Does happiness cause productivity in the workplace?
This seems fairly easy, but are we mixing up causation? Does productivity cause happiness instead? I think there might be more to this situation such as long-term versus short-term outcomes. Making employees happy now might do little impact on long-term productivity. Thoughts?
It it obvious that when you are relax and happy your mind works better than when you are nervous, your mind is busy with troubles and problems and ....
I really think happy employees are more productive than unhappy employees. If you enjoy your workplace, you will complete your work, if you don't, you wont want to work...
I have definitely found that happiness increases productivity. For myself when I am feeling good I will spring out of bed and jump into work, somehow every decision and action is just easier and flows. The opposite is also true.
I also found this with other staff too but the difficulty is in what makes people happy? What works for one staff member may not work for another. Overall though I found that validating their hard work went a long way. I also used to take my team for lunch meetings. The informal setting and chance to talk both work and not was a weekly highlight and the difference between my team that did that and the one that didn't in work productivity (and happiness) was quite distinct.
One final thing just for interest - there was a study done where an office was painted bright colours from grey. The productivity went up over 15%. 6 months later the productivity had started to drop so they repainted the office back to the grey. Surprisingly productivity increased by a further 15%! Changing up the work environment and change are great productivity boosters - not sure if this equates to happiness but pretty significant anyway.
A brilliant question/ thought, Joseph.!
I believe that one needs to be in a reasonably calm state of mind even just to be able to contribute on the work front. If you had someone close who's unwell even for a day, you'll know the negative impact it has on work.
In the normal routine, however, an unrelated incident, meeting or event can definitely trigger a sudden and temporary boost to productivity. [bumping into an old flame, winning a prize online, etc., etc.]
But that apart, I think the truest happiness [like in the movie by the name] comes from the pursuit of something. Setting sufficiently large goals and giving it everything you have, brings with it the best happiness and content that ever can be.
Look forward to more such interesting and thought-provoking questions from you.!
Happiness is a very relative condition. My father was never happier than when he was building, hard at his work. For some happiness at work is slacking off, drinking latte's, gossiping. Creativity is fostered with respect, fair play, and openness-I think you are right when you say good productive, stable, fair minded workplaces produce happiness-and if people are being well rewarded for their efforts.
I agree with Eric's comment on engagement vs. happiness. "Happy" is the new buzz word when it comes to culture building. At the end of the day, we are looking to create an environment in which people feel valued and remove road blocks so they can be effective. A critical piece of this is hiring the right people whose passions are aligned with the work they do. It is less about being "happy" and more about matching people into roles where they can leverage their strengths every day. That makes work fun and also is good for the business.
Evaluating a merger in London and the lead executive describing his team said to me "we like to have fun at work". Didn't trust him from the getgo.
I never felt the urge to get my "fun" at work. Never tried to make sure my people were having fun. Respected and rewarded, given challenging tasks and opportunities to manage their own work and development, yes, but fun just was never a high priority.
Maybe I missed the happiness at work boat, but I am happy about the work I did and the people I took care of. Not as much happiness as pride and satisfaction at getting a job done with a team you care for. Now happiness outside of work, that is a different story.
Being happy, has been proven to help increase productivity. When I'm at work and when I see my team happy, I know that it's a great sign and gives me security knowing that this can also be great for better communication and staff working more effectively. However, very high levels of happiness (cannot put a % on that) could also be distracting. I think if there is a happy medium, work will get done better!
I think it stems more from engagement driving productivity, and engagement is usually greater when workers are happy, or feel they have a purpose within the company. That being said, how do you give employees purpose? Greater accountability, show them their impact to the bottom line (and how that impacts them in return), show them the fruits of their labor, their direct impact on the customer, etc.
I think if an individual works in a positive and happy environment employees are focusing on creative solutions for their company.
Working in a negative environment cuts off that positive flow of ideas. You can't make everyone happy but if the company focus is to create a good work environment it goes a long way toward productive employees.