A happy workforce is a productive workforce. And a productive workforce is more likely to stay.
Employers want the best talent. They also want maximum productivity, and a product or service that they can be proud of.
What is the key ingredient to ensure all of these things are achieved? Employee happiness.
As a company, your employees are critical to how well your organisation will run. It has been scientifically proven that employee happiness is directly linked to productivity.
A new study from UK employment agency Robert Half showed that tech and IT employees ranked first for the lowest stress levels and third for level of happiness and interest in work. Jobs in the legal sector trailed behind in sixth place across all three categories.
But what does it mean to actually have a happy workforce? What will make your employees happy enough to produce their best work for you, and also stay with you as long as possible?
Engagement drives happiness
The study surveyed more than 24,000 working professionals across eight countries about job happiness and satisfaction.
The results showed that feeling appreciated, pride in their organisation, and being treated with fairness and respect were the top three biggest drivers of employee happiness across most breakdowns.
Depending on an employee’s age, gender and profession, these three were interchangeable. For example, 18-34 year olds said that feeling appreciated for the work they did was most important for their happiness, while employees over the age of 55 felt that being treated with fairness and respect was of the utmost importance.
Those working in the tech sector said that pride in their company was the biggest driver of happiness, followed by feeling appreciated and having a sense of accomplishment.
How to ensure employee happiness
The results tell us that it’s not too difficult to ensure employee happiness within your organisation. Firstly, your employees should be proud to work for the company, be it in the important work they do every day, what the organisation stands for or what it does for the community.
Secondly, think about your employees’ work. Do they feel appreciated? Does their work give them a sense of accomplishment? Employers and leaders should organise meetings with employees to make sure they’re happy with the work they’re doing and the progress they’re making.
If an employee feels like their work isn’t making a difference, or that their work is not being appreciated, they will look elsewhere.
Thirdly, look at your company culture. Is it encouraging an atmosphere that is diverse and inclusive, and not just on paper?
Talk to the diverse members of your team; men, women, older and younger employees, and those from different countries and backgrounds. Find out whether they feel they have equal input to everyone else. Diversity and inclusion have to be more than just buzzwords and quotas.
According to the report, happy employees are up to 12pc more productive, and engaged employees are up to 21pc more productive than their disengaged counterparts.
It’s good for a company’s bottom line to promote employee happiness and, based on these results, it’s easier than you might think.