The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Employee Happiness: Should We Care?

softball

A study shows that employees are 12% more productive when they are happy…so the simple answer is Yes! The study out of the University of Warwick shows that when employees are happy our profits increase. This also helps to explain why companies like Google and Zappos have invested in employee support and satisfaction. Google for example has seen a tremendous impact – as much as 37% added productivity. This is added work employees can complete without sacrificing quality. For some organizations, it’s as simple as changing the old fashioned break room into an area with couches, televisions and a place to just relax together during the day. Think of the communication that might occur over a ping pong table by a team trying to solve a complex issue.

There is supporting data which highlights the impact on business when employees are unhappy. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, America is loosing a shocking $300 billion per year in lost productivity from unhappy workers. This can pay for a lot of couches and ping-pong tables! Harvard business review looks at the intrinsic value of the work and the connections made in the workplace. The way employees feel about the organization, co-workers and managers will have an tremendous impact on whether they move toward high achievement – or are dragged down by the days events. The overall impact on workers’ creativity, productivity, commitment and collegiality can not be negated when looking at productivity.

Think about this cost to the bottom line next time your employees ask for you to sponsor a company softball team, or have an idea for a dinner out that may cost a few hundred dollars. If you are spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on recruiting, can that be saved by a few changes in your environment to move employees from sad to happy? If so – do it and get yourself out of the $300 billion dollars that is being lost each year.

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