Employees who feel they’re contributing to the world through their work, have a connection with teammates and know mistakes won’t be held against them are happier and more productive, writes Manick Bhan. “[O]rganizations that make an effort to think about the impact of their brand beyond profits are more primed to keep their employees happy and successful for the long term,” Bhan writes.
In his book “The Happiness Advantage,” Shawn Achor explores the role of positive psychology in the workplace. Most of us operate with the assumption that success leads to increased happiness, but Achor’s research proves the opposite. Successful people at work don’t succeed because they want to be happier, they succeed because they are already happy.
Achor writes that, “Happiness and optimism actually fuel performance and achievement — giving us [a] competitive edge.” There’s an economic case to be made for happiness as well. Multiple studies have shown that happier employees are more efficient, innovative, and produce higher-quality work.
So if managers want to tap into the competitive edge that happiness brings, how do we make our employees happy? Happiness looks different to all of us, and with 81% of employees claiming to fake happiness at work, the question arises of whether it is a reliable standard for employee performance.
But the positive correlation between happiness and workplace productivity is overwhelming. To not even try to incorporate happiness into our daily management practices is a missed opportunity to gain a true competitive advantage.
What makes for happy employees?
Some managers might hesitate to devote time thinking about their employees’ happiness because of its elusiveness. We can’t control all of the circumstances of our employees’ lives, and there are situations outside of the workplace that certainly impact a sense of personal happiness and satisfaction.