When times are tough and uncertain, happy employees may be the least of your concern as you battle to keep the boat afloat. Surely now is the time that everyone needs to buck up, knuckle down and grin and bear it, right? Yeah, we get where you’re coming from, but actually you really need your employees to feel valued and supported while we all try to find our footing again.
Here are 10 reasons why having happy employees will set you apart from your competitors in the months to come as we strive to get our economy back on an even keel:
1. Happiness is contagious
Happiness spreads from person to person, and that’s not just an anecdotal observation - it’s been proven by very scientific studies like these. The same thing goes for nastiness, unhealthy competition, bickering and gossiping. As such, it stands to reason that healthy working environments are created by happy people and happy people creating healthy working environments all at the same time.
Download a full proof 10-step guide to building your own employee recognition program from scratch. Click 👉here to download the PDF.
2. Happy employees are more successful
Shawn Achor, the CEO of Good Think Inc., researches and teaches positive psychology. The former Harvard researcher found that keeping people happy instead of threatening them produces better business outcomes during stressful situations, and that happy people are more successful at their jobs than their unhappy counterparts.
READ MORE: 5 Key ways to measure employee satisfaction
3. Positive employees have a great attitude
The negative attitude spread by unhappy workers can quickly create a toxic atmosphere that can cloud even the sunniest of company cultures. When employees feel well-equipped to deal with their circumstances and supported in their drive to succeed, they are far more likely to spread happy vibes instead.
4. Less stress = improved productivity
Studies have proven that happy people are more productive, and this is even more true for groups of happy people. Additionally, the Workplace Research Foundation reported that highly engaged employees were much more likely to have above-average productivity, to the tune of 38%.
That means that highly engaged employees are almost twice as likely to have above-average productivity. Now, more than ever, productivity is vital as South Africans try to regain their footing after recent economic upheavals.
5. Confident workers take more risks (the good kind!)
In a positive, supportive work environment, teams are free to learn from their mistakes instead of fearing retribution. Mistakes are powerful learning tools and it's often necessary to go out on a limb and take certain risks to reap the rewards. Confident employees are more likely to take calculated risks, while unhappy employees are more likely to play it safe.
6. Contented teams support one another
Every manager dreams of a collaborative workforce. While there are many performance management tools out there that claim to promote this ideal, the truth is that happy employees are naturally more inclined to support their colleagues in working towards common goals because they feel secure enough to share the limelight.
7. Happiness breeds creativity
There exists a strong correlation between happiness, motivation and creativity. Innovation is the lifeblood of businesses that are nimble enough to adapt to changing economic landscapes, and that calls for plenty of creativity. Thinking outside of the box can be tough when you are stressed out and under-resourced; smooth the way for creativity from your team by making sure that you’ve got them covered on those fronts.
8. The #blessed brigade attracts top talent
When people feel #blessed to work for your company, they tend to be pretty vocal about it. The resultant positive word-of-mouth is the type of recruitment marketing money can’t buy. When the star players shop around for job opportunities, they tend to take a good, long look at how happy your existing employees are before they send their resumes. This is why platforms like Glassdoor that give the inside scoop on company culture based on workforce reviews are so popular.
9. Inspired employees stick around
Research shows that workplace stress leads to an increase of almost 50% in voluntary turnover. Employee retention is vital at a time when your income funnel may have narrowed somewhat due to changes in the economy. The cost of training a new recruit aside, there are also the hidden expenses of handovers, the adaptation phase and recruitment itself to consider. Since happy employees tend to stick around, this is yet another reason to ensure that your team has all the support they need right now.
Happy people are healthier
The American Psychological Association estimates that the U.S economy loses as much as $500 billion every year due workplace stress, and 550 million workdays annually due to stress on the job. Locally, it's estimated that absenteeism costs South Africa upwards of R16 billion every year. When your employees are happy and motivated, absenteeism is lower due to a lower rate or work-related stress.
There you have it - 10 reasons why a focus on happy employees will make all the difference as you rally the troops to face a changed economy in the months and years to come. Check back soon for expert insight on effective leadership, HR strategy, company culture and more.
Are you ready to see how focused employee recognition and rewards can pave the way for happy employees as a part of a future-proof engagement strategy? bountiXP can help you do just that and we're offering you a FREE trial - simply click the button below to get started 👇