Whilst we’ve all heard of the saying money can’t buy you happiness, what if it was the other way around? What if happiness could make your business more money? Well, a lot of people agree.
Happy employees are vital for a successful company. We know it may sound obvious, but happy employees mean they want to be there, they enjoy doing their jobs and they are motivated to continue to succeed. When an employee derives some happiness from their job, coworkers, boss, or clients, they’re going to be more productive – and research would agree.
Consider Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ for instance, stock prices rose an average of 14% per year from 1998-2005 for these businesses, compared to only 6% for the rest of the market. If that data is not recent enough for you, then consider Oxford Universities 2019 report that found that happy workers are 13% more productive than unhappy employees.
Whilst these statistics may be new for information for you, it’s not that surprising right? Consider yourself for instance. When you’re feeling happy and positive, you want to work hard – work doesn’t feel like a chore. Happy employees will generate more profit as they will simply do their job better than unhappy employees, but don’t take it from us.
When we consider unhappy employees, a report done by Gallup found that disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents and 60% more errors and defects. Similarly, a decade long report done by Queens University Centre for Business Venturing found that businesses with low employee engagement scores, experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability and 65% lower share price over time. Making your employees happier should therefore be seen as a smart business investment, not simply an act of good will.
But how can businesses create a culture of fun, joy and happiness, especially if the company isn’t traditionally thought of as a place of excitement? We at Brainiact are here to provide you with three top tips to help you begin to change your workplace for the better.
Adapt to your employees’ moods through flexible workplace opportunities
Productivity can be fostered through your business’s workplace culture. Ensuring that everyone is always feeling joyous isn’t a reasonable goal though. Understanding and providing flexibility within your business model can be a great method of ensuring your employees are grateful for their job and continue to attribute positive connotations to their role.
Let’s be honest, no one can be happy all the time and upsetting things can occur in a person’s life at any moment. By providing options for employees to work from home, dictate their work hours (within reason) and ensure they don’t feel nervous to ask for a sick day when required, are all methods that will ensure you are supporting employees during periods where they aren’t feeling their best.
By allowing employees to be a little more flexible with how they complete the requirements of their position, enables them to take care of themselves and to feel supported by you. Whilst on the surface this may seem like a daunting task to implement for business owners, it actually will promote better productivity. If an employee has to go to work and interact with their colleagues during difficult moments in their life, this can cause them to feel down and unhappier than if they were working from home. A trial by Suncorp bank found that by offering ‘Work at Home Hubs’, they saw vast improvements in employee engagement, reduction in employee turnover and increased positive customer experiences.
Whilst we’re not saying to pack up your bags and force everyone to work from home, what we are recommending is to consider providing greater flexibility to your employees. What these flexible options are is dependent on what your business is, how big it is and what each position requires, which we can help you figure out if you’re confused.
Just like in high school, friends are what makes people happy
When you were a kid, did you like going to school to learn or was it more about seeing your friends? Or, as an adult, do you prefer to do errands alone or with friends? Friendships are what makes boring and mundane tasks fun and exciting. Friends are what makes our lives exceedingly more enjoyable, and the workplace is no different.
A study completed by Gallup found that 27% of people who identified with having a ‘best friend’ at work were more likely to report that they felt their job was important. If that isn’t enough, LinkedIn completed a report that found that 46% of professionals worldwide believed that work friends are important to their overall happiness. Research doesn’t lie, creating close bonds with your colleagues helps support individual’s happiness and in turn helps your business prosper.
But how can you create these friendships? We understand, as much as we would love to say that you can do what your parents did and just force you to hang out with certain people, as a boss it’s not your job to make people be friends. But you can encourage it!
Creating work events, encouraging informal meetings over formal meetings, or even inviting your staff to sign up for a running race – all of these things can help people loosen up, get to know one another and become more friendly. Think outside of the box, ask your staff what activities would make them happy and get your staff talking. Everyone needs a friend at work.
Celebrate success and give help
We can all agree that when someone acknowledges our hard work or when we’ve done something really well, that it feels good. Whilst yes, if someone does something wrong you should let them know, this shouldn’t be the only way of communicating with your employees. Happiness comes from feeling appreciated, and only noticing someone’s mistakes can make them feel undervalued, worthless or like an imposter.
In a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, 69% of employees felt greater joy at work when colleagues acknowledged others’ contribution to team success and 75% of employees felt more joy when shared success is celebrated within the team. People like to enjoy the good things, if someone or the whole team has helped gain you and your business success, then acknowledge it and celebrate it!
Whilst celebrating success is a great way of promoting a positive office culture, another method is by offering your help when needed. We understand more than most that being a boss of a small-to-medium-sized business can be a massive job, however offering to help your employees when they need it is crucial. Not only does it promote compassion from your employees, but it also provides you the opportunity to praise their actions and commitment to the job.
A study conducted by Barbara van Knippenberg and Dan van Knippenberg, found that bosses who offered their help saw productivity levels and effectiveness ratings improve. So go ahead, offer your help, see your employees become happier and watch your business prosper. It can’t hurt to make your workplace more joyful.
As a small-to-medium-sized business owner, ensuring your employees are happy is a much easier task than for multinational corporations. This is a competitive edge that when done right could mean greater profit for you. Creating a culture of happiness is not an easy task though.
Here at Brainiact, we recognise that whilst business owners may aim to make their employees happy, this isn’t always successful. To make unhappy employees happy again, you will need to change your workplace culture, which sometimes can’t be achieved by the employees themselves. Often, bosses or HR must ask for outside help so that others can look at the business structure in an unbiased and highly critical way. Businesses such as Brainiact or The Outperformer are great examples of companies that can help you amplify a culture of happiness, in turn helping your business gain greater longevity and prosperity.
If you are considering getting our expert help but aren’t sure about how it can fit in with your budget, then take a look at our affordable monthly subscription model or contact us today. We’re here to help.