Being happy is an important aspect of health and wellness. When you’re not happy, your body feels it. It’s challenging to stay productive and focused, and you’re a lot less likely to make healthy choices when you’re feeling unhappy. Because happiness is so vital to wellbeing, the United Nations declared March 20th the International Day of Happiness. It’s a day to recognize and celebrate the importance of happiness in lives of all different people around the globe.
The International Day of Happiness should remind employers of the value of a happy workplace. Since many Americans spend a good portion of their time in the office, it’s important that they work at a company that prioritizes employee happiness. A principal responsibility of an employer is to create and promote a happy work environment. A happy work environment is not only good for a workforce, but it’s good for the bottom line, too. According to LiveHappy.com, unhappy employees cost employers $300 billion each year in lost productivity.
There are many different reasons why a happy workforce is critical to the success of a company. An office that is filled with happy, engaged employees who love their roles is guaranteed to have more loyalty, less stress, and better recruitment outcomes. Some of the top benefits of a happy work environment include:
- Better work performance. Research has shown a strong link between job satisfaction and work performance. Unhappy and disengaged workers don’t put in their full effort, and they are likely to be looking for other jobs. However, happier employees who genuinely enjoy their work tend to be more productive, motivated, and successful in their roles.
- Healthy employees. Happiness combats a serious problem in most companies: stress. Positive emotions help build resilience towards stress, which can reduce the risk of health problems like high blood pressure, chronic headaches, and insomnia. Happier employees also tend to have lower risks for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
- High morale. A happy work environment cultivates employee morale. High levels of office morale lead to better teamwork, loyalty, and positivity in the workplace. When morale is high, employees tend to have more fun in their roles and are encouraged to foster social connections.
- Better attitudes. Happy employees will naturally have better attitudes and more positive mindsets. Rather than complaining and assuming the worst in situations, happy employees will approach problems in a positive manner that will allow them to succeed.
- More support. Happy employees support one another. A happy work environment will promote encouragement and employees will be more inclined to provide positive support and embrace teamwork.
- Happier clients. Customers and clients feed off of the mood and attitude of your employees. If your employee is unhappy
intheir role, more than likely, they won’t be providing the best experience for your clientele. On the other hand, happy, engaged employees help boost clients’ moods and get them excited about your services. Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%.
Creating a happy work environment obviously has some incredible perks, but it’s not always the easiest task. Below are a few simple ideas to help boost happiness at your workplace:
Start thinking of your office as a community. Say hello to each other and smile at employees when you make eye contact. Though it sounds simple, displaying friendly behaviors with colleagues can truly make a difference. Acknowledging one another on a personal level can create a whole new atmosphere.
Encourage professional growth.
Employees deserve the opportunity to grow professionally at their company. By providing these types of opportunities, employers show that they value their employees and want them to feel fulfilled within their roles. Consider hosting regular lunch and learns, create onsite professional development classes, or subsidize education for employees who want to take classes or attend workshops that will improve their skills.
Take the pledge.
Get together with your employees and take the International Day of Happiness pledge. The pledge is to create more happiness in the world. After taking the pledge, sit down with your team and brainstorm ways that you and your employees can make the office a happier place for everyone. This might include some ideas for random acts of kindness, teamwork ideas, and opportunities for social connections.
Plan social days.
Pick one day a month to host a social gathering of some kind for your employees. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive – just something fun that helps your employees feel appreciated and valued. An ice cream party, coffee social, or company picnic are some great ideas to get you started.
Boost wellness initiatives.
Workplace wellness programs can be utilized to boost employee happiness. Healthy employees tend to be happier, more positive, and more productive in their roles. Host wellness challenges that will boost happiness and encourage healthy habits around the office.
Make a happiness wall.
Find a public space in your office to design a “happiness wall.” Use the space to post pictures, inspirational quotes, and fun office memories. Encourage employees to add at least one item to the wall. Take turns and have each employee explain why he or she chose to share the certain memory, quote, or picture. New memories can be added each month!
What advice do you have for cultivating a happy work environment? Leave a comment below!
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