What Makes Employees Happy at Work?

happy employees working together

Happy employees are productive employees.

That’s a fact that has been proven time and time again. In order to keep your workers productive and engaged, it’s important to understand what makes them happy.

But what makes employees happy at work? What do they need in order to be content and productive? And how can you measure worker happiness?

Fortunately, there are a number of ways for employers to create a happy workplace without large financial investments.

Why is employee happiness important?

1. Employee happiness improves productivity in the workplace

The Harvard Business Review investigated the ROI and impact of employee happiness and found that happy employees are 31% more productive than their unhappy counterparts.

Not only that but accuracy on tasks is improved by 19% meaning that happy employees make fewer mistakes. This is likely because they feel more engaged with their work and are therefore more focused.

2. Employee happiness leads to higher employee retention rates

While it can cost nothing to make changes that foster employee happiness, it can cost up to two times an employee’s salary to replace them if they quit unexpectedly.

This is why it makes financial sense to prioritize making your current employees happy. Not only will they be more productive, but they’re also less likely to leave for greener pastures.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your employee retention rates, prioritizing a plan for employee engagement is a great place to start.

3. Employee happiness can lead to higher revenue growth

Last but not least, happy employees mean happy customers. It’s been shown that when employees are satisfied with their job, they provide better customer service.

More impressive still, one report states that companies who have a high level of engaged and happy employees experienced 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.

How is employee happiness measured?

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

The Employee Net Promoter Score is a popular way to measure employee happiness. It’s a simple survey that asks employees how likely they are to recommend their company to friends or family on a scale from 0-10.

Employees who respond with a score of 6 or higher are considered “promoters” and are generally happy with their current situation.

Those who respond with a score of 0-5 are “detractors” and are generally unhappy with their current situation.

Employee satisfaction surveys measure employee happiness

Employee satisfaction surveys typically ask employees questions that will elicit employees’ feelings about their job, their manager, and the company as a whole.

The results of these surveys can give you valuable insights into what your employees are thinking and feeling.

If you see a trend in responses, you can dig deeper, find solutions, and take steps to improve the situation.

Employee satisfaction software can measure employee happiness

Employee satisfaction software is a newer way to measure employee happiness. This type of software tracks employees’ interactions with different parts of the company, such as HR, IT, and payroll.

The data collected can give you insights into which departments are causing the most stress for employees, and where improvements need to be made.


VIDEO: This is what makes employees happy at work

Michael C. Bush is the CEO of Great Place to Work, a global research & analytics firm that produces the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list every year for FORTUNE.

Bush notes that companies who invest in employee happiness will see dividends across their business:

  • Organizations that have happy employees have 3x the revenue growth
  • Companies with happy employees outperform their the stock market index by 300%
  • Employee turnover is 50% less than organizations with unhappy employees

What do employees need in order to be happy?

1. A sense of purpose in the workplace

Employees need to feel like their work is meaningful and that they are making a difference.

When employees feel a sense of fulfillment in the work they’re doing, it leads to higher job satisfaction and motivation.

2. Autonomy in the workplace

Employees need to feel like they have the freedom to work in a way that suits their strengths and abilities.

Micromanaging employees can ultimately lead to resentment, lower productivity, and lack of engagement.

3. Time and location flexibility when working

Employees have made it clear that one of the best things a company can offer is remote work options and schedule flexibility.

With no commutes and added costs like transportation and meals, employees can save both time and money.

4. Work-life balance

Employees need to feel like their job is not taking over their life. This includes having time for family, friends, and hobbies outside of work.

Without this balance, employees burn out and get sick more often using more sick days.

5. Feeling heard in the workplace

When employees feel like their voices are being heard, they’re more likely to be engaged and supportive of the overall goals of the company.

Knowing that their thoughts, feelings, and concerns are being taken seriously can improve company culture and boost employee morale.

How to create happy employees

1. Trust and respect

The first step to creating happy employees is to build trust and respect. This can be done by keeping open lines of communication and following through on promises.

It’s also important to give employees the autonomy to do their jobs and provide feedback that is both positive and constructive.

2. Transparency in the workplace

Transparency is key to creating happy employees.

This means being honest about the company’s goals, expectations, and challenges. It also means not only being open to feedback but acting on it.

3. Fairness among employees

Employees need to feel like they are being treated fairly.

This includes things like being paid a fair wage, having the same opportunities for advancement, and receiving the same benefits as others in the company.

It’s also important to create a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.

4. Active listening

Not only does active listening involve being present and engaged when employees are speaking, it means being open to the best ideas and solutions being presented by your team.

Employees know they’re being listened to when their managers work to incorporate and implement their employees’ ideas and give credit where credit is due.

5. Opportunities for fulfillment

Learning what makes your employees feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment is a good way to know what types of projects and feedback you should be giving them.

It’s important to give employees a sense of purpose by setting clear goals and expectations and providing positive feedback when they’ve had an impact on someone or something within the workplace.

6. Work-life balance

Ensure your employees have a healthy work-life balance by setting clear boundaries between work and home life.

This includes things like encouraging employees to take vacation days, providing flexible work hours, and not expecting employees to be available 24/7.

7. Workplace flexibility

Make your workplace more flexible by offering remote work options and time-saving perks like flexible work schedules.

You can also provide employees with opportunities to learn new skills or take on additional responsibilities that interest them.

Make sure your employees are happy

There are many things that companies can do to create happy employees. By fostering trust and respect, being transparent, and providing opportunities for job satisfaction, you can create an environment where employees are more likely to be happy and engaged in their work.

What’s most important is that you make an effort to understand what makes your employees happy and tailor your approach accordingly.

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