‘A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains’ (Kevin Rose)
An engaged, happy team is one of the most powerful assets that a business can possess. With numerous academic studies connecting workplace happiness with commercial success, a growing number of organisations are starting to cultivate happiness and contentment amongst their teams as a strategy to drive success.
Google led the charge some years ago by promoting one of its software engineers to the role of ‘Jolly Good Fellow’ and placing him in charge of ‘solving unhappiness’. Since then, more and more companies have started to appoint CHOs (Chief Happiness Officers) – a role which solely revolves around ensuring the happiness of all personnel.
So what are the benefits of an engaged, happy workforce?
1. Increased Productivity
Engaged employees are more likely to display a conscientious attitude at work and expend extra effort on a daily basis, dramatically boosting productivity. A study led by the University of Warwick in 2014 quantified the difference in output between engaged and disengaged employees, finding that happier employees are 12% more productive than their less content counterparts.
2. Increased Profitability
Having increased the productivity of their team by keeping them engaged, business owners can reap the rewards in the form of enhanced profitability.
The stock prices of ‘Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For’ collectively rose 14% per year from 1998-2005, whilst companies not listed only reported a 6% increase. Now that’s a return on investment!
3. Employee Retention & Low Absenteeism
Employees who consider themselves to be happy at work are invested in their job and care about the success of the organisation. This naturally means that they are less likely to be absent from work: in fact, highly engaged workplaces experience 41% lower absenteeism. They also are less likely to leave their current employer – happy employees have no reason to look elsewhere!
Engaged workplaces also tend to have employees who are physically healthy. This is because they tend to show more consideration for the needs of their employees and encourage their teams to care for their own health. As a result, engaged employees are less likely to be obese or suffer from chronic disease. They are also more likely to eat healthily and often take more exercise than disengaged employees. Their good health means that they are less likely to take sick days - which can only be good for business.
4. Increased Team Resilience & Empowerment
Engaged teams are motivated, driven and are able to work well together to find creative solutions to problems, even when they are faced with a series of obstacles. They are able to support each other with a ‘can do’ attitude and adapt themselves to achieve success for themselves and the business that they work for on a regular basis. Spurred on by their success, teams feel empowered and confident in their abilities enabling them to efficiently and competently complete tasks – music to the ears of business owners!
5. High Levels of Customer Satisfaction
‘If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients’ (Richard Branson)
When employees are engaged they care deeply about their jobs and the organisation that they work for – therefore they want to be the best possible ambassadors for their company. This positivity carries through into their interactions with clients and ensures customer satisfaction, which reflects well on the organisation and boosts its reputation along with ist profits.
Far from being 'fluffy' subjects, workplace happiness and employee engagement are two key factors that can effectively drive business results, as well as creating a more enjoyable working experience - a win-win situation!