Workplace happiness matters

Should “VP of culture” be your next hire? We (alongside quite a lot of evidence) certainly think so!

When we’re working with brands to understand and embed the right values and behaviours, we find that positive workplace management delivers as much business benefit as traditional techniques like appraisals and performance management. When companies create the right conditions, people thrive. They thrive because they have developed a sense of pleasure, connection, and a belief that people are working together to create a positive impact on the world.

The breakout zones, the bean-bags, table-tennis tables and gaming areas of tech start-ups are just one aspect of this trend. Andre Spicer and Carl Cederström, authors of The Wellness Syndrome, point to the growing industry of “funsultants” offering ways to make workforces more positive. Some firms have started to employ chief happiness officers.

And there are numerous academic studies that support the view that happier employees are more productive.

Research by the Social Market Foundation and Warwick University’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) makes interesting reading.

The report’s author, Dr. Sgroi, explains: “Having scientific support for generating happiness–productivity cycles within the workforce should … help managers to justify work-practices aimed at boosting happiness on productivity grounds.” Happy workers are 12-15% more productive, he says.

Another study caught our eye, about the benefits of friendships and human connections within the workplace. According to Harvard Business Review, close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%. The study also found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.

As the UK falls further behind other major countries in the productivity tables, organisations should focus on creating the best culture for their people. A positive culture means the people working for you are more inspired and passionate about what they’re doing. They’ll be more creative and innovative in the way they work. And they’ll be more committed to the cause over the long term.

When companies create the right conditions, people thrive