4 Ways Employee Happiness Will Save Costs For Your CompanyPositive Psychology is a whole new field of psychology that studies what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being. There is a range of emotions studied under this which are related to happiness. Emotions such as joy, pride, excitement, optimism, gratitude, love, hope, amusement and inspiration are some of the most important emotions important to feel a sense of happiness. Now imagine a dull work environment, lacking excitement or emotions such as fear, loneliness, anger, sadness, annoyance, disrespect or disgust. Won’t this be emotionally and physically draining? Can this workplace motivate employees to work hard and deliver performance? It is a rhetorical question and we don’t need a survey to prove that. One negative emotion will lead to another and in the end, cause constant worry or stress which in turn will take all the energy out of the workplace. It generally goes that the happier the person, the more energy they will exude and this will increase positivity and creativity. The same applies to employees and company culture too. For several years organisations took employee happiness for granted and focused on scaling the business and improving profitability, or focused solely on keeping customers and clients happy. However, this is slowly and surely changing. Employee well-being is now definitely on the agenda of companies, if not a priority. This is part of the plan to build an engaged workforce driving a profitable and sustainable organisation. The more conducive and happy the work environment, the more productive employees will be. This is why, if you want productivity and therefore profits to increase, you need to take small steps to ensure the happiness of your employees. Gone are the days when people took jobs only to get a paycheck. Of course, money must hit the bank, however, work-life balance, happiness and workplace satisfaction are most definitely on the priority list of today’s workforce. It is not uncommon to see candidates choosing their workplace based on what they perceive as a happy place to work. People spend 3/4th of their waking hours at their workplace and that’s huge. Several studies have shown that employees want more than just a salary. At the most basic level, today’s employees seek a good social work environment, purpose in their jobs, a place to voice their thoughts openly, acceptance of the way they are and like to feel valued, Here are some actions that can immediately increase the happiness level among your employees and improve your bottom line:
1. Employee wellness programmes help save costs:
For several decades now, employers’ attitude towards corporate health has been reactive. But now, business and talent leaders are redefining the purpose of wellness programmes to not only address productivity but also factor in mental well-being, physical endurance, immunity and disease management. After all, it is a well-accepted fact that happy employees make happy customers. Healthier employees mean lower health care costs for the employer as they encourage employees to make healthier choices and often reward them for doing so. These lifestyle behaviours play a big part in minimising the number of large claims and overall health care spending. Employee benefits include health insurance, gratuity, personal accident insurance, paid vacations, retirement benefits, primary healthcare, life insurance, and lately work from home benefits or mental healthcare. Previously, providing insurance and gratuity were the basic mandatory benefits. But since the pandemic started, most HR teams have incorporated additional benefits like primary healthcare and wellness programmes, or broader insurance coverage. How does it boost the bottom line? It helps employees significantly reduce healthcare costs, saves on the cost of absenteeism and gives them a sense of security.
2. Keeping employees happy will reduce attrition and save the cost of replacing them:
The reasons employees change or leave their jobs vary, but some of the most common ones include burnout, desire for new challenges or to build new job skills, seeking a better paying position, toxic work environments, wanting more flexibility and the desire for better work-life balance. Employee engagement is one of the most popular ways to keep the employee involved. It is to create the most optimal work environment so that they perform well and stay committed to the organisation. That said, it’s not a fixed cost but a continuous plan. Many organisations could be wary of the costs and go slow on employee engagement. However, the cost of recruiting and training new employees will be far higher. A happy workforce will encourage your best talent to stay with you. Higher retention = more expertise stays on in your team = more work will be done.
3. Happy employees are more productive:
A recent study by the University of Warwick revealed happiness made people around 12% more productive. No matter how great your product is or how brilliant your business plan is, if no one’s buying it, your business will fail. Happy employees, in other words, engaged employees, are seamlessly aligned to a company’s vision. People need to feel they are valued team members and that their opinion matters. These people are more likely to make a difference and will be more focused to get projects accomplished.
4. Rework your employee benefits:
Employee benefits need to go way beyond the standard accident or mediclaim insurance policies and flexibility at work. Organisations need to explore ways and means to understand what employees are seeking or where they want to find their happiness. This can be done through surveys, employee one-on-one sessions or through other feedback mechanisms. Are they seeking learning opportunities? Or do they want time to engage in working for a cause that they truly care for? Once you have your answers, organisations then need to integrate them into their people strategy and offer the benefits which will be valued by people.
Your happiness culture can also translate over into customer loyalty. Your employees’ engagement with the community feels more authentic. People pick up on this. So how does one create happiness at work?
– Some ways to do it are creating learning and development opportunities for everyone. Nobody likes to feel like they are stuck in a dead job with no opportunities.
– Keep your employees engaged with the brand. Make sure that the company has a clear and united purpose. Communicate this vision to everyone more often so they feel like they are part of the team and striving to achieve a goal.
– Leadership on your team must recognise employee efforts. This will make them feel valued for their inputs.
– Build a culture of respect and inclusivity, and make sure your employees’ ideas are heard. The bottom line is that a happy company is a more productive company. High morale boosts your creativity and team collaboration. Your employees will be more engaging with clients, which leads to more satisfied customers. As word gets out, people will want to work with you. The best way to become an employer of choice is to understand the emotions playing in your workplace, keep them authentic and offer people a range of positive emotional experiences so that even in challenging situations, they are motivated to bring out the best of themselves.
Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s time.