The happiness of employees has been decreasing, leading to negative impacts on businesses.
Various factors affect employee happiness, such as the rat race of joyless production and consumption, the negative impact of media and technology on mental health (particularly among young people), and the importance of close relationships and social ties.
Disengaged workers are found to have higher rates of absenteeism, accidents, errors, and defects, resulting in significant costs to companies.
Organisations should focus on building a corporate culture that genuinely respects its employees, promotes diversity and inclusiveness, and fosters trusting relationships. It also emphasises the need for support systems to address personal and family relationships.
Significance of goal setting promotes employee happiness (examples of companies such as Lululemon, Google, and Adobe)
The rise of health and wellness applications, particularly mindfulness apps, as tools that can contribute to employee well-being. Companies like Apple, Google, and Nike are cited as examples of organisations that promote mindfulness meditation.
Three key messages for board directors and C-level executives: prioritising culture, building people-centric management, and evolving management practices and toolkits to support collaboration, communication, productivity, and mindfulness in the workplace.
Happiness and well-being should be integrated into ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) frameworks (reference: statistician Nic Marks, who developed the Happy Planet Index to measure national well-being.)
Here are seven suggestions that can improve employee happiness in the workplace:
Provide Greater Flexibility: Companies should offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or hybrid schedules, to accommodate the changing preferences of employees and their family obligations. This flexibility can contribute to a happier workforce.
Clearly Explain the Company's Values, Purpose, and Culture: Employees are more likely to be happy when their work aligns with their values and they find it meaningful. Organisations should articulate their values, purpose, and culture clearly to foster a sense of fulfilment among employees.
Minimise Micromanaging: Trust is crucial in creating a happy workplace. Senior leadership should trust employees to do their work effectively and avoid micromanaging. Giving employees autonomy and allowing them to manage their time and tasks leads to increased job satisfaction.
Offer Opportunities for Advancement: Employees who feel they have opportunities for growth and advancement within the organisation are more likely to be happy at work. Providing avenues for skill development and career progression helps foster a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Offer Competitive Compensation: Fair and competitive compensation is essential for employee happiness. Ensuring that employees feel they are being compensated appropriately for their position and efforts, especially hourly workers, contributes to their overall job satisfaction.
Encourage Workplace Friendships: Building positive relationships with colleagues and coworkers is crucial for creating a happy workplace. When employees have good relationships with their peers and managers, they are more likely to experience a sense of belonging, joy, and the opportunity to learn and grow.
Offer Psychological Safety: Creating an environment of psychological safety is important for employee happiness. Employees should feel comfortable sharing personal challenges and issues with their colleagues and managers. Having an open-door policy and providing resources for employees to address personal matters helps them feel supported and valued.
By implementing these suggestions, organisations can cultivate a happier workforce, leading to increased employee retention and productivity.