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Happiness at the Workplace

 Happiness at the Workplace


Happiness, it can arguably be said, is a bigger motivator than money. However, when devising strategies, companies focus more on revenues and customers, while employee happiness usually takes a backseat. Traditionally, employers have not considered happiness to be an essential workplace priority, and have failed to realise that a happy workforce can change a company's fortune. However, increasingly organisations are starting to acknowledge the strong correlation between low workplace happiness and poor financial performance.


Why measure workplace happiness?


Fostering workplace happiness is a win-win situation for both employers and employees. When employees are happy, they are more creative and productive, less likely to leave, less absent and have lesser conflicts at work, leading to higher productivity and ultimately better customer service. It is important for an organization to demonstrate that it cares, as a happy office can enhance employees' commitment. It also enables and encourages them to put in that additional effort, energy and enthusiasm towards work.


Whereas, unhappy employees display lower productivity, tend to spread negativity among fellow employees, and can potentially hurt the company's bottom line.


Symptoms of an unhappy employee


It doesn't take a psychologist or a scientist to identify symptoms of an unhappy employee, rather constant observation of some visible and clear markers in an employee's behaviour would tell if someone is unhappy at office. Observing the body language of employees – Are they smiling? Are they engaged in conversation with co-workers? – would indicate those subtle signs of the employees' state of happiness.


An app to monitor staff's mood


MoodApp is an iPad application developed by Atlassian, an Australian software company to monitor employees' mood. On their way out, employees mark their responses on iPads, placed near the exit, to questions on different aspects about their workday, which enables the company to respond and adapt immediately if there is a problem brewing.


Here's how you can boost happiness at work


Cultivating a healthy and happy workforce, full of engaged employees, is not a walk in the park, but neither is it rocket science. To start with, companies should acknowledge that happiness is the secret ingredient to be added to its HR strategy and the most critical aspect lies in understanding what motivates people. But driving happiness is not the organisation's responsibility alone; employees too need to consciously take steps to be happy at work.


End note


Happy employees stay with the organisation for a longer period as they associate their happiness and belongingness with the firm. They become ambassadors for the company and send out positive messages to the community, which directly enhances the employer brand. Consequently, companies employing happy workers have happier customers too. Moreover, people are also more successful and happy in their personal lives when they find life inside and outside of work rewarding and fulfilling. Thus, happiness may just be the key to success for both employee and employer.

Publsihed with permission from Engage Sodexo Newsletter, Issue 1.