More and more people are becoming familiar with the concept of “Happy employee = Effective employee”, that “happiness boosts performance” and that Employee morale and happiness have a direct influence on productivity.
Shawn Achor the author of the ‘Happiness Advantage’ has spent 12 years researching this at Harvard. Watch Shawn Achor’s TED video to hear about this research.
“ If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stressed.
“A decade of research in the business world proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality-of-life improvements” Shawn Achor
Many organisations today invest effort and funds in creating a more comfortable and flexible working environments for the benefit of the employees. These investments are no doubt important and are yielding some positive results; however these results will be limited if the employees adopt an approach whereby they ‘want’ and ‘demand’ to receive more and more from the organisation.
Happiness and Positive thinking comes from within- an Organisation cannot ‘make’ an employee happy unless the employee wants to be happy and decides to look at the world and the workplace in a positive way.
“Scientifically, happiness is a choice. It is a choice about where your single processor brain will devote its finite resources as you process the world. If you scan for the negative first, your brain literally has no resources left over to see the things you are grateful for or the meaning embedded in your work. But if you scan the world for the positive, you start to reap an amazing advantage”. Shawn Achor
Another, potentially more surprising result of Achor’s research was that “Employees who were providing social support to others were 10 times more engaged at work and have a 40% higher likelihood of promotion over the next four years. In other words, giving at the office gets you more than receiving.”
According to Achor, reaping the advantage of happiness is in the power of every person and it is a matter of training your brain with exercise and adopting positive life habits.
But is there anything an organisation can do to support employees so it can benefit from the happiness advantage and increase its productivity and profit?
Here are two suggestions:
- Support employee’s development in areas such as Self Awareness, Self worth, Empathy, Controlling fears and ego, forgiveness and fairness so they strive to change and look at the world and the workplace in a positive way.
- Empower employees to be a source for delivering fairness, respect and support to others rather than merely waiting to receive fairness, respect and support from others.
Some people think that if you are happy you are naive or not connected to reality.
Now that there is research validity and evidence that happiness leads to increase in productivity and profit, the business community is staring to take notice of it.
This welcome change in businesses will assist individuals in their journey to live joyful and fulfilling life and will result in a win-win situation for businesses and individuals.
by Ayala Domani