I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, it doesn’t matter how big or small your organization, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a startup or an established company. Focusing on creating employee happiness will have an incredible, positive impact on your organization all the way down to the bottom line.
If you’re wondering why happiness matters in business, keep reading; it’s a wild ride.
So, what actually happens when a company focuses on employee happiness? Why does happiness matter in business? You might be surprised.
When a company has happy employees:
- Task accuracy improves by 19%
- Productivity goes up 20%
- Sales increase 37%
Given these statistics, the question might become: Why don’t more companies focus on employee happiness? What could your company do with 20% improved productivity or a 37% increase in sales?
But, what is happiness? Defining happiness is trickier than it might seem on the surface. Simply talking about happiness tends to bring out a wide variety of opinions, some very strongly held, about what it truly means to be happy.
There is a huge range of understanding about what happiness actually is and how we experience it. If you survey people asking, “how do you define happiness?” you’ll get all sorts of answers. Some people say happiness is a fleeting emotion and pursuing happiness itself is detrimental. Others argue that happiness only comes from serving others or going outside of one’s own wants and needs.
Even researchers don’t agree on a single definition of happiness. Some say it’s an emotion, some say it’s a feeling, some say it’s a created state.
I define happiness this way:
Happiness is a deep soul joy born from full acceptance of one’s humanness and belief that life has purpose and meaning.
What does happiness look like in an organizational setting? How can a company focus on helping their employees create a “deep soul joy”?
Think about a typical Monday morning in any business you’ve ever worked in. What was it like as people walked in the door? What was the overall mood? In general, how happy were the employees?
Do you have that picture in your head?
Now, imagine walking into work on a Monday morning and every person — including you — is genuinely happy to be there. How would productivity be different? What would change about how the teams communicate? What would engagement levels look like?
As a culture, we just assume that work is going to suck for most people. Work is work. It’s not supposed to be enjoyable. This is why we spend so much time talking about work-life balance.
Life is good. Work is not.
Does that really have to be the case, though? Why can’t work be good or even great? Why can’t we adjust our company cultures to create happiness in the lives of everyone there?
Happiness is crucial to how we view the world, how we work, and how we cope with challenges. Increasing our collective happiness is one of the most important things we can do, especially right now. And there’s no better place to start than at the top.
You might think workplace happiness seems unattainable and idealistic. You might be thinking, “Seriously, have you met the people I work with?!”
You’re a leader. It’s well within your power to create a company culture that supports and creates happiness for everyone who works for you.
And here’s the thing, focusing on happiness in ways that make a difference is not actually that difficult and the benefits are incredible. Focusing on happiness creates ripples in the lives of your employees and customers that have far-reaching effects. Changing the happiness levels in your organization will literally change more lives than you can imagine.
Focusing on happiness will also set you way out in front of your competitors and increase your bottom line. You just have to make the conscious decision and then put in the effort at your leadership levels.