Happy Workforce, Successful Outcomes

- The Case for Positive Emotions at Work

Happier people work smarter, faster and are more capable of producing extraordinary results.

One study found that happier doctors made the right diagnosis faster and showed much more creativity. Insurance agents and sales executives who were more positive sold more policies and negotiated better business deals, respectively, than their counterparts who were emotionally neutral or negative.

Study after study has shown up the amazing benefits of your people experiencing more positive emotions.

Does Happiness Promote Career Success? Julia K. Boehm and Sonja Lyubomirsky in Journal of Career Assessment 2008; 16; 101.

From looking at 99 cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental studies, the authors arrived at the following conclusions:

Happy people are more satisfied with their jobs. They perform better on assigned tasks than less their happy peers and are more likely to take on extra-role tasks such as helping others. Happy people are less likely to exhibit withdrawal behaviors such as absenteeism.

Overall, happy people enjoy greater workplace success than less happy people.

The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect. Does Happiness Lead to Success? Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, Ed Diener. In press, Psychological Bulletin.

From looking at 225 studies, the authors found that positive emotions foster sociability and activity, altruism, liking of self and others, strong bodies and immune systems, effective conflict resolution skills and original thinking.

Happiness at Work: Maximising your Psychological Capital at Work, Jessica Pryce-Jones

Compared with their least happy colleagues, the happiest employees:

  • Spend 65% more time feeling energised
  • Have a 50% stronger sense of getting things done
  • Feel 56% more effective at their work
  • Take 6 fewer sick days per year, and stay twice as long in their jobs

The Value of Happiness: How Employee Well-Being Drives Profits, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2012

Researchers at Gallup found that retail stores that scored higher on employee life satisfaction generated $21 more in earnings per square foot of space than the other stores, adding $32 million in additional profits for the whole chain.

In a study of service departments, Jennifer George and Kenneth Bettenhausen found that employees who score high in life satisfaction are significantly more likely to receive high ratings from customers.