For greater success, do companies want happy customers or happy employees? Evidence points that most successful companies need both.
Oxford University published a study in October 2019 about happiness and productivity in the workplace and found that workers are 13% more productive when happy. The success of a business and its employees are closely aligned. Evidence strongly supports that an engaged and happy workforce breeds corporate success.
The Oxford University study was partnered with MIT and Rotterdam University. They found that “when workers are happier, they work faster and convert more sales.” The researchers found that happy workers do not work more hours than their discontented colleagues – they are simply more productive within their time at work.
There is growing evidence that when employees are happy, organizations thrive. So says Forbes magazine. Happy employees remain more committed to organizations and stay with them longer. For corporations that spend significant time and money recruiting new employees, they may do better by learning to keep their employees longer by ensuring their happiness.
Hi-Tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft realized this long ago. They provide many different kinds of perks for their employees. Free meals are just one of them. Google employees have the choice of over 30 cafes serving anything from Indian food to fresh fruit smoothies. They are allowed to take a midday siesta in a nap pod. Or provide a concierge service to run their employees’ errands and save them time.
Google lets employees bring their dogs to work, hosts free fitness classes and tech talks, and rewards hard work with free massages. Finally, in the event of an employee’s death, their families are taken care of: Google gives the spouse 50% of their salary for 10 years, plus $1,000 a month per child.
For Hi-Tech companies procuring then keeping top employees is key to the companies’ ultimate success.
In stark contrast is Amazon, where chairman Jeff Bezos says the key to Amazon’s success is down to one thing: focusing on the customer. Amazon employees are simply a number and are almost robotized, much like the fulfillment warehouses in which they work.
We know that business depends upon customers. But customers are also looking for an enjoyable experience. That experience becomes is often the responsibility of your employees. That means having employees who are invested in your corporate brand. They represent you, and you want the absolute best representation possible.
It becomes a kind of chicken and egg scenario. Who is more important, the customer or the employee?
The online management tool, “Effective Managers” explains. “When customers are unsatisfied with your service, they will spread the word – especially with so many having access to the Internet and social media, which allows anyone to have a platform to voice out their opinions. However, companies forget that their employees can do the same. If they are extremely unhappy with their job, they will also complain. And their complaints can be as influential and far-reaching as those of the customers, sometimes even more so.
Customer satisfaction matters, but unless your employees aren’t equally satisfied, they won’t give their best to ensure that same customer satisfaction. When customers don’t like a service or downright hate the brand, it’s rarely because of the product or the service itself. The usual culprit is how your employees treated them. Unless you value your employees, you cannot expect them to value your customers or your company.”
From the viewpoint of a company’s policies on employment and turnover, the reasons why people stay in their jobs are just as important as the reasons they leave them. The paradox is that one individual will stay in a job under conditions that would cause another to start pounding the pavements.
In the end, employee satisfaction and happiness is a personal issue. How best do you foster happiness and satisfaction in your corporation? Happy employees are more creative, innovative, and dedicated than their unhappy counterparts, and they are more likely to stay with you long-term.
The more we learn about worker happiness and the spin-off benefits to both company and employee, the more we should imagine that corporations would wish to discover the secrets to breeding happy employees for their company.
So just what are some of those secrets?
There are many ways to ensure happy employees. They are after all the face of your company, and a key component of your brand. They are extremely important. And perhaps that is what you need to convey to them, that you are proud to have you as an employee.
We all work to earn money, so a fair and equitable financial reward is always a key component to employee happiness. For those working for a minimum wage, there may need to be more.
Sometimes it is as simple as just saying thank you for a job well done.
Much has been written about the philosophy, psychology, and science of happy employees. Each company has its mission statement and culture, its philosohpy. As humans, we all have essential needs. We spend a large part of our lives at work. We deserve as much happiness as possible wherever we are. So being happy at work should not be a crime, but rather something we all aspire to, and deserve.
These are just a few examples of how to foster happier employees.
- Make employees feel they belong and are appreciated.
- Recognize when employees are making progress.
- Take an interest in who employees are as individuals.
- Make work as much fun as possible!
- Treat your employees as adults and part of a team effort.
- Focus on employee well being, encourage healthy amounts of exercise and sleep.
- Promote positivity, successes, and open communication
- Maximize the comfort and atmosphere of the workspace.
- Offer Development and Learning Opportunities
- Provide a fair and competitive salary. No money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness but it’s a start!
Employee happiness is not a given. We have learned that it is an essential for corporate success. Perhaps we should see the company as a tree, and the employees as the roots of that company. Let us make sure to nurture them with happiness so that the company bears the fruits of success.