It’s widely known that a happy workplace improves employee productivity. In 2009, a team from Warwick University researched the impact of workplace happiness on a company’s bottom line through multinational technology company Google. The company invested in employee support and satisfaction among workers rose by 37 per cent as a result.

The research is supported by a 2018 study by the University of Tennessee, which surveyed around 3,000 firms from 43 countries. The data gathered included questions about employment quality, health and safety, human rights, labour laws, and training and development. What they discovered was that companies with employee-friendly programs are more profitable compared to ones with little labour force support.

Simply put, a happy workplace results in productive and motivated employees. They work better with others and produce better output and contribute to the company’s profitability.

What Keeps Employees Happy?

Although there’s no question about the importance of employee happiness, the question is: what makes people happy at work? Paul McDonald, senior executive director at staffing firm Robert Half, discovered these factors after surveying more than 12,000 workers in North America:

  • Autonomy: Employees are happier when they have control over their workday and pace.
  • Variety and flexibility: Allowing employees to modify their schedule and tasks breaks up the monotony at work and lets them achieve work-life balance.
  • Support and opportunity: Even though employees need autonomy, they also need support from their immediate supervisor and workmates. People also thrive when they are given opportunities to develop their personal and professional skills.
  • Recognition: A “thank you”, a compliment or a shout-out in the company newsletter allows employees to be more motivated with their work.
  • Benefits and perks: A company that offers benefits and perks geared towards employee well-being have less employee turnover.

Improving Job Satisfaction

employees discussing a project in a conference room

With more studies supporting employee happiness in relation to better company performance, many businesses are looking for ways to improve job satisfaction. Some hire fitout project management services to enhance the workplace environment, while others follow best practices by top companies in Melbourne, New York and London.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for every company. Talk to them or conduct surveys to find out what keeps your employees happy and motivated, and what their problems are in the workplace. From there, you can plan on what programs to implement and what processes to improve.

Generally, employee satisfaction should focus on four factors: a positive working environment, reward and recognition, employee engagement and skills development. Provide them with benefits and perks that enhance their physical and mental well-being. Invest in their growth by sending them to training or hiring a coach. Organise fun parties to help them relax and improve the bond among colleagues. A simple “thank you” or a bonus will also make the employee feel their work matters. Then, continuously evaluate your program to ensure that employee satisfaction programs are meeting their goals.

Developing employee-friendly programs in the workplace allows workers to stay focused and motivated on their job and contribute better to the company’s overall goals. Keep in mind that practices by successful companies will not necessarily fit your work culture, so make sure to constantly communicate with your employees to find their specific needs, then enhance your current programs or create new ones.