Employee happiness and well-being are important for many reasons. Improving employee happiness and well-being can positively impact the company as a whole.
There are many ways to improve employee happiness and well-being, and each company should tailor its approach to fit its needs and culture.
Some of the most effective ways to improve employee happiness and well-being include providing opportunities for growth and development, offering competitive compensation and benefits packages, creating a supportive work environment, and fostering a healthy work-life balance.
By improving employee happiness and well-being, companies can boost morale, increase productivity, reduce turnover, and create a more positive workplace overall. (Acuna & Dagbo, 2020)
The link between happiness and productivity
The link between happiness and productivity is well-documented. Studies have shown that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy ones. (Preston, 2017)
In recent years, researchers have found that happiness has a positive impact on almost every aspect of business and education: sales increase by 37%, productivity increases by 31%, and accuracy increases by 19%. (Anchor, 2011)
Based on a Gallup survey, companies with happier employees earn 147% more earnings per share than those with less happy employees. When employees are satisfied and happy with their jobs, they are more likely to recommend products and services to their friends and relatives, which helps them serve their customers with more enthusiasm and information. (Johnston, 2022)
Boosting employee happiness should be a priority for any business that wants to see improved bottom-line results. Happier employees lead to happier customers which leads to increased revenues, so it’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.
7 ways to improve employee happiness and well-being
There are plenty of ways to boost employee happiness at your workplace. To make it easier for you, we've highlighted the top 7 ways to improve employee happiness and well-being. It's a great way to see where your company stands at present and then find areas of improvement where your company may be lacking.
1. Fostering a positive work environment
Maintain a culture of open communication by regularly checking in with employees and have an open-door policy to encourage employees to communicate with each other. Employees who feel they are heard at their workplace are five times more likely to perform better at their work. (Siegel et al., 2017)
If you work in an office, the physical workplace matters a lot. Make sure that the working environment is comfortable and conducive to productivity, such as providing ergonomic furniture and adequate lighting. That will keep your employees relaxed and in a good mood.
If you want your employees to stay longer, focus on providing employees with opportunities for professional development and career growth within the organization. This will help them overcome challenges faced in their job role while keeping them hooked on their aspirations to jump up the corporate ladder.
Nothing says thank you better than rewarding your employees for their hard work. You can recognize employees' hard work by offering them recognition programs, awards, or other perks such as free lunches or flexible scheduling options to show your appreciation.
And the most important: don't micromanage. Allow your employees to feel independent in the work they do. Placing trust in them will go a long way where they feel empowered and motivated to take the initiative. You'd be surprised to see how the amazing ideas start pouring in once you let your employees feel they are trusted to do their jobs.
2. Promoting work-life balance
We’re all busy with our lives. Some even more than others. Hence, a company that values employee happiness truly focuses on providing the right work-life balance to their employees so they can both enjoy work and take care of their personal needs when away.
It can be as little as encouraging your employees to take breaks during the workday - whether for a few minutes to walk around or to step outside for some fresh air for a few minutes. Stepping away from their work, even if it’s for a few minutes, can help them energize to resume their tasks.
However, if you can, consider flexible working arrangements where possible, such as allowing employees to start and finish their day at different times or work from home occasionally. If you can, consider a hybrid, remote, or reduced-hours work model so your employees can balance their time for work and personal life.
Additionally, organize social events and activities within work hours so that employees can interact and bond with their colleagues without feeling like they have to sacrifice their personal time.
And finally, it is important to encourage employees to take advantage of their vacation days. As a result, they will be able to recharge and return to work with a renewed sense of energy and productivity.
3. Encouraging social interaction
Employees spend the majority of their day at work. So it makes sense to build meaningful relationships with your colleagues. It’s important for your employees to feel supported and connected with their peers and managers.
You can encourage your employees to take breaks together by going for a walk or having a cup of coffee together. This will allow them to connect more on a personal level.
Similarly, create opportunities for socializing – like company-wide events or after-work gatherings. This will help them relieve stress and feel relaxed outside of the work environment. During working hours, organize activities that will help the employees get to know each other on a more personal level through things like icebreakers or team-building activities.
Establish a collaborative environment where employees feel comfortable interacting with each other and asking for help when required. After all, teamwork is crucial to ensuring projects are being completed on time and employees are engaged.
