How happiness can drive better business performance

Unlocking productivity, creativity and innovation is less complicated than you think argues the founder of The Happiness Index.

Workplace happiness and business performance are directly linked. Happiness is a precursor to creativity, innovation and productivity which all massively impact your bottom line. On top of this, our research highlights it can boost innovation by 300% (Harvard Business Review) and reduce absences by 66% (Forbes).

So, whether your headcount is five people or runs to 5,000, if they aren’t happy then your business will suffer because you’ll be forced to spend more time recruiting than innovating.

Driven by the belief that everyone has the right to be happy, The Happiness Index compiled a study to better understand the catalysts to workplace happiness. We found there is a big disconnect between what makes employees happy and what employers think makes them happy. For any business interested in boosting its performance, bridging the happiness gap is key to success with five areas to focus on.

1. We all want to feel valued

Being valued is the number one happiness factor for employees. It also has the strongest correlation to how much a person enjoys their job. By creating tailored and flexible programmes which don’t just reward but do a great job in recognising everyone’s input, you’ll ensure everyone feels valued.

2. Trust is paramount

‘Trust in people you work with’ was the fifth most important happiness factor for both employers and staff. On top of this, our correlation analysis showed it has the greatest impact on employee happiness. Initiatives such as improving communication, developing an open, transparent and accountable culture and implementing a flexible working approach will highlight how much you trust and value your people.

3. Seniority creates disparity

There’s a definite disconnect between what makes employers and staff happy at work. Employers are missing key opportunities to improve their workplaces across core areas like valuing the individual, career development and trust. Empathy is a powerful leadership trait – by regularly communicating with your people you will understand their needs. This paves the way to create meaningful actions which boost happiness.

4. Career development is key

Our research shows that employees are dissatisfied with their career development across the board. By creating career development paths that provide a clear roadmap for success, people won’t feel like their careers are stagnating.

5. Salary won’t solve it

Whilst pay and benefits are an important factor, it isn’t at the top for staff and sits in a lowly ninth place for employers. If businesses truly want to create a happy and engaged workforce, they should focus on other factors like work-life balance and communicating value. Although paying people well never hurts…
One thing our research highlighted was the danger of thinking you know what keeps people fulfilled or simply assuming that they are.

Every manager will have a team which has their own ideas, opinions and concerns about their careers and your organisation. You may not like the feedback your people are giving you… but it is their reality.

A happy workplace starts with listening to and valuing individuals, however big you are. If you want to use happiness as a catalyst for success this is where you need to start.

Author: Tony Latter | Category: Blog | 12/03/2019 | 0

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