will fail, instead trust your gut, assign the duties anyway and you’ll often be very pleasantly surprised by just what employees can do when they are empowered in this way.
Be More Flexible – The standard 9 to 5 Monday to Friday routine is not for everyone. For some the chance to work at home, even if it is just one day a week, would make a huge difference to their job satisfaction (as studies have proved) while others may just long for a few days where they could come in early to leave early, so that they can, for example, spend a little extra time with their kids before their bedtime. Or come in a little later and stay a little longer into the evening so that they can avoid a nightmare rush hour commute.
There are in fact many ways to create a happier workplace and these are just a few of them. In the end, it doesn’t really matter just how you go about it but one thing is for sure, start cultivating happiness at work today and watch and watch employee productivity soar and your profits grow tomorrow.