The Whys and Hows
Increasing workplace happiness also increases:
- Customer Satisfaction
In other words, increasing workplace happiness increases your company’s bottom line!
Top factors that influence employee happiness:
- Increase workplace trust! (See our Trust Building Tips for information on how.)
- Freedom – includes the ability to make decisions
- Autonomy – positive consequences range from higher job performance to increased job satisfaction and enhanced general well-being
- Ability to influence one’s working hours goes hand in hand with increasing work/life balance
- Work/Life Balance – Psychologists have suggested that when workers have control over their work schedule, they are more capable of balancing work and non-work related activities and are less stressed overall.
- Job Security – increases job satisfaction and overall well-being
- Career Development – when employees see the future potential for a promotion, motivation levels increase. Possible options include:
- Mentoring in and outside of the organization (e.g., job shadowing, lunch and learn classes)
- Professional development opportunities – trainings, conferences
- Tuition reimbursement
- Positive Feedback and Rewards – From a psychological perspective, intermittent rewards and recognition are the most powerful, and even more so if they are tailored to meet the individual needs, expectations or passions of the individual. Rewards should also be attainable by all and perceived as fair (though not necessarily equal).
- Intrinsically motivated employees will enjoy new challenges and learning new skills.
- Extrinsically motivated employees will enjoy rewards like bonuses, items, or a gift card.
- Fair but not equal – If Sally loves all things pigs related, a reward for her might be a pig statue. However, that would not be a reward at all for Patty who loves being pampered, and would appreciate a spa treatment or for Claire who would prefer attending a class!
- Team Building activities that create a sense of belonging to a group are a significant motivation for human beings that lower stress levels and increase retention and goodwill.
What about raises?
In 2010, a meta study of employees’ compensation and the well-being achieved from jobs by Judge et al. determined that, while it is probably true to say that money is a driver of employee’s happiness, the effects appear to be transitory and depend on how money is valued by the employee. Some folks would rather have more time off than more money, for example. So in addition to considering compensation and monetary rewards, we also recommend implementing a number of strategies to increase the likelihood of also impacting the workplace happiness of folks who respond to recognition, small gifts, time off, etc.