How happy your employees are not only affects their job performance and health, but it can improve your bottom line.
Often, business owners feel the pressure to meet the bottom line. One of the first things employers might cut, thinking it will save them money, are employee benefits or expenditures. After all, you reason, is a gym membership really critical to my employee’s satisfaction at work?
Turns out, the answer is yes. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, only 33 percent of Americans are engaged at work – that is, they enjoy what they do, care about improving their performance and think their work matters to the business’s success. According to that same report, what employees most crave is “the ability to do what they do best,” followed by “greater work-life balance and better personal well-being.”
You want your employees engaged; engaged workers actively contribute to the workplace, care about the success of your business and feel a personal motivation to better the business’s success.
Employee happiness affects the quality of their performance
Fatigue and physical stress causes your employees to disengage, but it also has a pronounced neurological effect on their ability to think critically and engage with complex issues. Stress reduces an employee’s ability to focus and remember simple figures and facts; it distracts them and causes them to struggle to pay attention. This makes them more prone to simple errors that can cost your business money or otherwise negatively affect the business cycle.
In addition, stress and fatigue can cause physical symptoms, ranging from gastrointestinal distress to feeling faint or light-headed. This can cause them to take more time off, costing you money and reducing the amount of time your employee is available to work.
Happy workers are more productive and cost-effective
According to global management consultant firm Hay Group, more than 25 percent of dissatisfied employees are planning to leave within two years. Dissatisfied employees are already thinking about their next workplace. Gallup reports than 68 percent of employees are disengaged. In contrast, 89 percent of companies that develop initiatives to improve employees’ work-life balance see an improvement and increased employee retention.
Changing jobs is a psychological stress in and of itself, which means employees seeking to minimize stress will likely prefer to see improvements at their workplace rather than leave elsewhere. Just the psychological effect of feeling like they have a good work-life balance can make them work 21 percent harder, according to the Corporate Executive Board of Fortune 500. Just the effort of attempting to address the work-life balance issues employees face can make them feel like their company is invested in their well-being.
Stress disengages employees from the workplace
When employees are stressed, their performance suffers. There’s a direct correlation. And often, the sources of stress causing them to disengage are problems produced by the workplace. According to legal experts, this is one of the biggest causes of employee compensation lawsuits.
Problems such as poor management or an unstable workplace – regular turnover, for example – can lead to employees distrusting their bosses and co-workers. In addition, employees may worry that their position is stagnant or they have no opportunity for growth without leaving their jobs.
On the other hand, many common stressors come from the home. Employees can’t necessarily address all of them, but they can address key stressors that may leave them feeling distracted and stressed. This can include a lack of time or place to exercise – companies have found that gym memberships or on-site gyms have been immensely popular among employees – or a lack of access to health care, child sitting or other day-to-day needs. A company looking to improve employees’ work-life balance can begin by addressing these particular needs. Offer health care plans for workers. Provide babysitting services for new mothers, which can help them come back to work and save on costs for her and for you.
Although you can’t solve all the problems that cause stress for your employees, you can take steps to show you want to make their lives easier. A full-time employee has dedicated their career to you. Today, most employees want to see that same devotion from their company.