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People Management

The insight you cannot miss: This is how you can create a happy workplace


Happiness at work brings a variety of positive outcomes such as improved collaboration, higher levels of innovation and the desire to meet common goals. So how can you create a happy workplace?

It may sound like a cliche, year after year, scientific research has proved that employee happiness has a direct impact on a company’s bottom-line.

At the University of Warwick, a team of researchers recently found that happy employees are 12 percent more productive than the norm, and 22 percent more productive than their unhappy peers.

One of the leading professors behind the study, Dr. Daniel Sgroi explained; The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.

Realizing that a creation of a happy workplace must be on your bucket list is not the difficult part. The challenge is to find the best way to keep your employees happy and productive.

Here are a couple of ways you can maximize your efforts.

Share a purpose

To have a happy workplace, people need to be driven by something greater than just profits. To bring a purpose to life, it needs to be a central part of the company culture. It must represent ways to create enrichment and happiness in our work lives and to some extent also define our reason for being.

When asked about the creation of a happy workplace, during the latest ISS Top Management Conference, the ISS CEO Jeff Gravenhorst mentioned; Ensuring that everyone has a purpose is truly the first priority of our organisation. As further explained by the ISS CEO:  The key driver for us, is to give every individual within our company a profound and in-depth understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it. Whether it is me, the line manager, the front-line cleaner or caterer – the more everyone understands the purpose of what we are doing, the more engaged anybody will be.

Make work-life balance a priority

When looking at possible incentives to improve happiness in the workplace, it is important to consider root causes of unhappiness.

Stress and overwork in particular are common causes and side effects of working life. According to a recent study, many employees see wellness initiatives as a favoured option for decreasing stress, burnouts and increasing happiness in the workplace. This desired effect is supported by research as well.

A study by Harvard University found that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, the company’s absenteeism-related costs fell about $2.73. Another meta-analysis of 42 corporate wellness studies also found a 25% reduction in sick leave and absenteeism, a 25% reduction in health costs, and a 32% reduction in worker’s disability costs and compensation.

Let employees work from home

With work-life balance also comes the desire for flexibility. Today, most office workers can perform their job from anywhere. Why not take the pressure of their shoulders and let them?

Working flexibility, both in term of hours and location, has been found to have a variety of positive effects on individuals and businesses as a whole: the main improvements include boosted job satisfaction, productivity, and staff retention levels.

Asking the employees who currently are able to work from home, a huge 78% believe it improves their happiness. Meanwhile, a significant portion of the working population (34%) would like the ability to work from home – believing it would make them happier – yet they are denied the privilege.

Deliver praise and recognition

There’s nothing more demotivating for us as employees or human beings than feeling unappreciated. Yet, according to Gallup’s analysis, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.

In addition, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.

Delivering praise and recognition provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work.

So how do you make sure that you team is being consistently recognized for their hard work?

To continuously reinforce appreciation at ISS, we have created something we call an Apple Award Programme. This is an initiative that makes sure that ISS employees are praised when they perform beyond what is expected from their daily service delivery.

People are rewarded with on-the-stop, monthly and annual Apple Awards and everyone around the ISS employee is asked to participate in the nomination process – be it a colleague, manager or customer.

Praise and recognition may be one of the simplest yet greatest missed opportunities for leaders and managers to create a happy workplace. Are you ready to get started?

Would you like to know more about how to succeed in the workplace of the future? Download our ISS 2020 White Book: New Ways of Working – The workplace of the future.

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