Chances are, your organization has people from different regions and ethnicities. Hence, make sure that your workplace is a place where everyone feels welcome and safe, regardless of their background or identity. Whether you work in a physical space or fully remote, it matters in both settings to enable positive social interactions between employees.
4. Recognizing and rewarding employees
Acknowledge employees for a job well done. Let them know when they are meeting and exceeding expectations to boost their confidence. Similarly, offer support and improvement plans to those who might be struggling with their work.
Recognize and appreciate the hard work and contributions that your employees have made to the company. Having a sense of security in the value they bring to the company empowers employees to continue to do great things, as well as motivates them to keep working hard.
Reward employees for their good work with financial benefits. Studies have revealed that 85% of financially healthy employees tend to be more productive at work. Introduce a range of bonuses, paid time off, or other perks that suit your needs. (MetLife, 2020)
Equally important to note, reward your employees not just based on the outcome but their behavior as well. As a result, employees who are not otherwise included in such a program will be given a chance to shine, and it will also promote a positive work environment.
5. Supporting physical activity
Promoting physical activity can ensure that your workplace feels fresh and energized to take up on tasks. It can start with as little as encouraging your employees to take a few moments to get up, move around, and breathe some fresh air throughout the day.
At the same time, make sure your workplace is ergonomically friendly to reduce the risk of injury in the workplace. Ensure that work desks are designed to promote good working postures and the environment is well lit for employees to navigate.
Take this a step further by implementing a company-wide wellness program that encourages healthy lifestyle choices with things like discounts or subsidies for gym memberships or other fitness activities.
If you offer food on premises, consider providing healthy options in your cafeteria or vending machines to boost the health of your employees.
6. Helping employees manage stress
The number of US workers who suffer from stress as a result of their work stands at a staggering 83%. To make things worse, 50% of workers on any given day are not productive at work due to stress. That ends up taking almost the cost of 75% of an employee’s annual salary to companies to mitigate the loss of productivity and in replacing workers. (Mazur, 2022)
Considering the case above, It’s a no-brainer for companies to prioritize employee happiness and well-being to ensure minimum dollars are lost and workers are returning to work happy and productive.
Start with small things like encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just a few minutes here and there. It’s a great way to calibrate your thoughts away from work and then return to your task with a clearer head.
If you can afford it, think about giving access to stress-relieving amenities like an on-site gym or yoga classes to help employees reduce their stress and feel more relaxed.
Financial stress is perhaps the greatest contributor to the overall stress of your employee. Study shows that 72% of employees in the US are stressed about their money matters. (Manning, 2022)
One of the great ways to reduce financial stress from the lives of your employees is to offer innovative financial wellness benefits such as earned wage access (EWA) that allows employees to withdraw their earned money ahead of the paycheck to deal with financial emergencies. This will allow your employees to be better placed financially should an immediate expense pop-up.
7. Providing access to mental health resources
Mental health is as important as your physical health. In about 20% of the cases, depression interferes with a person's ability to perform physical job tasks, and in 35% of the cases, it negatively affects a person's cognitive performance at the workplace. (CDC, 2019)
Once considered a taboo has now become more mainstream thanks to more research and awareness around the topic. It is now in every company’s interest to create an inclusive work culture that is free from mental health stigma. This is critical to promoting the well-being of your workforce.
There are many things that you can do to ensure your employee’s mental health is at check. Start by ensuring that your health insurance plan covers mental health as well. Then, establish and encourage the use of your employee assistance program (EAP) for those seeking help. Similarly, offer workshops and talks on mental health regularly to encourage employees to learn more about it.
It’s all about communicating openly. Let your employees know all the options available to tackle any mental health-related issues that may be impacting their work and personal lives.
Ways to increase employee happiness and well-being
In conclusion, employee happiness and well-being should be important for all businesses.
There are a few key ways to improve employee happiness and well-being. Some of these include recognizing and rewarding employees, helping your team manage stress, providing innovative benefits, fostering a positive work environment, and investing in employee development.
Happy workers are more productive, so it's in every company's best interest to implement policies that support employee happiness and well-being.
Finally, there are no shortcuts or tricks to a quick fix. The first step is to do an audit and see where the company stands. Conducting employee happiness and well-being surveys might help here. After which, feel free to take inspiration from the points we have highlighted to ensure your workforce returns to work happier than before.