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Last week in Sofia Alexander Kjerulf and Nic Marks spoke about happiness at work. Both of them stated that the happy employees are most productive. And if this is not enough of a reason to do something about your employees, I would like to list few more reasons not only to care about happiness at work, but to demand it!
The happy employees talk about what they dislike in the company. For a lot of managers the lack of feedback from the employees is a serious problem. The employees does not share ideas, does not tell their problems and accept everything with indifference. Those are not happy employees – the happy ones want to keep their workplace happy and will never be silent if something is keeping them from being happy. If your policy is “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions”, you won’t receive a lot of feedback. But if you are policy is one that people must be happy, be prepared for a lot of discussions.
The happy employees find ways to do their job more effectively. If part of the job is boring you can be sure that they will find a way either to automate it or to render it completely obsolete from the process. The happiness at work is directly connected to the creativity, so if you want your workforce to produce innovative solutions, it’s a must that the people are happy.
The happy employees won’t accept mediocre work. All people want to do a decent job – at least according to their own perception of a good job. One of the greatest demotivators, listed by Tom DeMarco in his excellent book “Peopleware”, is the impossibility to do a high-quality work – either because of tight deadlines, lack of resources or something else beyond employee control. The employees often keep silent about defects in the product, hoping they will be able to fix them afterwards or just knowing it’s not their fault. The happy ones will bring the problem to light and will seek a solution.
The happy people will help you to recruit employees they want to work with. They won’t just participate in the hiring process, they will recruit their acquaintances and well-known professionals to join the company. If your employees are not willing to recommend you their friends or to participate in the hiring, they are not liking their job much. There is no better argument to recruit someone to join your company than the fact that your people are happy in their job!
If you want your business to advance, and not only to offer high-quality products or services, but constant innovation as well, make the happiness at work a company policy. Hire people that will feel great in your company, and demand happiness from your employees. When people are not enthusiastic about their work, that’s a sign of underlying problems in the company – problems you may not learn about for months.