There are plenty of studies across the web proving happy employees are more productive and engaged. And so, many employers have started prioritizing employee health and wellbeing, especially mental health, to ensure the workforce is healthy, happy, and productive.
A study conducted by Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford showed there was a 13% higher productivity from happier employees
The study showed that this productivity rise was not because the employees put in extra working hours, but because they were happier while doing their job, and so, performed well during their daily working hours.
The study was conducted on the employees of BT, a multinational telecommunications company based in the United Kingdom. Customer satisfaction, presenteeism, and the call-to-sale conversions of the call center workers were studied, along with their self-assessment of happiness and mental wellness reports, every week. The outcomes showed that happy employees completed their tasks quickly and productively for every working hours, and followed their work schedule well.
Furthermore, the study also focused on the weather conditions along with the performance and happiness quotient of the employees. It was evident that poor weather conditions reduced the productivity and happiness levels of the employees. These results can be correlated with previous studies that showed the association of fewer hours of exposure to sunshine with depression, while natural calamities like floods or droughts caused higher symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Connection Of Employee Productivity and Happiness
Many studies have confirmed that healthy employees are happier and productive. Better physical health is also associated with happiness, as healthy employees have faster and higher recovery from injuries or illnesses, lower risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes or cardiovascular conditions, and overall reduced mortality rates. Undoubtedly, healthier employees are happier and more present at the workplace, thus, reducing healthcare costs and being more productive.
With happier employees around, workplace wellness and productivity can be achieved due to more than one reasons –
Higher Employee Engagement – Happier employees are more interested in their work and give more to complete their tasks on time and achieve their goals. Higher employee engagement leads to higher productivity and better business growth.
Lower Employee Turnover Rates – A Gallup study shows that happy employees are more likely to stay with their organization for a longer time, thus reducing employee turnover rates. Lower turnover rates reflect in the lesser amount spent towards training new candidates, as well as lesser breaks in employee productivity.
More Loyal and Trustworthy – Appreciation breeds loyalty. When your employees are acknowledged and appreciated for their hard work, they are likely to put in more effort towards the betterment of the business. A Boston Consulting Group study showed that appreciation was one of the foremost, yet simple things that employees expected from their employers. Appreciated employees are loyal, happy, confident, and productive.
Lower Absenteeism Rates – Healthier employees are more capable of handling the physical stress and mental pressures. Work-related mental health issues, including burnout issues, have a negative impact on employee health and productivity. While sick employees may take away long leaves, the higher absenteeism rates may cost the employers lost productivity and higher healthcare costs.
What Employers Can Do For Employee Satisfaction and Happiness?
Employers must understand that employees can be happy when they are engaged and healthy. And so, they can implement suitable modules in their corporate wellness programs to reduce healthcare costs and improve productivity. With the right employee engagement strategies, employers must encourage unhappy employees to engage more and be happy. Eating nutritious food, enough physical activity, adequate sleep, meditation, and a positive attitude are a few healthy habits that can help in achieving holistic wellness. Employers can include wellness challenges or other initiatives to help employees cultivate these holistic wellbeing habits.
Employers can offer well-designed corporate wellness programs that come with easy-to-implement wellness platforms built with the latest wellness technology. They can add modules, resources, and tools that promote healthy habits like nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and better lifestyle habits to help with physical fitness, mental wellness, social wellbeing, and holistic health.
Also, employers must be mindful of the workplace culture and identify the factors that can positively or negatively impact the mental wellbeing of the employees. Conducting employee pulse surveys may help in understanding the parameters that influence employee happiness to provide tailored wellness resources. While it may boost employee engagement, it will also improve organizational productivity and establish a healthy workplace culture.