Employee Happiness and Productivity

5 min. read

Employee happiness and productivity often go hand in hand. What actions can you take to improve both of these at your company?

Employee happiness and productivity often go hand in hand. What actions can you take to improve both of these at your company?

Does your company have a Chief Happiness Officer? If not, don’t worry: most companies do not. However, the fact that the Chief Happiness Officer is now a role that some companies fill indicates the growing focus on how employees feel at work. For most companies, the job of understanding and improving employee happiness is often given to an HR leader or other manager. If you are taking the lead in understanding employee happiness and productivity at your company, here is where to start.

Happiness and Productivity: A Complex Relationship

Some research shows that happy employees are better employees. Specifically, they are more likely to treat customers well, be safer at work, and bring joy to their colleagues. Happy employees are also less likely to leave their jobs. But do employee happiness and productivity go hand in hand?

The answer is yes. The developing research on employee happiness shows that happy employees are more productive, enthusiastic, and focused. For example:

  • According to the University of Warwick, economists conducted several experiments to examine the hypothesis that contented workers tend to be more productive. Through these experiments, they discovered that happiness boosted productivity by approximately 12% in a laboratory setting.
  • A study conducted by the Saïd Business School at Oxford University, in partnership with BT — a British multinational telecommunications company — has established a definitive connection between happiness and productivity.
  • The National Library of Medicine reports that happiness at work can be considered a valuable job resource that significantly impacts the performance of employees.

The science behind “proving” that a happy employee is a productive employee is tricky, in large part because happiness is so difficult to measure. In fact, that difficulty is the reason Amazing Workplace exists.

How Can You Tell if an Employee is Happy?

It is not easy to tell how happy an employee is. When employees all worked in person, this may have seemed easier. For example, you could see the following:

  • Which employees were connecting with peers
  • Who seemed to show up enthusiastically for work
  • Who looked disconnected

With the new reality of remote and hybrid work, it can be harder to quickly get a read on who seems happy and who does not.

But even where employees are in person, we caution you against making snap judgments about who is happy at work. Just because Mary tells jokes before meetings and brightens the mood does not mean she’s legitimately happy with her job. Likewise, Sam may seem disconnected, wearing headphones at his desk and staring at his screen…but perhaps he’s an introvert who is sincerely joyful about his work. Instead of trying to take guesses about who is happy and who is not, turn to those who are experts in the science behind employee happiness and productivity.

Time for an Expert: Measure Happiness

Because measuring happiness is such a complex undertaking, intelligent companies choose to outsource this piece. There are years of research and hundreds of thousands of data points that go into the science of knowing:

  • What questions to ask about happiness
  • How to ask questions about happiness
  • How to analyze the results of happiness surveys
  • What actions to take based on your happiness survey results
  • What standards are in place for employee happiness

Your company’s management has plenty of work to do without trying to become experts in measuring employee happiness and productivity. That’s why leaving this piece to the experts is an efficient and effective decision.

Amazing Workplace offers the only Employee Happiness Survey based on decades of research and backed by proven results. Our platform turns thousands (or millions) of survey data points into straightforward, actionable results. It even suggests actions and identifies impacts on your key business outcomes.

Contact us today to schedule a demo, and let us show you how we can help.