Chances are, a lot of your employees aren’t happy at work. According to a recent Gallup survey, as summarized by CBS Moneywatch, of America’s 100 million full-time employees, 51% aren’t engaged at work – meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs and tend to do the bare minimum. Another 16% reported being “actively disengaged,” meaning they resent their jobs and tend to drag down office morale as a result.
A separate study by Gallup and the Queens School of Business shared insight on the costly effects of these disengaged employees. They found that disengaged workers had 37% higher levels of absenteeism, 49% more accidents and 60% more errors and defects. Companies with low employee engagement scores also experienced 18% less productivity, 37% lower job growth and 65% lower share price over time.
To combat the threat of a disengaged, unproductive workforce, employers should strive to help employees feel happy in the workplace. Happy employees tend to be more engaged. Plenty of scientific research over the years supports that there are clear neurological links between feelings, thoughts and actions. Employees whom feel happy at their company and hold a positive mindset are more likely to behave in such manner at the workplace. Happiness has many benefits in the workplace that can ultimately lead to a successful workforce.
Benefits Of Happiness In The Workplace:
In Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, Achor states that “when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive.” Happy employees are – for the most part – better employees. Here are just a few examples of the benefits of happiness in the workplace:
Happiness combats stress – a prevalent health issue in the workplace. Overly stressed employees can suffer from chronic aches and pains, high blood pressure and insomnia. Stress levels tend to linger longer in unhappy employees and carry more detrimental effects. In contrast, the positive emotions of happy employees help build resilience when it comes to workplace stress.
Happy employees also take fewer sick days than their unhappy co-workers. Studies have shown that both happiness and optimism lead to a stronger immune system. Less sick days could also be contributed to happy employees taking less mental health days off. Being happy at work lowers the risk of depression, anxiety and stress-related mental health problems that prevent employees from performing their best.
An office filled with happy employees creates a positive and strong company culture. Office morale is at its peak when employees are happy with their job and company. A happy environment tends to cultivate social connections and relationships between colleagues, creating a more family-like feel to the company.
A strong company culture also benefits a company’s retention efforts. Keeping employees happy and positive greatly reduces turnover. Happy employees stay in their roles twice as long as their unhappy colleagues. Promoting employee happiness keeps employees dedicated, loyal and less likely to be looking for other jobs.
Research shows a strong link between job satisfaction and overall work performance. Unhappy and disengaged workers don’t perform their best and aren’t as productive as happier employees. Happy employees tend to devote more time and effort to their work. This means that happy employees give companies a competitive edge. In fact, organizations with happy employees outperform their competition by 20%.