The importance of ‘Happiness at workplace” in improving employee productivity

By:Shurlly Tiwari-HR, Faculty,ISME

Happiness at workplace is the most important and famous phenomenon in the corporate world. The “World Happiness report” (2017), show the importance of happiness at work and the buzz around the globe about it.
Now a days organisations are concerned about it. Happiness at workplace is given a serious thought by the world leaders. Research proves that happy employees have higher productivity; a recent study at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12 percent increase in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10 percent less productive. Human happiness has large and positive effects on productivity.
Psychologically, positive emotions give energy to employees. There are researches which prove that under scientifically controlled conditions, happy workers produce more. Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and as a result they found that employee satisfaction has risen. For Google, it rose by 37 percent.
It was found that the efficiency and effectiveness of the employees increases, when they are happy. Happiness is a mindset. It is not a top down program or process which is imposed on employees by the leaders or by the management. It requires a complete change of the mindset and culture. Most importantly, to develop Happiness at workplace, a leader has to shift its mindset and beliefs and accept the employees as their greatest assets and their work is held with utmost regard and respect, such companies treat their people differently.
Such shift can happen only by attracting a culture where the high performers are retained and developed in positive way. Andre de Waal(2018) proves the positive effect of HAW on organization performance. In 2005 lyubowirsky proved HAW increases the levels of productivity. Suojanen (2012) found that Happiness at workplace will increases the quality of work, improves decision making, communication, and increases the effectiveness of the employees.
Pryce-Jones, Lindsay (2014) did research on 32000 respondents and told that happy workers are six times more energized and they stay twice as long in their organization. Wilters and Agarwal (2015) discovered that happy employees will not fall sick often, which helps in less absenteeism. 27% get excellent performance, 45% have higher adaptability, 59% are less likely to look for the job in next 12 months and 18% will stay with the same employer.
DeNene and Ward (2017) from Gallup, surveyed 150 countries since 2006, proves that happiness leads to higher productivity and better organizational performance. Salas, Warr (2007), Ostwald(2015) and Suojanen (2012) analyzed different dimensions of HAW. Now the question arises as to how to make employees happy and develop happiness at work place.
Seminal paper on HAW by Cynthia Fisher (2010) describes 3 major methods by which an employee’s happiness quotient is increased and that is Employee engagement, Job satisfaction and Organizational Commitment. Employee engagement: it is described as involvement that a employee has with his work. Job satisfaction: It is the level of satisfaction that an employee draws from his work.
Organizational Commitment: It is an individual’s psychological attachment with the organisation. CNBC report (2018) on top 25 Happy companies of America states that ‘happiness can impact productivity, employee loyalty and overall employee success’. (source:CNBC,2018) Career Bliss CEO Heidi Golledge states that “Happiness at work should be one of the first factors we account for when thinking about who we want to work for and how we want to work.”Career Bliss is a career and recruiting website Career Bliss recently released its list of the 50 happiest companies in America.
Few of them are Google, Nike, America express, Apple, Microsoft etc. The amazing part of happiness at workplace is that it does not require too much of investment from the management. An article published in” Business News Daily” on 27th Sep.2018, identifies 12 methods of maintaining and increasing happiness at workplace without a raise.
These methods are: work-life balance, transparency, open communication, giving time for vacation and unwinding, creating career pathways, promote positive work environment, recognise reward and benefits and most importantly is TRUST(Forbes-Japan ,2013) etc. The concept of Happiness at workplace is also based on the old theory of Cognitive evaluation theory and JD-R theory.
The theories talk about the basic needs of the human beings at workplace. Like CET theory suggests that everyone has three basic psychological needs that should be met so that their overall well-being can be maximized. These three needs are: 1. Autonomy – Everyone has a need to feel in charge of their own actions.
Everybody has an internal resistance of being controlled and must feel that they have the freedom to choose how they perform tasks.(work engagement) 2. Competence – Everyone must feel that they have the ability to perform the task appropriately and have control over the outcome.(Job satisfaction) 3. Relatedness- Everyone has the need to be included as part of the group.(organisational commitment) people ar born with these needs, and they are felt by all people, regardless of age, gender, or where they live(source:cinthia,2010).
According to this theory, these three needs explain why people do things. If a manager can provide an environment that fulfils his employees need for autonomy(freedom), competence(skills), and relatedness(relation), the probability of employee’s good performance will be very high and they genuinely enjoy their work.
Internal motivation is very important to generate self-determined, excitement, and creativity, which will lead to the enhanced performance. Thus, this blog summarize that happiness at workplace is a critical element of the culture of any organization. Given the awareness about the stress and burnout among the corporate, the organizations are facing various challenges like talent retention, low productivity, low efficiency and poor culture. Organizations are now aware and they are ready to welcome and incorporate the new ideas.
The above stated articles and researches are the proof, which tells that HAW is one of the critical and essential elements to develop productivity and efficiency of the employees and we have examples from the corporate who have proved this right. HAW is also known for helping the employees in reducing the work stress and burnout levels.
It initiates the stress free environment along with high productivity and efficiency of the employees. A strong relation is stated among all the factors, which helps in understanding the importance of happiness at workplace. According to the author, HAW is one of the most important factors in the organisations and it will help employees to perform better. References: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/the-top-25-us-companies-to-work-for-if-you-want-to-be-happier.html https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/want-a-happier-workplace-studies-say-the-best-companies-do-these-5-things-every-.html https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6084-employee-happiness-without-raise.html Happiness at workplace – Cinthia.D.Fisher Happiness-HBR .
Disclaimer: The views, opinions and content on this blog are solely those of the authors, ISME does not take responsibility of content, which are plagiarised or not quoted.
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