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Updated Mar 14, 2024

A Good Investment: How Keeping Employees Happy Benefits Business

While keeping customers happy has long been a primary goal for businesses, many companies neglect employees' happiness.

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Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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A happy and satisfied workforce is something all companies should strive for. Although it may be tempting to focus solely on business operations, such as increasing sales and attracting more customers, it’s essential to prioritize employee happiness. In this article, we explain why keeping your workforce happy is essential and how to do it effectively.

Why it’s important to keep employees happy

Besides being the right thing to do, keeping employees happy has several benefits for you and your team. Here are some of the primary advantages associated with a motivated workforce.

Increased productivity

The University of Warwick found that workplace bliss leads to a 12 percent increase in productivity. Unsurprisingly, employees who are happier with their jobs will take fewer coffee breaks and bathroom breaks that are just about getting away from their desks. Conversely, stressed-out and unsatisfied employees are easily distracted from their work. For any business that’s watching its bottom line, the simple fact that joyful employees tend to be more productive should be reason enough to invest in their happiness. 

High engagement

Maintaining high employee engagement is one of the most important things your business can do. Engaged employees are passionate about their work and excited to contribute. Employee happiness is one of the first steps to drive employee engagement ― an upbeat employee is more likely to feel connected to their workplace’s success.

TipBottom line
Maintaining employee engagement doesn't have to take a lot of work. Check out these 10 ways to improve employee engagement.

Enhanced creativity

Since satisfied employees are more engaged at work, it enables them to see more of the big picture and offer creative ideas and suggestions that may benefit the whole business. Personnel who feel safe to take risks and suggest creative ideas can be vital to an organization’s innovation.

Low absenteeism

Unhappy employees are less committed to their jobs and may find distractions or excuses for their inability to attend work, increasing your overall employee absenteeism rate. On the other hand, happy employees are excited to work and intrinsically motivated to show up ― on time.

Improved retention

Employee happiness plays a huge role in employee turnover. Research from Zipdo found that dissatisfied employees are four times more likely to leave their jobs than their satisfied peers.

Since recruiting and training employees are among the most expensive activities a company can engage in, retaining happy employees can impact your bottom line significantly.

FYIDid you know
High employee satisfaction is only one reason behind employee retention. If your organization struggles with high turnover, check out our article on 12 reasons employees quit.

How to keep employees happy

So, if we all agree that keeping employees happy is important, how do we do it? The best way to keep employees content throughout your organization is to survey them regularly and act on their feedback. Here are some other tried-and-true strategies to apply to your business.

1. Create an inclusive workplace.

Start creating a diverse and inclusive workplace by hiring employees who represent your company’s values. Train your leadership to demonstrate these values too. An inclusive workplace that celebrates employee diversity and uniqueness is ideal for fostering employee satisfaction.

People want to work with happy people and joy is contagious. If some of your employees are motivated, it can have a multiplying effect on your other employees ― assuming you have a good culture for everyone.

TipBottom line
If you want to improve workplace diversity and inclusion at your company, here are several diversity, equity and inclusion strategies you can use.

2. Acknowledge employees’ accomplishments.

According to Acuity Training, more than 70 percent of those surveyed said feeling unappreciated is the biggest driver of employee dissatisfaction. Recognizing employees in both big and small ways is important to ensure they know you appreciate them. You can have a formalized employee recognition program and encourage all staff levels to offer positive feedback to each other whenever possible.

Keep in mind that every employee has different criteria for feeling supported and praised. One of the worst mistakes managers can make is praising employees in the wrong “language.” Be sure to ask your employees how they like to be recognized.

3. Offer flexible scheduling.

As remote work and flexible working hours have become relatively common in recent years, employees quickly learned to favor flexibility in the workplace. More than half of workers claim flexibility drives satisfaction. Choosing their schedules can help workers improve their work-life balance and overall workplace feel. When you’re flexible with scheduling, your employees will thank you.

FYIDid you know
If you want to offer flexible scheduling as a benefit for your employees, check out the pros and cons of flextime first.

4. Offer comprehensive salary and benefits.

Competitive employee compensation and comprehensive employee benefits are essential to attract and retain employees in today’s marketplace. The market is tight for labor, so you likely need to up your offering just to compete.

However, paying your employees what they are worth is important for employee happiness. Offering competitive wages and benefits shows that you value your staff and care about their well-being. Review compensation and benefits at least once a year to ensure you stay competitive with industry standards.

5. Provide staff with relevant training and development.

If you want your employees to be happy, you need to give them the tools necessary to do their jobs. If you plan for them to use a new software system, offer employees training, manuals and time for them to get accustomed to it. If a new policy is going into effect, don’t just tell them what it is. Explain why it’s happening and what benefits it will provide personnel and the company at large.

As employees grow with your organization, you should offer career development opportunities so they can upskill and advance professionally. Learning and development are not only important for employee happiness but also crucial to employee retention.

Margarita Hakobyan contributed to this article.

author image
Skye Schooley, Senior Lead Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Skye Schooley is a dedicated business professional who is especially passionate about human resources and digital marketing. For more than a decade, she has helped clients navigate the employee recruitment and customer acquisition processes, ensuring small business owners have the knowledge they need to succeed and grow their companies. In recent years, Schooley has enjoyed evaluating and comparing HR software and other human resources solutions to help businesses find the tools and services that best suit their needs. With a degree in business communications, she excels at simplifying complicated subjects and interviewing business vendors and entrepreneurs to gain new insights. Her guidance spans various formats, including newsletters, long-form videos and YouTube Shorts, reflecting her commitment to providing valuable expertise in accessible ways.
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