10 Benefits Of Happy Employees You May Be Missing Out On
A corporate sector senior once told me, “I don’t need my staff to be happy. I just need them to get the work done.”
Happiness sometimes has a poor reputation in the workplace. In a context where measurables are prioritised, happiness seems immeasurable, frivolous, and vague. But the research is compelling and the verdict is: "Happiness is great for your organisation! Leaders pay attention.”
From looking at 225 academic studies, researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener 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.
What does all this mean for the workplace? Employees who feel more positive emotions:
- Boost innovation potential because they show more original thinking.
- Solve problems better because they see more possibilities.
- Are stronger team workers because they are more helpful, generous, kinder, and better at resolving conflicts.
- Create more memorable customer service for the same reasons as in point 3. Think back to a positive service experience when you experienced a warm smile from a genuinely joyful service staff.
- Can keep morale high during difficult times because they tend to be more resilient. They are more able to see the positives in a difficult situation.
- Are better learners and being a learning organisation increases your potential for continual growth.
- Save you money as they take less sick leave.
- Improve the overall emotional climate at work, as they spread positive emotions to others.
- Are overall higher performing and more productive.
- Help your organisation positively transform society. When your staff are happy at work, they go home more uplifted and the chances of them being kinder with their families and others is higher. The effect ripples out into the community in profound ways.
Enabling positive emotions at work is not a luxury. It is a business imperative. But I don’t recommend undertaking efforts to do this being led by profit and a mindset of using people. I encourage doing it out of true caring to make a positive difference in people’s lives and, at the same time, achieving organisational excellence. It’s a win-win approach for employees, organisations, leaders, and the community.