Does happiness at work have a real impact on employee productivity?

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L'équipe Talkspirit
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Temps de lecture : 5 minutes

A company’s success relies, in large part, on how productive its workforce is. And if you want to inspire your employees to be more productive, one of the best things you can do? Try to make them happier.

Research has shown that happiness at work plays a huge part in employee productivity. For example, according to a recent study from the University of Oxford, employees are 13 percent more productive when they’re happy. (A 2015 study from the University of Warwick found a similar correlation between employee happiness and employee productivity.) 

But how, exactly, are happiness and productivity linked? In what ways are happy employees more productive than their less happy counterparts? And what can organizations do to increase happiness at work—and increase productivity in the process?

Happy employees work more efficiently…

One of the main connections between happiness at work and productivity is that happy employees are more efficient at completing tasks.

According to research from the University of Oxford, which surveyed telesales workers at a large telecommunications company, happy employees were able to make more calls per hour than unhappy employees. Or, in other words, employees were able to complete more tasks in a given time frame when they were happy.

…and drive better results

Not only were employees able to check more items off their to-do list when they experience happiness at work—they were also able to drive more results.

In addition to making more calls per hour, happy employees were also able to convert more of those calls into sales. So, during any given shift, happy employees weren’t just getting more done; they were actually bringing in more revenue to the company.

Happiness at work reduces turnover

Happiness at work can also lower employee turnover—and the lower your turnover, the more productive your organization will be as a whole.

Lowering turnover increases productivity in a variety of ways. For example, when turnover is high, your organization’s human resources team has to spend a lot of time and energy recruiting for open positions. When you lower turnover, you free up that time and energy for your HR team to work on more important projects.

In addition, hiring new talent (instead of keeping existing talent in their roles or promoting them within the organization) can cause a drop in productivity—and that productivity drop might last longer than you think. For example, according to research from Deloitte, it can take new hires nearly two years to reach the productivity level of an internal hire. 

Bottom line? Employees that experience happiness at work are less likely to leave the organization. This lowers turnover—which helps support a higher level of productivity across the organization.

Also read: How to Reinvent the Employee Experience in the Era of Hybrid Work

Tips for increasing employee happiness

Clearly, increasing happiness at work is a must if you want to foster more productivity in your organization.

But how do you do that? Here are three strategies you can use to increase employee happiness—and increase productivity right along with it:

Recognize and appreciate your team

It’s hard to experience happiness at work if you feel like your hard work and contributions are unnoticed and unappreciated. In fact, according to research from the Tanner Learning Group, a whopping 79 percent of people that left their job cited a lack of appreciation as a key reason for their departure.

So, if you want your employees to feel happier at work? Show them the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

The best way to recognize and appreciate your team will vary from employee to employee. For example, some employees might love to have their hard work called out during an all-hands meeting—while others might find that kind of public appreciation overwhelming and prefer to be shown appreciation privately, like in an email or in a one-on-one meeting. 

How you show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their hard work is up to you. But if you want your employees to be happier at work—and more productive as a result? Just make sure that you’re celebrating their wins, recognizing their contributions, and showing appreciation for their hard work—and that you’re doing so on a regular basis.

Also read: Managers, Instill a Feedback Culture in your Team!

Invest in employee wellness

Happiness and productivity go hand-in-hand with wellness. In order to really experience happiness at work—and experience the productivity boost to go along with it—you also need to feel healthy, both physically and mentally. 

Employees are becoming more invested in their own wellness. According to a recent survey from Aetna International, most employees claim that their physical health (89 percent) and mental health (84 percent) is more important to them now than it was prior to the pandemic.

So, if you want your employees to be happier and more productive? Invest in their wellness.

Again, how you invest in your employees’ wellness will depend on your employees and your organization. Is your entire team working in the office? You might stock the kitchen with healthy snacks or bring in a yoga instructor to lead a weekly on-site yoga class and meditation. Do you have a fully remote team? Consider offering employees a wellness stipend to spend as they please. Does your workforce seem frazzled and overwhelmed? Consider overhauling your company’s policy around mental health days—and encourage your team to take time off when they need it.

When employees not only feel healthy, but feel that their company is invested in their health, it can lead to higher levels of happiness—and higher levels of productivity. 

Also read: Changing Work Modes: What Role Does Quality of Work Life Play?

Ask your employees what they need to be happy—and then give it to them

As an organization, you can try to figure out different ways to make your employees happier at work. But why not just ask them?

Survey your employees and ask them what they need to feel happier at work. Then (and this is the important part!), listen to their responses—and, whenever possible, give them what they want.

For example, if your employees say that better benefits would make them happier, explore alternative benefits packages—and give them the best package your budget allows. If employees ask for more flexible work options, do what you can to provide that flexibility—whether that’s allowing employees to adjust their work hours to better accommodate their schedules or by moving towards a hybrid work environment and allowing employees to split their time between working from home and working from the office.

Also read: Hybrid Work: HR and Internal Communication Best Practices

And if employees ask for tools that empower them to do better work? Give them those tools—tools like Talkspirit.

Talkspirit is an all-in-one communication and collaboration platform that gives teams and employees the tools they need to do their best work—including a chat platform, a newsfeed and home portal, an internal drive, and project management and collaboration features. Talkspirit gives your employees the features and functionality they need to succeed at work—and when employees have what they need to be successful, they’re likely to feel happier at work, too.

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Want to experience how Talkspirit can help you build a happier, more productive workforce? Schedule a demo or get started with a free trial today! 

Author : Deanna deBara

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