By its bare definition, ‘work’ does not embody something fun or something that people look forward to doing. How frequently do you deliberate on resigning from your job or perhaps feel that you are not getting paid enough for the over-the-top efforts that you put in an organization?
Workplaces that strive to balance the everyday stresses of a job to encourage workplace happiness can enjoy strong competitive advantages. Contentment and gratification are very peculiar concepts that tend to mean a variety of things to different people.
For some, workplace happiness can mean getting excellent pay and other incentives and benefits. For others, it’s about having a good time at work and having the opportunity to socialize in an office environment. Others may see happiness in the workplace as something directly tied to the company culture. For instance, having a welcoming work setting, a fulfilling responsibility, and a collaborative work environment, and having the opportunity to give back.
While being happy at work is something extremely personal, the reality is that younger generations are placing workplace happiness high on their list when it comes to choosing between jobs, moving to a different company, or choosing a different career path. No matter what the expectations are, companies can highly benefit by having a culture that welcomes happiness, inclusivity, and openness.
The Importance of Happiness in the Workplace
Workplace happiness is not about playing games and practicing sports during business hours. It’s also not about having your boss as your best friend. Happiness in the workplace is about people enjoying their everyday tasks, openly collaborating with their team members, feeling acknowledged and respected at work, having a healthy work-life balance, and come home fulfilled at the end of the day.
It’s not just employees that benefit from being happy at work, it’s also companies themselves. There’s substantial research that proves that productivity is directly impacted by how happy people are performing tasks. At the same time, happy employees also mean that the employee turnover rates will diminish. Ask yourself, how likely will you be to leave your job if you enjoyed your everyday?
Consider the following statistics to re-assess your idea behind the importance of happiness in the workplace:
- Happiness leads to higher retention rates. Happy employees tend to stay four times longer in their jobs than those that aren’t happy at work.
- Happiness directly impacts our levels of stress. And stress directly impacts productivity. Eliminating stress through a happy workplace leads to more productive employees.
- Openness and psychological safety. Happy employees are more likely to share information and admit mistakes. Hiding mistakes in business, as history has proven, can have terrible consequences.
- Creativity is directly tied to happiness. Therefore, happier employees mean more creative minds are put to work!
- Happy employees are willing to do more. Research has found that people happy at their jobs are twice as likely to spend extra hours at work, reject higher-paying jobs, and place an extra effort to reach the company’s vision.
Happiness in the workplace might just be the secret ingredient missing in some organizations. Leaders that want to boost their company’s productivity, psychological safety, employee turnover rates, and their workforce’s creative capacity, should make workplace happiness a priority.
How Leaders Can Create a Happy Workplace
Even though measuring levels of happiness can be highly subjective and impossible to make accurate, the benefits make it worth pursuing. There are specific tips that can be followed to create a happy workplace and motivate each and every team member to work even more efficiently.
1. Host Engaging and Interactive Team-Building Events
Nowadays, more and more companies understand the value of making time to have fun in the office and continuously hold interesting events. Hosting team-building events where employees can play together, giggle together, and resolve issues together is a great way to promote contentment and fulfillment. This brings employees together and allows for them to get to know each other in aspects other than as colleagues – building trust and connection.
Team-building activities are known for their ability to empower teams to collaborate, boost morale, improve communication, and, more importantly, bond! It’s easier to create workplace happiness when employees know each other well.
Some great ideas for team building activities that boost engagement and trust are:
- Scavenger hunts
- Healthy competition through fitness, sports, or arcade
- Boardgame tournaments
- Trivia challenges
- Room escape games
The key for team-building activities to be successful is for them to be creative, authentic, and interactive!
2. Focus on the Positive Aspects
Happiness leads to positivity. Don’t permit negativity to aggravate in the office. It will take blowouts like germs.
Whether that’s a mistake made, goals not being achieved, or just a poor-performing month, it’s important to keep energy levels high. Particularly during uneasy times, it’s essential for management to emphasize the good.
It’s important for leaders to lead by example. Simple things such as starting the day well, greeting everyone, praising co-workers for their efforts, asking them about their day, and making them feel valued can all have a significant impact on their wellbeing.
By celebrating even the smallest of either individual or team accomplishments, leaders can help foster a happy workplace. Holding feedback sessions is a great idea to tackle workplace problems and discuss the positives. Feedback sessions are also a great strategy to limit the dangers of groupthink.
3. Build a Sense of Fulfillment Through a Higher Purpose
A clear purpose is essential to keep a team focused. It can also build a sense of fulfillment within colleagues. A purpose, however, can not be something selfish such as maximizing profits. Purpose represents something way more meaningful.
As Simon Sinek would argue, purpose refers to something more profound. It’s what gives meaning to your life. Having a purpose is your answer to, “Why do I wake up every morning and why should anyone care?”
Reminding your team of the purpose behind their responsibilities will help keep everyone’s motivation high. Leaders should have team members visualize how their individual contribution is part of a bigger mission. With everyone being on the same page, leaders can capitalize upon people’s innate need to serve.
4. Boost Professional Relations
Leaders should always see their colleagues as human first, co-workers second. This means making time to build relationships, checking in, and getting to know each other better. What are your colleague’s hobbies? What are their unique skills?
If we look at the current scenario, many people are comfortable working remotely. Yet, remote work often leads to employees feeling lonely. Workplace happiness can never be achieved if employees are feeling that way.
Some simple ways that company cultures can encourage happy professional relationships are:
- Come up with a mentor system
- Host simulated events and games
- Generate time blocks for virtual chit chats
- Pair new hires with experienced employees
Despite hybrid or fully remote working conditions, technology is a great way to bring people together. Yet, driving happiness in the workplace often means getting off your computer and engaging with each other in settings other than the office – whatever that looks like today.
Benefits of Promoting Happiness in the Workplace
Happy workplaces enhance employees’ outcomes. When the vibe is friendly, work no longer feels like a burden, but a place where to feel valued. Below are some reasons why having a happy workplace is important for any company:
1. Business Success: A happy workplace is one where employees support each other and are open about their vulnerabilities – a key component of business success. Mistakes are not being hidden and failures are often seen as opportunities. Both business and employees benefit from a happy workspace.
2. Motivation: More energy and optimism can be seen when employees enjoy their work. Individuals feel driven to perform their daily tasks and are open to receiving feedback. Happy employees are more likely to see feedback as an opportunity for growth and development.
3. Health Improves: Happiness also boosts people’s immune systems. Therefore, happy employees mean it’ll be less likely that people will call in due to sickness. Fewer call-ins mean greater productivity and stronger financial gains.
4. Creativity Upsurges: People become even more creative when they are feeling happy. They will want to innovate, explore new initiatives, make their voices be heard, and give their best. It’s very unlikely that something original can arise from an unhappy mental state.
5. Teamwork: Employees will start engaging with each other more as a team if the workplace encourages happiness. A happy workplace always denotes healthier communication. Employees will interact on a better level amongst themselves and also with customers. This is an even more important feature for salespeople.
6. Learning From Mistakes: Hiding mistakes often involves losing time, money, energy, and other resources. Workplace happiness is key to avoid this pitfall. Happy employees are more likely to praise each other, give feedback, and learn from the mistakes made. Unhappy employees, on the other hand, may see feedback as criticism and might end up frustrated.
Life Is Too Short Not to be Happy
If you think about it, we spend most of our awake time in the office. Do you really want to spend most of your day miserable? Do you really want to take all the stress of your job home and to your family members and loved ones? Why not make the most of it instead? Finding happiness in the workplace, and in anything you do really, is the key to being successful.