"Happy wife, happy life." Married couples often laugh about, or literally live by these words. The same can be said for the employees in your company. If you want to truly enjoy higher revenue for your business, keeping your employees happy can mean the difference between level revenues over the course of several years, and sustained growth. How can you support a happy environment in your office in an effort to generate higher revenue?
Do Happy Employees Really Make a Difference?
According to Forbes, the answer is yes! Citing Dr. Noelle Nelson's "Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy," Forbes pointed out that the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For saw stock prices rise an average of 14% annually from 1998 to 2005. The overall market average during this same time period was just 6%; less than half of those companies with happy employees.
How is it that happier employees can have such an impact? Dr. Nelson sums it up as follows: "When employees feel the company takes their interests to heart, then the employees will take company interests to heart."
Further insight on the 2014 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For found that revenue increased an average of 22.2% for companies on the list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that these same companies added new employees at a rate five times the national average.
Research Shows Happy Employees Are Productive Employees
Building off of Dr. Nelson's comments, you will find that your employees are more likely to put in the extra effort and hard work when they feel happy, content, and valued within the corporate environment. Almost 90% of employees are willing to consider changing jobs, but unsatisfied employees are more likely to pull the trigger and look for new employment. In fact, they are 11 times more likely to move within a year if they are discontent.
Some 89% of employees with high levels of happiness reported higher job satisfaction, and two-thirds of them reported putting in extra effort on a regular basis around the office. As a perfect example of the correlation between happiness and revenue, look no further than Alcoa.
When Paul O'Neil took over the world's largest producer of aluminum in 1987, he focused intently on increasing worker safety, which at the time was the greatest concern among the employee base. Over a 13-year period he addressed that concern, and employee productivity soared. Annual income rose with worker happiness and productivity, to the tune of 500% growth.
How to Create a Happier Culture in the Office
Many companies cringe at the thought of putting out even more money to make employees happy. The problem is that, for many, it is not all about getting a raise and taking home more money each year. Business News Daily notes 11 ways a business can improve happiness without giving anyone a raise in the process.
By all means, it is important not to underpay your employees. Fair pay is important because even an employee that loves their job is not there only for the joy, they are there to earn a living. A smart leader pays fairly and keeps promises to look out for employees.
Beyond money though, there are other ways to keep your employees happy. Health can often make or break your office's productivity. Investing in great benefits, from healthcare and fitness centers to childcare and free healthy lunches, can help your employees maintain good health, and even avoid stress that leads to deteriorating health conditions.
When the company turns a profit, it is a good idea to turn around and thank the individuals that got the company where it is today. Record profits should be met with bonuses for employees to show them that their own investment in the company, in the form of time and hard work, can pay off for them, not just upper management.
Finally, be transparent and make the office a fun environment to be in. If you want your employees to feel comfortable, let them know your door is always open and that you will listen to their concerns. Institute bring-your-pet to work day, Hawaiian shirt day, or other quirky options to lighten the mood and foster a fun social environment.
If you have any questions or for more information, contact Manhattan Ridge.