You might think that this is a bit of a contradiction but being happy at work not only helps your productivity but also your general well-being. It is possible to both be happy and be at work!
A 2016 study from the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while conversely, unhappy workers were 10% less productive. There is also evidence that shows that happy staff take less sick days, contribute to better company financial performance and have reduced staff turnover. So is there anything you can do to improve happiness at work.
From the company point of view, there are lots of things that you can do to support your staff to be happy at work. They don’t have to be costly; in fact many actions are simple, straightforward and cost effective. The biggest thing that a company can do is to that the senior team commit to a happiness culture and not just pay lip service that well-worn phrase ‘our staff are our greatest asset’! This includes fair treatment for all staff, being respectful, supporting healthy working practices and a supportive working environment. This requires consistency throughout the management, levels so that everyone is building the happiness culture in the same way.
Companies can also develop a culture which is rich in feedback, praise and recognition. Don’t rely on an antiquated annual appraisal cycle. Make it a normal activity to give feedback to staff regularly. People love to know how they are doing.
Always tackle problems, poor performance or any issues straight away. Don’t let problems fester and be clear with your staff on what your performance expectations are. When recruiting new staff, ensure that they have the same values and share the company ethos. A mismatch here can lead to unhappiness from the company as the employee does not ‘fit’ and from the employee side, as they feel like a fish out of water.
Of course if a company wants to spend a bit of money, then there are lots of additional benefits and team building activities which can be undertaken.
From an individual viewpoint, you can also take personal responsibility and do a few things for yourself. Identify what your strengths are and find work which allows you to use these. Take this quick quiz here http://www.viacharacter.org/www/ to help identify your personal strengths.
Build your resilience so that you are best equipped to deal with life’s knocks and pressures. Building your resilience is a whole other topic but try a few key actions such as practice gratitude frequently e.g. saying ‘thank you’, write a gratitude journal. You could use some of your spare time and volunteer. There is lots of evidence which shows that people who volunteer have greater personal well-being. And of course make sure that you cover the basics. Eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly, take all your holidays and laugh a lot!
There is a lot of information around about happiness at work and this can only be a taster. If you need any additional information, Sapience HR would be more than happy to help. Just give us a call on 01736 399384.