Happier employees = greater success

Employers focused on a happier culture see definite gains in areas such as productivity, wellness, innovation and profitability

Happier employees = greater success
A positive workplace contributes to the overall wellness of employees. Credit: fizkes (Shutterstock)

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The well-being of employees is one of the key factors of an organization’s success. While almost every employer recognizes the importance of hiring the right talent, not many realize that real success lies in providing a happy work culture.

A culture that promotes employee well-being and happiness is the key that unlocks their true potential.

It’s no surprise that some of the world’s most successful companies like Google are becoming a leading example of successful work cultures that promote employee happiness.

At Venngo, employee happiness is the core principle of its business philosophy. Here are a few significant ways an organization sees gains with the creation of a happy work culture:

Productivity

Employee productivity is the backbone of any organization’s success.

A study from the University of Warwick, U.K., in 2015 — based on four different experiments with more than 700 participants — found happiness made people about 12 per cent more productive. Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20 per cent, and happy salespeople close 37 per cent more sales.

“The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality,” says Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the university. 

Another study, by the Harvard Business Review, concluded that happy employees have 31 per cent higher productivity.

Successful organizations today are always on the lookout for various strategies to promote employee happiness. Having perks and benefits that improve an employee’s life are reminders of how much their organization cares for them.

In turn, they are happier and care more about the organization’s objectives, thus improving their productivity.

Wellness 

A positive workplace contributes to the overall wellness of employees.

According to a Wrike survey in 2019, happier employees demonstrate an impressive 79 per cent lower burnout. 

When employees are feeling their best, they operate at their best. They make better decisions and cope with challenging situations confidently. In times of pressure, they are more likely to exercise better judgment in the interest of their organization. 

Stress-related absences cost Canadian employers about $3.5 billion each year, according to Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, whereas happier employees are more likely to show up for work and engage in their tasks with a growth mindset. 

Innovation

Research shows that when people work with a positive mindset, performance on nearly every level — productivity, creativity, engagement — improves.

Being happy can free up the brain, allowing for increased mental flexibility and imagination. Happier employees feel motivated to speak their mind and inject fresh ideas into their company.

Retention

A study by the Work Institute in 2017 states that the average cost of losing an employee is a staggering 33 per cent of their annual salary. However, creating a happy work culture can save employers the cost, time and the nuisances of losing talented people.

Happy employees have a 61 per cent lower likelihood of leaving versus unhappy employees, found the Wrike survey. 

Research from Gallup also found high-turnover organizations see a 24 per cent drop in turnover when employees are highly engaged, while low-turnover employers see 59 per cent lower turnover rates. 

And highly engaged business units also realize a 41 per cent reduction in absenteeism, so employees are less likely to avoid work if they’re feeling good about being there. 

Profitability

While all these areas obviously connect to an organization’s overall bottom line, a 2018 study from the University of Tennessee further confirmed the link when it found firms with a higher employee-friendly culture are valued higher and perform better. 

In using a sample of 3,446 firms from 43 countries between 2003 to 2014, researchers found that companies with a higher employee-friendly score achieved better return on assets and equity than their peers with lower employee-friendly ratings, according to Forbes.

Statistics from New Century Financial Corporation indicate companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20 per cent, earn 1.2 to 1.7 per cent more than their peer firms, and are 2.1 per cent above industry benchmarks. 

Reputation

Research shows that on average, people now spend more than 13 years of their lives at work. The average worker spends nearly a quarter of their time on the job during a typical 50-year stint of employment. This literally equates the workplace with their family.

Hence, most organizations are waking up to the fact that they need to find new ways to treat employees like their families.

An employee who feels rewarded and cared for will always deliver more value to the organization.

And since employees are also the ambassadors of any organization, how they feel about their workplace is a huge factor in determining its reputation. The better your reputation, the easier it is to attract talented people. 

According to the American Psychological Association, 89 per cent of workers at companies that support well-being efforts are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work.

Happiness or success, which comes first?

“We believe success is not the key to happiness, but happiness is the key to success,” says Tom De lulis, senior vice-president of strategy and product at Venngo.

“As more and more organizations make employee happiness a top priority, we are here to support them. To us, happiness is not a destination but a little perk you can find anywhere you go.”

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