For many people, happiness is a personal goal. They intentionally craft strong relationships, nurture hobbies and interests and make healthy lifestyle choices in the pursuit of happy, fulfilling lives. But what about happiness at work?
As it turns out, happiness at work isn’t as universally prioritized. One Gallup poll found that only 13 percent of employees around the world are engaged at work – a surprising statistic considering the power of happiness in the workplace. Research shows happiness at work has a number of measurable benefits, including increased productivity and creativity and decreased overhead expenses. Here are the main reasons happy employees matter, and how you can create a culture of happiness at your place of work.
1. Happy Employees are More Productive
Happiness can have a measurable impact on work output. Research shows that productivity increases an average of 15 percent when employees are happy. This increase in productivity can be attributed to a number of things, including better collaboration, increased motivation and energy and better problem solving skills. Together, these happiness-fueled productivity boosters lead to significant increases in work output.
2. Happiness Improves Physical Wellness
There’s lots of research that shows emotional wellness and a positive outlook on life correlates strongly with good physical health. Emotional vitality, optimism and stress management can help people combat heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and other health conditions. This matters for employers for several reasons. First, you want your employees to have healthy, fulfilling lives. But when it comes down to the numbers, this also has advantages. Healthy employees take less sick time and are less likely increase already expensive healthcare costs, meaning happier employees can both save you money and produce more work.
3. Happiness Inspires Creativity
has been shown to greatly hinder the parts of the brain that fuel creativity; negativity begets fear and stress, which creates a fight-or-flight style mentality and shuts off the parts of the brain that aren’t necessary to survival. On the other side of the spectrum, a positive brain fires on all cylinders, empowering creativity and problem solving, which means creating a happy workplace experience for your employees could lead to major breakthroughs and innovations.
4. Happy Employees are Better to Work with
This one is as simple as it sounds. No one likes to work with someone who is negative and defeatist; unfortunately, all it takes is one bad apple to bring an entire team’s morale down. On the other side, when your employees are happy, they’re much better to work with across the organization. This includes not only working with you and other team members, but dealing with customers and potential customers as well – which means a happier workplace could lead to a better customer experience too. Next Steps: Building a Happy Workplace
While happiness at work clearly has many tangible benefits, 84 percent of Americans report being unhappy with their current job. Creating a culture of happiness isn’t always easy, and it will look different for every company. However, one study found that engagement and happiness at work have three common components across all teams:
- Shared vision: Employees need to know the future for your company, and have insight into how you’re driving toward that vision.
- Purpose: Employees need to feel like their work is meaningful and contributes to a greater goal.
- Relationships: Employees need to feel connected to you and their coworkers via dimensional, authentic relationships.
As you’re crafting the culture of your workplace, keep in mind the power of happy employees as you proactively work to create an environment that empowers your employees to enjoy their work. Not only will they be happier, but you’ll reap the rewards that come along with it.