Healthy Workplaces: Employee Happiness at Work
With the wave of digital advancements, it’s easy to forget that happiness is just as essential to achieving business goals. Companies are making record-breaking investments in technologies to connect their employees to each other, customers, and other stakeholders. Yet, many still struggle because there are too many silos, excess uncertainty, the fear of more work and loss of control, especially over processes that were established over time.
It’s a prevalent issue, but happiness can be a part of your solution. After all, we all seek out happiness in what we do and it is powerful at connecting us with each other.
Does It Spark Joy?
Joy and happiness are clearly seen in team efforts, particularly sports teams. When a team gives a breathtaking performance, overcoming its limitations and challenges, the entire arena erupts in jubilation and triumph. Success creates happiness. Happiness fuels success. And it’s not hard to see why:
- Happy employees are 13% more productive.
- Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 21%.
- Employees who report being happy at work take ten times fewer sick days than unhappy employees.
Yet, there seems to be a “joy gap” that many employees are facing. A survey of more than 500 workers by A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm, found that while the vast majority (90%) of respondents expect to be happy at work, few (37%) actually do – resulting in a gap of 53%. This gap isn’t confined to a particular generation either; for Gen X and Millennials (the vast majority of the sample), the joy gap was 57% and 44%, respectively. As a leader, you likely think a great deal about success, but maybe not so much about joy. You aren’t alone. Few are even aware of the joy gap in their teams and the resulting lack of interpersonal connection and team aspiration. Crafting a business culture that revolves around providing those joyful experiences is critical to attracting and retaining great talent.
Improving the Employee Experience
The most important thing you can do is make room for it in all company aspects. Make happiness an important part of your corporate purpose and incorporate meaningful efforts toward ensuring all employees feel heard, recognized, and acknowledged. As a leader, here are some strategies you can use:
Encourage interoffice communication. Promoting friendship and comradery through cross-unit teams can help you create spaces where joint teamwork can deliver impact, shared success, and, most importantly, fun!
Celebrating victories. No matter how small the win or reserved the employee is, showing affirmation that your team members are performing well provides a welcome morale boost. At Prevue, the sales team rings a gong each time they make a sale and the entire office gets to collectively celebrate the win!
Listen to feedback. There’s always something that can be improved. Be open to feedback and take the time to sit down with your team member and consider their opinion before making any adjustments. In fact, some of the best decisions you’ll make will be prompted by your employees.
Employee happiness is just as important as technology if invested in. You need both to maintain and retain team members through unprecedented challenges and the ever-inevitable crunch times. Your people are your most important assets; while technology gives you the framework for connectivity, your employees and workplace culture define how far that connectivity will take you.