One of our regular writers asks “how far do happy employees support business growth?”
The short answer is ‘significantly’ and studies back this up. It stands to reason as happy people tend to function more effectively, and people happy in their work would likely put more effort in and give their employer the ‘best version’ of themselves, as opposed to doing the bare minimum.
Employers supporting staff
Employers are becoming more aware of the need to support staff and help them be as happy as possible; equipping them with efficient business tools is one way.
For example, instead of laboring under the handicap of using over complicated or inadequate software to complete everyday business accounting and admin tasks modern, intuitive packages offering extra features such as stock reporting help people do their jobs more efficiently and make them feel supported and valued.
Happy workers are more productive
A study by the University of Warwick in the UK found that happy workers were driven to work harder and more effectively so increasing their productivity by 12%. This would have a beneficial effect on their employer as extra productivity helps fuel growth.
While the study took place a few years back, it’s fair to say the general principle of happiness boosting productivity would likely apply at any time.
Happy people grow in terms of getting better at their jobs, taking an interest in acquiring new and enhanced skills, and becoming more creative with ideas and suggestions because they’re engaged and interested. All this helps growth as – cliched as it may sound – an organizations’s biggest asset is its people.
People tend to do more in less time when happy and motivated, and it’s a two way street – if an employer is interested in their employees and takes care of them, then they’ll take an interest and help take care of their employer’s business.
Defining ‘being happy’
Being happy is many people’s overall aim but not many can easily define it.
In a book about employee engagement its author Patrick Lencioni crystalized employee happiness in this way:
- Who they are matters – people know who the employee is and acknowledge them
- What they do has an impact – they feel they’re engaged in relevant and important work
- They’re making progress – their work has an impact and is helping the organization they work for make meaningful progress
People generally thrive when they’re using their strengths in terms of abilities and skills. This tends to help employees develop and, as discussed earlier, they’ll be more inclined to want to add to their skills and become more valuable so helping their company grow.
Happiness begets happiness
A happy worker will be even happier if he or she is engaging with other happy people at work so fostering good morale and a genuine team attitude. This contrasts with workplaces where people are negative and uncommitted – it transmits to others who pick up on this atmosphere.
Understanding the workforce
Employers who understand what their workforce hope to experience in their jobs and their motivations are on the way to creating happy employees. It’s often just the basics though such as making people feel valued and providing supporting through equipping them with the means to do their jobs well.
Employees who enjoy their jobs and those who manage them through it are much more likely to stay and therefore help contribute to the growth and strength of the business.