The world has many cases of people getting worried, anxious, and depressed. The pandemic, among other things, impacted people’s mental health, and employees were not left out. However, the sad reality is that unhappy employees are bad for business.
According to a recent poll, only an underwhelming 15% of individuals in the world like their jobs. The other percentage view their jobs as something to endure for money’s sake. This is not good as unhappy and unengaged workers tend to be less productive.
Imagine an organization with happy and engaged employees who feel seen and supported. A 2021 research by Warwick university showed that happiness makes people more productive at work. They found that happiness leads to a 12% increase in productivity.
For this and many other reasons, keeping employees happy is essential. But unfortunately, most organizations focus only on customer happiness and satisfaction, which shouldn’t be so.
Making your employees happy and supporting them isn’t rocket science. There are simple things to do that will go a long way in making them joyful, ultimately positively impacting their work output.
This article highlights and discusses some of the ways to increase employee productivity and happiness.
Why employee happiness matters
Some managers and business owners believe wages/salaries are employees’ only motivation to work. They feel like their employees are being paid to do a job, and that’s all that matters. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The employees will obviously carry out their tasks and do their jobs. However, there’s a significant difference between the tasks performed by happy and unhappy employees.
Below is a list of reasons it is essential to keep employees happy.
The morale around the workplace can have a positive or negative impact on the decisions employees make. Happy workers are likelier to make intelligent, well-thought decisions as they’re less stressed and have little to no anxiety.
Conversely, unhappy employees are most likely distracted and will make poor decisions that may affect the overall business.
Happiness in the workplace and productivity are directly related
Employee happiness, engagement, and performance are all interrelated. Happier employees are more engaged. Also, engaged employees show increased productivity.
A positive work environment encourages employee relationships, boosts personal well-being, and ultimately benefits your business.
The multiplying effect
Happiness is contagious and can spread throughout the company. Happy employees make excellent role models for their co-workers and encourage them to enjoy their work.
This boosts productivity. It increases workers’ resourcefulness and skills through improved work relationships, which in turn expands employee creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Creativity is the core of any business, and happy, productive employees are inspired, creative individuals who will create the solutions your business needs to bloom.
Better customer service
It’s only logical that employees with a better mood and attitude will offer excellent customer service in contrast to those who are unhappy. Customers can identify these types of employees and will always love to approach them first.
Happy employees are less likely to quit
Workers who love their job and are happy to be there are highly unlikely to quit. This is also good for your business as it costs a lot to hire a new employee.
Six ways to increase employee productivity and happiness
Seeing how important it is for employees to be happy and productive, you must know how and what to do to ensure this. Unfortunately, many business owners assume that increasing salaries or giving promotions is the only way to make their workers happy.
This, however, is a short-lived way to keep employees happy, satisfied, and content at their jobs. Other creative and cost-effective methods provide employees with a positive, comfortable, and ultimately productive environment.
As a business owner, you must be intentional about employee engagement and productivity. If you’re out of ideas, this list of ideas for employee engagement, productivity, and happiness can help you out.
Prioritize work-life balance
Employees’ work-life balance significantly affects their happiness during work hours. Often, work takes precedence over every other thing in employees’ lives. Creating the perfect work-life balance can improve an employee’s overall physical and mental well-being.
Work-life balance is the state of equilibrium where an individual equally prioritizes work and personal life demands.
Ensuring your workers have an outstanding work-life balance is a vital building block for a healthy work environment and employees’ happiness.
It ultimately improves productivity. Giving your workers more flexibility will reduce overall stress and help prevent burnout at work.
Other ways to improve employees’ work-life balance include sharing breaks and time-off, focusing on productivity, not work hours, regularly reviewing workloads, encouraging workers to volunteer, and increasing support for parents.
Listening and communication
It’s important to understand that employees are also humans, not paid robots. They have feelings, too, and go through things even at work. This may dampen their mood and make them less productive.
As an employer, create an avenue whereby your employees have easy access to communicate their work freely and probably personal problems, ideas, proposals, and concerns.
When they have a listening ear that can also offer solutions, this can raise their moods and positively impact their productivity levels. Listening to your employees will make them feel seen.
To achieve this, business owners and managers must improve their communication and listening skills to create a healthy working environment.
Reward hard work
Employees work hard to accomplish their various tasks at work and impress their bosses. Hence, rewarding hard work and good work can improve the team’s morale. Even a little thank you goes a long way.
Business owners and bosses should realize that rewarding or recognizing an employee’s brilliance doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. The little things also matter.
Employees feel happy and noticed when their superiors hail their hard work and recognize the effort and time they put into their achievements.
When workers receive good benefits and rewards in their workplace, it increases employee loyalty. The organization will also see an increase in productivity, revenue, and growth. These also help with other essential workplace metrics including employee engagement, employee retention, etc.
Keep employees engaged
Investing in your workers’ engagement is investing in your business progress. Employee engagement refers to the level of enthusiasm and dedication a team member feels toward their job.
Employee engagement can be essential to an organization’s success, given its links to job satisfaction and employee morale.
Engaged employees are most likely to be productive and higher performing. In fact, highly engaged teams are 21% more effective and generate 22% higher profits than teams with low engagement. Employee engagement should be included in your long-term strategy for building and improving company culture.
Some of the ways to keep employees engaged include creating personal growth plans for everyone, giving practical ways to work according to your company values, and making engagement part of the onboarding process.
Improve the office space
The last two decades have seen a revolution in modern office designs. While office designs come and go, one thing that remains constant is their impact on the well-being of the employees.
A quality workspace design offers a less stressful and more productive atmosphere. Staff members need to feel calm and comfortable in their office space to do the best work. It’s pretty impossible to be happy and productive when all you can think about is how uncomfortable you are.
Business owners should try as much as possible to invest in comfortable furniture, aesthetically pleasing designs, workplace facilities, etc.
Also, encourage personalization of space among employees. This helps them feel a sense of home whenever they come to the workplace. A stress-free and comfortable office environment delights and recharges employees, which increases productivity.
Remote work, breaks, and vacations
Although the pandemic has forced many organizations to integrate remote work into their culture, many companies still mandate employees to come to work physically.
While this is not a bad thing, business owners should permit flexibility. For example, allow your employees to work from home from time to time, as this can prevent burnout.
Give breaks during work hours. Encourage employees to take water breaks, coffee breaks, or just go out for walks. This helps refresh the brain, and they return with their A-game.
As a manager or business owner, you can lead by example and take breaks, so your workers can emulate you.
Vacations can also impact the overall happiness and productivity of an employee. When they go on holiday, they come back refreshed, more innovative, and more productive.
Your employees are the heart of the organization. Therefore, their happiness and productivity are essential to the company’s progress.
It therefore becomes important for business owners, managers and supervisors to become intentional about making the employees happy and comfortable. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
This article discussed some ways to increase employee happiness and productivity.