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Why Do You Need to Have a Happy Workforce?

Did you know that the average British person spends 3,507 days at work over a lifetime? That’s close to 10 years of our whole life. Given how much time we spend at the workplace, it’s important to love what we do.

Your employees are the face of your company. They dictate the course of the workflow and the overall brand image. If your employees are unhappy, your business will suffer the most. Here is why it’s important to keep your workforce satisfied.

The perks of a happy workforce

Happy employees = increased productivity
A study conducted by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School showed that employees are 13% more productive when they’re happy. The research was based on a case study of the workforce at BT, a British telecommunications firm. Those employees who were happier made more phone calls per hour worked and converted more calls to sales.

Happy employees = a stress-free environment
Not only that but happiness reduces stress. Research shows that fatigue in the workplace can lead to longer reaction times, decreased concentration, reduced task motivation, and lower vigilance. This leads to decreased productivity, poor communication, irritation, and even accidents in the workplace. With the festive period approaching, it’s common that your staff might feel more stressed and overworked than usual.

Moreover, stress at the workplace can lead to an increase in absences, mainly due to ill mental health.

Happy employees = customer satisfaction and company image
Stressed and unwelcoming staff can put customers off, whereas a smile at the checkout point can go a long way in increasing customer loyalty.

Unhappy employees can still act professionally and politely. However, their dissatisfaction will still affect the quality of customer service they offer. When your staff are happy, they’re more likely to engage with customers, upsell, think of creative solutions, and pay more attention to their workflow. This results in a positive company reputation and higher customer retention.

How employee attitudes are changing
What’s more important for employees: happiness or salary? A survey conducted by Wildgoose UK shows that 58% of respondents prioritise happiness over salary in 2021. That’s a slight decrease from 2017 when 61% of respondents considered happiness over salary.

Of course, the monetary component is still vital in terms of employee satisfaction, but money isn’t all. In fact, according to the Mercer global engagement scale that includes employee data from the UK, US, Japan, India, Germany, France, and China, “base pay” is towards the bottom in the list of motivating factors for employees.

Intriguingly, the leading motivator is “respect”, followed by “type of work”, “providing good service to customers”, “the people you work with”, and “good work-life balance”.

How to boost your employees’ happiness?
Now that you know what the general key motivators for your workforce are, it’s important to integrate them into your employee wellbeing initiatives. There are many ways you can spread a little joy at the workplace and thrive as a business but here are some starting points.

Show your staff you value them
Is the monthly salary enough to showcase your appreciation for the efforts your employees are putting in? Oftentimes, it’s best to boost the monetary reward with additional bonuses and prizes. Christmas is the ideal time to organise little competitions or simply give away gifts on a daily basis in the countdown to the holidays.

It’s important to remember, however, that appreciation isn’t only manifested through physical gifts. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to motivate, encourage, and congratulate your staff on wins both big and small. Send them a “well done” email, talk about their strengths regularly, and position yourself as a person they can trust with any issues. Additionally, provide an array of training and courses in areas where your staff want to improve. This will show them that you’re interested in their career growth.

Create a bigger sense of purpose
People are motivated to work towards a company goal when they know that what they’re doing matters. Initiate them into the company strategy and keep them updated about your business’ performance.

It’s important to foster a sense of belonging and purpose, also referred to as “epic meaning”. That is, the bigger picture in which each employee is a superhero working to benefit the company rather than themselves. One tool that can help you foster a sense of belonging is workwear clothing.

Ann Dowdeswell, Sales and Marketing Director at Jermyn Street Design, a global specialist in corporate clothing, commented: “Uniforms not only promote unity and equality at the workplace, but they’re also a great way to uplift team spirit and enhance corporate social responsibility.”

When your employees feel like they’re vital to the business, they are more likely to be engaged with the work. A recent survey by Market Inspector shows that 72% of the respondents think of their role as a job and only 28% perceive it as a career.

Encourage friendships
A survey conducted by Wildgoose UK showed that 57% of the respondents feel like having a “work best friend” makes the workplace more enjoyable, and 22% feel that they are equally or more productive. As an employer, you can nurture these positive relationships at the workplace.

As a start, it’s important to have a dedicated social/break room at work, where employees can bond over conversations and games, such as darts and pool. It’s also a good idea to organise team-building activities and socials, such as yoga classes, bowling, and drinks after work.

Being happy at work is a state of mind which employers can significantly contribute to. Boosting your company culture, introducing bonding activities, and simply being there for your employees will help you create a healthy work environment. In return, the happiness of your employees will help to position you as a leading organisation.