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Five Reasons Happy Employees Boost Your Business
Five Reasons Happy Employees Boost Your Business
Let me start by telling you I am right-brained intuitive. What that means is I often just “know” things. I don’t need proof, a study or a spreadsheet. I feel it in my gut and I follow the energy. If that sounds strange to you, you’re not alone. We live in a mostly left-brained world where everyone wants to see proof, have a guarantee and see the R.O.I. Early in my career I became interested in studying optimism, personal development and the psychology of success. Back then, many people felt an optimist was someone who wore rose color glasses and was a bit delusional.
I would find myself in a corporate office excitedly pitching my workshops when a very serious stern faced bottom line executive would inevitably ask me for proof that my workshop could deliver results. I would feel my whole body cringe. I don’t know why these methods work, I wanted to scream…they just do…trust me. Things like soft-skills, happiness and optimism are hard to measure and in the business world it is often thought they are even harder to achieve. Work was always considered a means to an end, not something to enjoy. Many companies don’t think they should care about the happiness of their employees, making the argument that they get paid and that should be sufficient.
In the 1960’s social psychologist Douglas McGregor highlighted two contrasting theories of workers. Theory X assumed people disliked work and needed to be told what to do. Theory Y assumed that under the right conditions people would look for responsibility, enjoy work and be self-motivated. Well if you have ever read about any of the Fortune 100 best companies to work for, you would know that companies like Google and Wegmans are doing something right. (http://fortune.com/best-companies/)
A 2011 a Gallup study reported that 70 percent of U.S. employees were disengaged at work (Gallup). This means that they mentally quit but remained in their jobs. These are the employees who show up every day, but they are giving a small percent of their energy, engagement and potential. They are physically at their desks, but their minds are elsewhere. They went on to report that this level of disengagement meant billions of dollars in losses for companies here in the U.S.
In 1998 the field of Positive Psychology was born with Dr. Martin Seligman and The University of Pennsylvania. Thanks to this growing body of research, we now have almost 17 years of data that tells us there is a major benefit to being optimistic, and might I be so bold as to say, happy. There is a huge benefit to having a happy engaged culture.
1. HIGH ENGAGEMENT & PRODUCTIVITY
Happy employees are productive employees. Think about how long a happy child will play and create. When a child is happy she will lose herself for hours. Once she is unhappy, she will become disruptive and combative. They same holds true for employees. When they are happy, they will give their best. When they are not, they will either quit and stay or they will start trouble. Studies have shown that an organization with a happy culture will show a 31 percent increase in productivity (Seligman, Martin E.P. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Life and Your Mind. Vintage Books, 2006) and a 37 percent increase in sales (Achor, Shawn. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. Crown Business, 2010).
2. THE WAY YOUR EMPLOYEES FEEL IS THE WAY YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL FEEL
For me, calling an 800 number is a dreaded task. Depending on the company, I am often met with an apathetic, robotic, uncaring drone on the other end of the line. On the other hand, there are a few companies I love to call and know that the representative will be helpful, knowledgeable and engaged in getting my needs met. How employees feel is contagious and does rub off on customers. When a customer has a good experience, they are more likely to use a service or product again.
3. OPTIMAL COPING SKILLS
Optimistic people don’t have fewer problems, they just have better coping skills. They know how to navigate stressful situations, deal with irate customers and keep themselves motivated and focused. The good news is these coping skills can be learned and are available to everyone. In my book, Happiness is a Habit, I provide tips on how to cope with stress, and I offer public workshops and events throughout the year. For the next event near you, click here.
4. CREATIVITY & ENERGY
Happy employees are creative, energetic and helpful. They are more willing to share their ideas, participate and seek solutions. They are not insecure, backstabbing and dictatorial and this energy creates a culture for success and innovation.
When employees are happy they stay, they are engaged and energetic and they add to the company’s bottom line. It’s no wonder why a company with happy employees then becomes a benchmark for other companies with inspired intelligent people banging down the doors to work with them.
In my opinion, the leader who takes this seriously and doesn’t see it as fluff will reap the rewards of profits AND people. Happiness can give an organization a serious competitive advantage and can help improve results.
If you’ve read this far and feel you are powerless to change your situation, the first step is starting the conversation. Feel free to forward this blog along to get the conversation started.
We have some great upcoming events in Rockland County. Click HERE to learn more.
MAKE it a Great Day!