Ask any group of managers what role employee happiness plays on the job, and you’ll get a wide range of answers. Some managers still believe that happiness is irrelevant, while others have begun to realize that employee happiness is key in measurable factors like productivity and retention rates.
Why Happiness Matters
Studies of employees’ emotional orientation to their work have discovered employee happiness is directly related to the quality of the work employees produce, as well as to other factors like recruitment and retention. For example:
- Happiness boosts engagement. Employees who enjoy coming to work each day find it easier to stay focused on the task in front of them. They’re more likely to seek out additional tasks and take initiative even on routine or “boring” tasks.
- Happiness boosts intrinsic motivation. Employees who find their work fulfilling for its own sake are more likely to do it well, to avoid distraction and to seek more challenges. The need for rewards or penalties imposed by managers diminishes or disappears.
- Happiness improves productivity. When employees are engaged and intrinsically motivated, they feel a sense of ownership in the work and results that leads them to focus on quality and to seek ways to innovate.
- Happiness boosts recruitment and retention. As the centerpiece of your employment branding efforts, happiness is a powerful recruitment tool. As a key focus for employees, happiness boosts retention: Why take a chance with an employer who might not make you happy, when you already have one who does?
Boosting Your Team’s “Happiness Quotient”: A Quick-Start Guide
Here’s how managers can improve happiness on their teams and take advantage of the resulting benefits:
- Talk to your team. Surveys are a great way to spot what factors of the job or workplace boost happiness and which are diminishing happiness. They can also help you gather ideas from your staff for ways to fix problems.
- Measure what can be measured. Since happiness is closely linked to productivity and retention rates, choose quantifiers for these and measure them before making any changes. Keep an eye on these numbers as you proceed: They’ll help you determine what works and what doesn’t.
- Work with your recruiter. Your staffing partner can provide additional perspective on your company’s culture, your recruiting process, and how to improve your employment brand and retention.