How Promoting Employee Happiness Benefits Everyone

by Aggie Alvarez, on Jan 21, 2020 2:46:00 PM

Group of joyful excited business people throwing papers and having fun in office

Happy employees positively affect workplace operations. Statistics show that companies that foster employee happiness outperform their competitors by 20%. It’s no surprise, then, that some companies are taking more active measures to promote positive employee experiences. 

In 2015, Airbnb became one of the most notable companies to tackle the topic of employee happiness by hiring someone whose role was specifically dedicated to managing and improving their employee’s experiences. At the time, they transitioned their Chief Human Resources Officer into their shiny new position, the Head of Employee Experience. 

The Head of Employee Experience combines traditional human resources processes and the responsibility of focusing on their new initiative — the “workplace as an experience” vision. Airbnb worked to achieve this vision by creating a group of employees in most offices that worked as a “ground control,” focused on bringing the company’s written culture to life.

So why are companies focusing so much on employee happiness and their experience at work? Beyond ranking well in Forbes’ Best Places to Work List, there are a number of benefits that outweigh the cost of investing in employee happiness. However, most offices can’t afford to hire a Head of Employee Experience. Often, departments delegate responsibilities to a single person or a team of individuals to ensure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks. At the end of the day, you want your employees to be both happy and productive. So, what are you doing to promote their happiness?

Productivity, happiness, and your bottom line.

A report titled The Financial Impact of a Positive Employee Experience dove into the correlation between financial returns and employee satisfaction in their current role. It was found that companies who ranked in the top 25% reported nearly three times the return on assets, and doubled their return on sales. These findings make it clear: Your employee’s experience is not just tied to happiness, but also productivity throughout the workplace. You can drastically improve your company’s bottom line by increasing your employees’ experiences. A happier workforce is a more productive workforce, which in turn creates a more profitable environment. 

If you notice that productivity is low and it seems you’ve done all you can do to promote employee happiness in the workplace, take a look at your hiring practices and see if there needs to be more precision when hiring. Sit down and take the time to assess gaps in your hiring process, and determine ways in which you can improve. Moving forward, this can tremendously impact your employees’ future happiness and productivity.

A work-life balance is integral toward fostering a happy workforce. Being able to separate work and personal life provides untethered freedom, allowing employees ample time to unplug and recharge. Finding small, simple ways to promote a healthy work-life balance can help combat burnout and can help your employees feel as though work doesn’t permeate every aspect of their lives. When employees aren’t having to worry about work outside of the office, it increases their drive. Allowing employees to recharge gives them the opportunity to come in with a fresh attitude instead of being bogged down. Having a clear break between life and work is an easy way to promote happiness.

Engagement, happiness, and a retained workforce.

The average cost-per-hire for companies is $4,129 per new employee, according to Hire by Google’s latest research, and the cost-per-hire of executives is exponentially higher. Recently, the Work Institute looked at trends in employee turnover and predicted that in 2020, 1 out of every 3 workers will leave their current jobs. When it costs nearly a third of an employee’s salary each time someone leaves their position, it is critical for companies to find ways to engage and retain their current human capital. 

Employees are more likely to stay in an organization that offers them opportunities to develop in their professional careers and create meaningful relationships with their coworkers and supervisors. Developing and enforcing friendships can have a great impact on your organization. Work friendships help employees to become more engaged and more innovative. 

A highly engaged workforce has resoundingly positive effects on your company. Employees will have higher ratings of profitability, productivity, and satisfaction in their roles. Additionally, a highly engaged workforce is 59% less likely to move onto a new role at a different company. Retaining your top talent will help your bottom line — rather than spending your budget on hiring and onboarding new employees, you can invest in your current workforce at a much more cost-effective rate. Take this cost-savings approach when it comes to factoring in your budget for employee happiness. 

Ask your employees for suggestions.

Your employees know what they want out of their employer better than anyone else. Take the time to ask why they enjoy their jobs, and what they would like to see changed. Doing so offers valuable insight that you can’t gather anywhere else. The classic “suggestion box” isn’t a groundbreaking tactic, but at its core, it opens up the discussions that are necessary to understanding the mindset of your employees. 

Offering your employees the support and opportunity to ask questions and suggest improvements in your organization can serve as a big win for your company. This strategy allows your employees to tap into their resources, technical savvy, and creative expertise. Their suggestions may highlight things you’ve missed in your organization, or uncover tools and resources that your employees need to become more productive and successful in their jobs. 

By inviting employees’ best ideas, you are continuing to foster and promote a more collaborative culture that sparks creativity. 

Tip: Incorporate a suggestion box in your organization. Each month, choose one suggestion and utilize this as a way to improve your company, whether big or small. Your employees will not only feel heard and appreciated, but this is also a simple and quick way to increase employee happiness. 

It might be strange to envision happiness as something you can offer to your employees, but by tweaking different aspects in your workplace, you can find ways to both not only improve your organization and benefit employees. It’s possible for your employees to be happy and productive in the workplace, and it all starts with active listening and ensuring that your employees feel engaged and valued. 

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Topics:LeadershipHuman ResourcesHealth and Wellness

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