The most productive organizations are always the ones with happy employees. Imagine a world where people get up early and get ready to work with enthusiasm and confidence, aiming to achieve something significant. That is ideally the result of happiness at workplace, and that is how the happy and satisfied employees of an organization are supposed to be – focused, passionate and productive. In contrast, when employees hate Mondays and go to work out of necessity, they are most likely not the happiest lot.
Why should you keep employees happy?
There are various factors affecting the success of an organization. But the root cause of many of those factors can be traced to the happiness at workplace. For instance, innovation is key to maintaining a competitive edge. But innovations can only come out of a workplace that allows employees to contribute their innovations, listens to them and adapts their ideas. Such qualities in an organization are also the driving factors behind workplace happiness. In other words, the enabling factors of innovation and the ingredients of workplace happiness are the same! When you analyze the success of the organization like that, it is easy to see the benefits of happy employees.
If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.
Following are some of the benefits of ensuring workplace happiness and keeping employees happy.
- Workplace happiness inspires every employee
- Happy employees work stress-free
- Happy employees are focused
- The employee turnover from a happy workplace is less
- Happy employees walk the extra mile to get work done better and more efficiently
1. Happiness spreads far and wide, till the very end
An organization is composed of hundreds of individuals working together towards a common goal. Different teams and departments work in coordination in the same direction. They all share the same vision, similar attitudes and qualities; they are connected. As a result, If a team brings some success, a breakthrough or achievement, the mood of employee happiness and engagement can spread throughout the entire organization – all the way down to the last person.
Similarly, in general, happiness at workplace spreads amongst employees fast, and it triggers a chain reaction that leads to positivity and performance from every individual, and hence the organization as a whole. Happiness becomes infectious and it inspires everyone in the organization. It motivates everyone to work harder and do more for the organization.
Further, it filters down all the way to how the organization and the employees reach out to the customers. So, happiness at workplace is also reflected in customer relationship, spreading happiness to customers, which ultimately results in customer satisfaction. When customers are happy, they prefer to come back to you. This further increases success rate and growth.
2. A happy workplace is stress-free workplace
Work stress is an important issue in an organization that affects employees. When employees feel stressed at work, they are most likely not happy in life in general. This is because they spend more than half of their active hours at work, and stress at work can affect their quality of life. All these severely impact on the way the employees work and interact with the organization. As a result, work stress affects productivity.
Stress can occur due to various factors including increased workload, lack of support from colleagues and team members, unfriendly management, poor performance reviews, lack of periodic success and achievements, lack of recognition, etc. A happy workplace is usually the one that has already addressed all these issues. As a result, happiness at the workplace eliminates stress and results in motivated, productive and happy employees.
Work stress is far more relevant at this time of pandemic than ever before, as employees have personal issues, health issues and many other problems in addition to it. Moreover, they cannot isolate from the other problems when they are working from home. So, it is extremely crucial to ensure happiness of the employees to prevent them from being affected by work-related stress.
3. Happy employees are focused
Focus at work is vital for productivity. In order to get the work done quickly and efficiently within allotted time, employees should remain focused on the task in hand. But in order to achieve focus, the workplace should be free from elements that distract the employees from work.
Lack of happiness in the organization is a major source of distraction. When there is no happiness at workplace, there will be hundreds of problems for the employee to think about and lose their focus. A happy workplace helps employees free their minds and stop focusing on anything other than work. As a result, happy employees of an organization manage to gain the focus that is necessary to get the job done and meet the targets and objectives at personal and organizational levels.
4. Happy employees want to stay with your organization
Employee turnover can be a cause of concern for any organization. When many of the key employees quit an organization, they take with them the skills and talent that the organization has helped them to build. The organization loses important skillsets when the employees leave, and a competitor gains it at the same time when they hire those employees. So, it is a double-edged sword that can seriously affect the future of the organization. The cost of filling those positions and training the new recruits is too high, and it takes a lot of time. So organizations need to do everything they can to retain key talent.
Happiness is one of the major factors affecting an employee’s decision between staying with an organization and leaving it. It is a human tendency to stay at a happier place. When there is Workplace happiness, employees have no reason to feel insecure, doubtful or uncomfortable in the organization. As a result, they trust the organization and remain with it as long as there is happiness at workplace. Further, workplace happiness attracts fresh talents, as the prospect of working with the organization is attractive for the most skilled personnel in the industry.
