They say money can’t buy happiness, but does that mean that happiness has no monetary value? According to research, it does. A recent UK study conducted by Psychological Technologies (PYST) has measured the monetary value of happiness in relation to a business’ bottom line. The results show that increasing workforce happiness by as little as 1% could have a 24 Billion pound per year impact on the UK economy alone. Breaking that down to the organizational level, an average company with roughly 10 thousand employees could boost their bottom line by 7,38 million pounds per year. However, the same study has shown that one of the nation’s unhappiest activities is working; coming in second only to being sick. So how can you improve the happinessof your employees and subsequently your bottom line? With workplace culture.
Read more about the PYST report.
Creating great workplace culture
Outside of individual effort, the key to creating happy employees is cultivating a great workplace culture. Employees who felt they had a supportive team and company values they could buy into were 10.3 percent happier than those who didn’t. So when trying to successfully create a rich workplace culture there are a few keys to remember.
Outline a mission statement
When employees are passionate about company values they are dedicated to growing your company and helping achieve its goals. However, your employees can’t be passionate about your values if they don’t know what they are. Craft a mission statement that is easy to articulate, and outlines your core values. This includes behaviours, attitudes, and the type of culture you are trying to create. Be clear on your expectations, and how you see your employees fitting into such a culture.
Lead by example
Your entire organization needs to embody your core values, and that includes top leadership. You cannot reasonably expect your employees to buy into your mission statement if your top executives don’t. Culture is shaped by leaders, therefore in order to cultivate a great workplace culture, you must lead by example. Show your employees that you believe in your mission statement and live by its core values. In doing so you create a solid foundation from out of which your workplace culture can thrive.
Become a team
Have you ever noticed how most CEO’s and HR departments refer to employees as “team members” rather than a group of individuals, or “staff”? It’s an important distinction. The difference between being a team and a group of individuals is that teams create a sense of inclusivity and support, while individuals see themselves as separate from one another.
Teams work together on projects, helping when needed and sharing a sense of camaraderie. In a team, it doesn’t matter who gets credit for a specific project, deal, or achievement because you accomplish everything together. You become a unit, rather than an individual, and in that, your employees feel supported.
A little appreciation goes a long way
Acknowledging employees when goals are met, and appreciating their efforts can be just as powerful as motivational incentives. Recognizing employee achievements helps create a positive workplace culture and encourages employees to continually excel in their work. Furthermore, according to a report from Harvard Medical School, showing gratitude increases a person’s wellness, promotes better sleep habits, and lessens stress. When you cultivate a culture of appreciation, you boost employee performance, engagement, and well-being.
It’s easy for organizations to undervalue or overlook the power of great workplace culture. Organizational goals and tight deadlines make it easy to forget its importance. This could prove to be a costly mistake. While it is true that you can’t buy happiness, you can build workplace culture, and in doing so you can increase happiness, and in turn increases your bottom line.