What Makes Employees Happy?

4 min. read

Understanding what makes employees happy, you can make informed choices about factors that can increase your retention, production and reputation.

When you understand what makes employees happy, you can make informed choices about factors that can increase your retention, decrease your attrition, and improve your company’s reputation.

Why Employee Happiness Matters

If you’re wondering what makes employees happy, you are insightful in your realization that happy employees benefit the companies they work for. Making choices that make employees more happy is not about “throwing money out the window” hoping to keep your current talent. Instead, choices that make employees happy can range from:

  • Communication styles
  • Recognition
  • Organizational choices
  • Change in benefits
  • Flexibility in work structure or assignments

While some changes cost the company money, others do not; both types of changes can be substantially valuable in supporting employee retention, lowering attrition, and increasing the engagement and productivity of your team.

What Happens When Employees Are Happy

When you figure out what makes employees happy, their enthusiasm and sincere support of the business goals will help your goals in several important ways. For example, happy employees are more productive than unhappy ones and may have an easier time making friends at work. One study indicated that employees with at least one close friend are 50% more likely to be happy.

How else might happy employees help your business? They may be more effective communicators or more supportive peers. Happy employees can boost the reputation of your business by speaking favorably to friends outside of work or by posting online content that supports your business.

Finally, happiness is contagious! Determining what makes your employees happy and then making choices that are both reasonable for your business and likely to increase employee happiness can spread that happiness even more than expected.

What Happens When Employees Are NOT Happy

When employees are unhappy, that rarely reveals itself as explicitly as a note to management detailing their feelings. Instead:

  • Unhappy employees feel more detached from their work and are less likely to be productive
  • Unhappy employees can easily influence their peers, making additional people at the company unhappy
  • These people can also harm your company’s reputation, costing you money and making new employees harder to hire

Unhappy employees are bad for business for many reasons. Of course, when you value people who work for you, you want them to feel good about their jobs. Unhappiness is not only stressful for the employees themselves but for everyone who interacts with them. That’s why all parties benefit when a business determines what makes its employees happy. The best way to determine how to increase employee happiness is to have a third party administer an employee happiness survey with the assurance that employee responses are anonymous.

But….Nothing Makes Everyone Happy

Yes, there is indeed no one decision, benefit, or company value that will make every employee happy. Some thrive on flexibility, and others want praise. Some are most happy about a larger paycheck, and others want stability.

Instead of focusing on finding one silver bullet that makes all your employees happier, start by understanding their current states of mind. By recognizing that each employee has different priorities and personalities, it will be easier to achieve your goal of figuring out what makes employees happy.

Fueling Success with Happy Employees: The Amazing Workplace Approach

Amazing Workplace knows the best ways improve employee happiness. Contact us today to request a demo, and let us show you our science behind employees' happiness.