Investing in happiness for less stressed, more productive workforce

A happy workforce makes for a successful business. That’s a pretty powerful statement but there is plenty of evidence to support the idea. So if you’re a business owner, it’s worth investing some time and resources in making your workplace a happier place.

Some food for thought
There’s been a lot of research into the impact that workforce happiness and wellbeing can have in the corporate world. What makes this so exciting is the tangible results that these studies are able to demonstrate.

A Social Marketing Foundation report in 2015 describes experiments on 700 people by the University of Warwick which showed a 12% increase in productivity by happy workers when compared to a control group.

Happiness is even more important among your sales force. The Harvard Business Review reported on research showing that productivity goes up by 37% among happy sales people – a figure that should make any business owner sit up and listen.

Why is a happy workforce better?
So why is a happy work force more productive? What’s changing to make them work harder? It seems that happiness affects multiple aspects of both individuals and teams, for example:

● Staff churn is reduced where teams are happy.

● People’s ability to think laterally increases, as does their ability to process more complex information, think quicker and be more analytical.

● People have more self-confidence and a positive attitude so they tend to be more at ease with risk taking and making mistakes, leading to greater creativity and learning.

● People are more creative.

● Stress and its associated problems is reduced in the workplace.

● Teams support each other better.

● We are better able to manage adversity.

● People tend to be healthier when happy, so absence from work is reduced.

What is “happy” and how can you create a happy workforce?
Happiness is all about greater wellbeing, reduced stress and feeling valued. The good news is happiness seems to be contagious, spreading through a business, so by introducing some initiatives that start to impact on a few employees happiness will spread through your organisation. So what can you do?

● Create a sense of belonging and purpose. Ensure employees are engaged in meaningful work and know they have the trust and autonomy to get on with it.

● Provide opportunities to learn and have fun together. Having a social connection is key to building teams that support and better understand each other.

● Provide healthcare benefits and supportive services.

● Provide benefits that reflect the different needs of your workforce: flexi-time, funding towards training, extra holidays, gym membership. Make benefits meaningful by understanding the demographics within you team and what people want.