The art of happiness at work

10 January 2019 Myra Knoesen

Times have changed and many organisations and companies are starting to realise that happy employees mean efficient employees, better work cultures and happy customers too.

Many studies have shown that employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, engaged and loyal to their companies. When employees are loyal and engaged in the company, profits are higher. Conversely, when people feel unmotivated or undervalued, the company suffers. Additionally, studies show that engaged employees miss less work, perform better, and are more supportive of changes and willing to make them happen. 

Crucial to success

“Happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many different things to many people. Part of the challenge of the science of happiness is to identify different concepts of happiness, and apply them practically to a corporate environment - incentivising staff over and above remuneration,” said Liane McGowan, Founder of Happy Monday CC.

 “This is crucial to success. As an employer, ensuring your employees are motivated and able to work productively, as well as eliminating staff turnover, is a necessity.” 

A sense of purpose

“Employees are humans. The development of their skills, their commitment and their pursuit of happiness is vital - not only for a successful workforce, but also for a successful business,” she continued. 

“As people we love what we do if it; makes us happy, highlights our self-worth, gives us a sense of purpose, allows us to be creative, and provides social interaction. Do you know whether your employees’ emotional needs are being met? Do you know them well enough to answer that question?” Asked McGowan. 

The science of happiness

“When companies start focusing on these aspects of their employee’s wellness, research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome; increased sales by 37 percent, productivity by 31 percent, accuracy on tasks by 19 percent, as well as a myriad of other life and health improvements. A physically healthy employee does not equal a happy employee, and happy employees are the ones that cultivate good work and drive businesses.” 

McGowan said the measurement of happiness is a scientific process and has been categorically proven to work. “In the 1980s, when the notion of happiness at work was beginning to appear in corporate spaces, two researchers, Deci and Ryan, provided breakthrough findings in terms of why people work. The three positive motivators are play, purpose and potential. The indirect motives that hurt performance are emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia (when staff lose sight of why they are doing the work, they merely 'do it' to get through it),” said McGowan. 

“The science of happiness is changing the way we work, think and live. We need people to own it, accept it and manage it,” concluded McGowan. 

The moral of the story is that happy employees create happier, productive workforces and increased business.


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