5. Happy employees can do more
The relationship between an employee and an organization is purely work related. The duty of an employee ends with meeting targets, deadlines and objectives. Once he/she completes the work on time and delivers results, there is no other obligation for the employee to fulfil. An employee can be deemed productive when he/she does that.
But great organizations are not built on this ethos. In those organizations, employees take up additional responsibilities voluntarily, walk the extra mile and deliver more than what is expected out of them. It happens only when there is happiness at workplace.
Happy employees go beyond their regular duties, take up more responsibilities, take ownership of tasks and go to great lengths to get the work done.
What makes employees happy?
As mentioned above, there are numerous benefits of having happy employees. So, all organizations go in pursuit of the source of workplace happiness. But happiness cannot be achieved in a single day, and it is not the result of single factor. Organizations spend time and resources in systematically understanding what contributes to the happiness of the employees. They follow industry-standard methods to conduct employee surveys. But In general, the following practices help an organization achieve workplace happiness.
1. Be respectful and transparent
Employees are an integral part of an organization. In order for them to feel one with the organization and its vision, the organization should earn their trust and respect. Respect is a quality that is usually earned and reciprocated.
So, the organization should treat the employees with respect, in order to earn the same back from them. When there is mutual respect and admiration between the organization and the employees, happiness at workplace is ensured.
Similarly, the organization should be honest and transparent with the employees. Concealing something from the employees will breed paranoia and lack of trust. So, the organization should have transparency as a part of its culture and ensure complete honesty in all its interactions with the employees.
2. Accept ideas, suggestions and feedback
An organization with happy employees always listens to its employees. Employees will be vocal only when the organization offers them the space and freedom to voice out their concerns and feedback. When employees’ voices are heard, and when their problems are addressed, the organization becomes a happy place to work in.
3. Appreciate good work
Appreciation and recognition are some of the key motivating factors for employees to perform to the best of their abilities. When good work is appreciated and duly recognized at all levels across the organization, happiness at workplace is ensured. The culture of recognizing achievements has to be deeply ingrained in the organization to make it work at all levels.
4. Give employees rewards
When the appreciation is complemented with suitable rewards, it further reinforces happiness at workplace and the trust the employees have on the organization.
5. Include employees in decision-making
Organizations are like huge ships. They require a lot of leverage to be steered in the right direction. But unlike a ship, organizations are comprised of hundreds of human minds working towards the same objectives.
For these individuals to work together in the same direction, they should feel that they are an integral part of the structure. This feeling of oneness arises from participation and contribution to the cause. If the organization decides on its own and imposes decisions on employees, they will feel isolated from the organization, and there will not be ownership of the decisions at individual level.
So, the organization should listen to its employees while making important decisions. When the objectives, targets and general direction in which the organization progresses are all part of employees’ collective decision, then everything is in harmony, and there will be happiness at workplace.
6. Enable a good work-life balance
Work is only a part of an employee’s life. Life outside the workplace is as significant as the work life, and they both complement each other. When there is a balance between the two, happiness from one flows to the other, enriching the employee’s life. If there is no balance, both aspects of life may lack happiness. So, the organization should provide the opportunity for employees to strike a good balance between the both. A good work-life balance improves the quality of employees’ life and promotes happiness at workplace.
7. Create good career opportunities
Employees have their own personal goals and aspirations. They do not want to be static; they want progress in career. Workplace happiness is ensured only when the opportunities for growth provided by the organization coincide with their plans and aspirations of the employees. It is the responsibility of the organization to create suitable career opportunities for the employees and organize training programs for them to upgrade their skills and make them deserving of the opportunities that come in their way.
8. Create a positive organization culture
Organization culture is a set of practices and behaviors, uniformly followed by employees of the organization at all levels. It is the collective behavior of the organization as a whole. When these behaviors are employee-friendly, there is happiness across the organization as the interactions amongst employees remain positive.
9. Foster good leaders
Workplace hapappiness depends on how the employees lead and inspire the people directly below them. Good leadership on top results In the leadership qualities displayed by the management getting filtered down to all the levels below.
10. Provide adequate compensation and employee benefits
Employees are at their productive best based on what the organization gives them. Ultimately, everyone works so that they can get paid. Happy workplace is where the organization provides industry-leading compensation for the work done by the employees and other perks and benefits. While the compensation is an important factor, it is also vital for the organization to focus on other benefits as well. When the employees feel that the organization does much more than just providing compensation for the work they do, the faith they have in the organization is reinforced.