If a member of the C-suite at your company were asked what the company goals are for 2018, would increasing employee happiness be one of them? According to our research of talent attitudes and behaviors, it should be. Our data finds there’s a real organizational upside linked to the behaviors more likely to be exhibited by happy workers. Nearly all happy employees say they are more productive than ever (compared to half of unhappy employees) and that they are engaged at work (i.e., they have positive feelings toward their employer and have a strong willingness to go above and beyond job expectations). They also are more likely to display soft skills and behaviors that hiring managers tell us are of high value to an organization. Happy employees report that they are enthusiastically collaborative and feel more creative. And happy employees are more loyal and are significantly less likely to consider an employment switch.
What's The Connection?
What else sets happy employees apart from their unhappy ones? Almost all happy employees say they feel valued at their job and feel job secure – they are almost twice as likely to say they feel job secure than unhappy employees. Happy talent consider themselves well-trained and prepared for the increasingly tech-reliant future. They feel autonomous at work and in control of their day, with a majority reporting that they get to decide how, when and where to work. Happy employees are less likely to feel stressed or burnt out than their discontented peers. This may be because most happy workers agree their company takes steps to ensure that employees aren’t overly stressed. In fact, almost all say their company cares about their well-being overall. And there’s a strong link between an employee’s happiness and being well matched culturally to their employer.
For employers who want to stoke the embers of employee contentment, the first place to start is compensation. Salary was the runaway favorite answer when talent was asked what makes them happy about their current employment situation (with traditional and non-traditional benefits appearing on the top ten list too). Interesting work was a strong second happiness factor. Personally aligning with the company’s mission and values rounded out the top five sources of on-the-job bliss – so communicating what a company stands for in employment branding and screening for a match during the recruiting process is critical for employers looking to attract talent that will be happy. Perhaps one of the supplemental benefits of employee happiness is that it’s contagious. That reason alone makes it a worthy business goal to pursue.