Written by Ross Abbott, Head of Health & Wellbeing.
In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, companies are discovering that prioritising employee wellbeing is not only a compassionate approach but also a strategic one. Research has consistently shown that happy employees are more productive, engaged, and motivated to go above and beyond for their organizations.
Introduction: The Impact of Employee Happiness on Productivity
When it comes to productivity in the workplace, it’s often assumed that employees who are happy will be more productive. And while this may be true to some extent, research has shown that there’s a lot more to it than just being happy. In fact, employee happiness can have a significant impact on productivity, and businesses that prioritise wellbeing are seeing the benefits.
A study by Gallup found that companies with engaged employees saw a 41% decrease in absenteeism and a 25% reduction in staff turnover. Furthermore, these companies also saw a 20% increase in sales and a 21% increase in profitability. Clearly, there’s a lot to be gained from investing in employee happiness.
So what exactly is employee happiness? It’s not just about having fun at work or enjoying your job (although those things certainly help). Employee happiness is about feeling supported and valued by your employer, having a sense of purpose and meaning in your work, and feeling like you have the opportunity to grow and develop within your role.
When employees are happy, they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their work. They’re also more likely to go above and beyond for their company and customers. Businesses that prioritize employee happiness are seeing results in terms of improved productivity, engagement, retention, sales, and profits.
Benefits of Prioritising Wellbeing
When it comes to productivity in the workplace, happy employees are key. Prioritizing wellbeing – both physical and mental – is essential to maintaining a productive workforce. Here are some of the benefits of prioritizing wellbeing in the workplace:
- Increased Productivity – Employees who feel good physically and mentally are able to focus more on their work and be more productive. When wellbeing is a priority in the workplace, employees feel supported and are more likely to perform at their best.
- Improved Employee Retention – If employees feel supported in their wellbeing, they’re more likely to stay with a company for the long haul. Prioritizing wellbeing can help reduce turnover and improve employee retention rates.
- Enhanced creativity and problem-solving skills – When employees feel good, they’re able to think more creatively and come up with innovative solutions to problems. A happy workforce is a creative one!
- Boosted morale – A positive workplace environment starts with happy employees. When morale is high, employees are more engaged and productive. Prioritizing wellbeing can help create a positive work environment that everyone enjoys being a part of.
- Greater engagement – Employees who feel supported in their wellbeing are more likely to be engaged in their work. An engaged workforce is a productive one!
Ways to Improve Employee Wellbeing
It’s no secret that happy employees are more productive employees. But what exactly is employee wellbeing, and how can you create a workplace culture that prioritizes it?
Employee wellbeing is about more than just physical health. It encompasses mental and emotional health, too. When employees feel good mentally and emotionally, they’re more engaged with their work and less likely to call in sick or take unscheduled time off.
There are a few key ways to improve employee wellbeing:
- Promote a healthy lifestyle
Encourage your employees to eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. You can do this by offering healthy food options in the office, organizing company-wide fitness challenges, and creating policies that encourage employees to take breaks during the day to recharge.
- Foster a positive work-life balance
Help your employees achieve a healthy work-life balance by providing flexible work hours, encouraging them to use their paid time off, and giving them access to resources like child care or elder care if needed.
- Create a supportive environment
Make sure your workplace is a supportive environment for all employees by promoting open communication, encouraging collaboration, and discouraging negative behaviours like gossiping or backstabbing.
Wellbeing Research Centre worked with UK employer BT to study the individual-level impact of wellbeing at work on productivity.
They were given unprecedented access to BT’s network of call centres, based at multiple sites across the UK, and anonymised performance data for employees which included sales figures and customer satisfaction scores.
They sent employees a one-question pulse survey at the same time every week, asking them to assess their wellbeing on a scale of one to five.
Collating responses with individuals’ performance data they produced the first causal field evidence for the relationship between workplace wellbeing and productivity: namely, on average, a 12% increase in productivity per one-point increase on our happiness scale.
But what was most revealing was the scale of the boost to productivity dependent on the task at hand. Basic tasks – for example, simply taking a customer’s details – showed a smaller increase than for those duties which required greater social and emotional intelligence.
Happier workers completing more complex tasks, such as upselling package deals or retaining customers, showed a boost to productivity closer to 20%.
When it comes to implementing a happiness policy at work, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to get buy-in from senior leadership. Without their support, it will be difficult to get the resources you need to make changes.
Once you have leadership support, you need to start thinking about what will make your employees happy. This will vary from person to person, so it’s important to take the time to ask them what would make their work lives better. Maybe it’s flexible hours, more autonomy, or access to better benefits.
Whatever it is, once you have a good idea of what would improve happiness levels, you need to start making changes. This might mean instituting new policies or changing the way work is done. Whatever it is, make sure you communicate the changes to your employees and explain why these changes are being made.
Once you’ve made some changes, don’t forget to check in with your employees and see how they’re doing. Make sure they’re still happy with the changes and that they feel like their voices are being heard. By constantly checking in and making adjustments, you can ensure that your happiness policy is having its desired effect and making your workplace a better place for everyone involved.
Employee happiness is not something to be taken lightly, and it should be a priority for any organisation. By creating an environment that encourages wellbeing and values the employees’ contributions, organizations can experience increased productivity as well as improved morale. Investing in employee welfare will lead to tangible results that you can see in the long run, making it worth taking into account when developing strategies for growth.