Happiness in the workplace might seem like a nice to have rather than being essential – it’s great if employees are happy, but their productivity is more important.
From a purely financial perspective, such an attitude might make sense even if it fails to address any pastoral commitments the employer might have to their employees.
Except, that is, it doesn’t even make financial sense. Workers who are not happy are not engaged, they are not as productive and they are more likely to leave.
A happy workplace is a productive workplace, here are some statistics from a range of respected sources that demonstrate that fact.
It’s just a job…
Almost a third of workers see their job as just that and nothing more – it’s just a job to them, something to pay the bills but not of any greater significance.
This research, by the Pew Research Centre, suggests that many employees will not put in extra effort for the company, they feel little attachment to it. They might do just enough work, but they are certainly not thinking of investing any more time in the role then they have to.
Change this ratio, make the job more than just a job, make the workplace somewhere they actively want to be and their motivation will increase, so too productivity.
It’s not all Money, Money, Money
This stat from Officevibe might come as a shock – when people leave their job it is only because of financial reasons in a quarter of all cases.
That begs the question what others are leaving for, what makes the remaining 75% leave their job. It is, of course, a range of factors but one of the key ones is workplace environment and that sense of whether it is a good place to work.
People will leave a job for no financial benefit if the move is perceived as being to an employer that provides a better workplace environment.
Not all generations look for the same things from the workplace (as much as you can generalise, of course).
Increasingly, those joining the workforce want more than just money, they want work life balance. When we look at millennials, the figure is staggering – 83% of millennials place work-life balance as the key factor in choosing who to work for.
The phrase who they choose to work for is key here too – not everyone has the luxury of course, but those in a strong position, with skills in demand, can pick and choose who they want to work for. Money is not the key differentiator.
The importance of empathy
This one received almost universal agreement – 96% of employees believe that employers can boost retention by demonstrating empathy towards their employees.
This case be understanding towards any difficulties they might have that can impact performance, it can be as simple as showing a genuine interest in employees and doing things that help in that much sough-after work-life balance.
What the research by Forbes clearly demonstrates, in keeping with the other stats in this post, is that employees want an employer to move away from the old style workplace where people turn up, do their job, and that’s about it.
Happier workers produce more
If you can increase engagement and worker happiness, there is a clear impact on profit.
Recruit Lopp found that employers who increased the engagement of their employees saw profits increase by an average of $2,400 per employee per annum.
Similar research by Gallup demonstrates that when people are engaged in their work, especially working in teams where they feel valued and that their work is importanrt, productivity rises by an average of 21%.
Up the benefits
The stats point towards the importance of work-life balance and happiness at work and how these boost productivity, but how can happiness be achieved?
Research by Zoro found that 72% of employees would feel more job satisfaction if their employer offered a wider range of workplace benefits.
As this is our area of expertise, this is a point we can expand upon below; it is a practical way to boost happiness, productivity and increase staff retention.
Setting up workplace benefits
Workplace benefits are easy to set up when administered through a company such as Enjoy Benefits, there is very little administration required by the business, and the company also enjoys savings against NI contributions.
Importantly, the benefits can also be of use to all employees, there are benefits which are of use to all, others that will appeal to certain groups, the key is to have a range and also to remind staff of their existence.
We mentioned how empathy was key in one of the statistics above, a workplace benefit such as the Employee Assistance Programme meets this need.
This is a benefit that provides employees with a confidential help and advice line at all times, they can speak to experts and get advice on any issue that might be affecting them – for instance bereavement, debt, gambling issues, and also positive life events such as an upcoming wedding or the arrival of a first child.
Other benefits make an employee’s life that bit easier – a workplace nursery scheme creates a link with a local nursery, employees get high quality nursery provision for their young children, but paid for through salary sacrifice. This leads to many thousands saved.
Gym membership schemes, cycle to work programmes, leasing options for phones and cars are among workplace benefits that help employees get great deals on items they would be looking to buy – a gym membership scheme can also help workmates socialise outside of the office.
Benefits can also include dining clubs and holiday exchange schemes – we will be looking at some of the more unusual benefits available in an upcoming post.
What the stats really tell us
The statistics tell us that happiness matters in the workplace and that creating a workplace in which staff feel engaged and motivated also leads to higher staff retention and boosts productivity.
On the practical side, we also know that workplace benefits can help create exactly sort of environment.
About Enjoy Benefits
At Enjoy Benefits, setting up workplace benefits is what we do, helping businesses come up with a suite of benefits well matched to how many employees they have and the nature of their workforce.
If you would like an obligation free chat to discuss which benefits might work for your business and your employees, please contact us by calling 0800 088 7315 or using our Contact Form.