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How a happy workplace boosts business success 7 min read
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The best words a boss can hear are “I love my job!” but a happy workplace is much more than employees walking around with a permanent smile on their face. In fact, registered charity Action For Happiness declares that an overwhelming 90% of people want to be happy at work and don’t just do it to keep the lights on. Creating a happy workplace is a combination of understanding the people who work for you, what they need to feel appreciated, and how to do both consistently so that it’s fair for all staff. But why is that essential for your business to grow and thrive?

In this guide, you’ll learn more about what defines happiness at work and why it’s crucial to business success. We share some actionable tips on creating a workplace where staff are excited to arrive every day.

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What defines a happy workplace?

Before drawing up plans for workplace happiness, it’s imperative to understand what a happy workplace actually looks like. Let’s explore the qualities that a company might have so that employees can’t wait to arrive every day.

High level of trust and respect

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, feeling appreciated and respected are crucial keys to happiness. If your boss values your opinions, listens to your ideas, and believes in your abilities, it will help you positively approach your work as you’ll feel more confident.

Encouraged autonomy

Micromanaging can make you feel like your boss doesn’t trust you. Autonomy allows breathing room. Employees are able to explore unique ideas to solve a work-based problem, perhaps in a new way that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to achieve if micromanaged. Encourage the use of a flexible platform to assist in working creatively, such as Work OS. With that freedom brings happier working and increased job performance.

Fair compensation

Reality dictates that we must go to work to pay for our bills and lifestyle to get what we want and need out of life. Feeling like you’re paid what you deserve for your role and responsibilities is a key factor in feeling satisfied at work, because it helps support a good work-life balance (and the trust and respect we discussed earlier).

Career growth opportunities

When employees feel capable of more, it helps that their boss supports that urge for personal and professional development. Happiness is found in companies that provide support and opportunities. Personalizing training with an individual development plan, opening up promotions, and offering support with further education all count.

Celebrating success

At work, you want to feel like your efforts make a difference. Whether you help a project become a success or you work together with your team to hit a company target, celebration recognizes those efforts and helps you feel valued. Feeling appreciated is the number one factor at work that employees desire above all else, according to The Happiness Indicator study.

Workplace happiness depends on a variety of factors. But why is happiness so important?

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Why is a happy workplace important?

Historically, companies have often focused purely on statistics and percentages as markers for success. But success goes beyond profits and growth — let’s explore the reasons why happiness matters so much to your business.

Loyal employees

Create a happy work environment, and employees will do their best to keep it that way. They are more likely to stay with you for the long haul, using their enthusiasm and creativity to boost your business toward its goals. New employees you bring on as your company grows will feel like they’ll want to stay, too, instead of leaving for your competitors.

Happy employees help create a strong brand image and positive reputation, which entices both new talent and customers — customer satisfaction goes up because committed employees feel good and work harder to achieve their goals.

Increasing engagement

Put simply, a happy worker feels engaged, enthusiastic, and absorbed in their work day in and day out, yet only a third of people feel engaged at work, according to a Gallup poll. Happy staff use their skills and ideas to help hit company goals. Plus, it boosts team morale when coworkers feel energized and happy to be there — it feels good to be around positive people! That’s how an engaged employee can have a ripple effect on the whole team’s attitude to work.

Retaining top talent

Employees that feel content and healthily challenged at work are more likely to stay, which means your best workers won’t want to jump ship to your competitors. Offer an appealing work environment, and you’ll keep hold of those vital people that benefit your business the most. Plus, you’ll avoid having to spend thousands on recruiting and onboarding new staff.

Efficient problem solving

Staff who feel comfortable voicing their needs or piping up when something goes wrong help get these problems solved faster. Issues that would otherwise slow down processes get dealt with more efficiently.

With the knowledge that a happy workplace is vital for your business to thrive, how do you go about implementing a strategy to boost workplace happiness in the long term?

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How can you create a happy workplace?

Every business can benefit from these practical solutions to create a happy workplace, so you can begin reaping the benefits of satisfied workers.

Encourage open communication

Encourage everyone in your business to come forward with issues or suggestions in a way that helps them feel heard and comfortable to speak up with confidence. For example,’s Work OS can help you collaborate individually, as teams, or on the company-wide level. There are lots of ways to do that, but creating whole boards with individual topics of discussion opens up the floor for all team members to have their say.

Introduce relevant incentives

Incentives are a compelling way to encourage a positive work culture, but only if they’re relevant. You can provide incentives that are:

  • Monetary: Bonuses or commission
  • Non-monetary: Free food or flexible hours

Now to the relevant part — conduct a survey to find out what employees would value receiving as an incentive to help create an effective incentive scheme people will actually understand and want to take part in. As a plus, you can align how employees earn their incentives with your company goals to further promote success, while keeping people happy.

Offer work flexibility

Businesses no longer follow the strict nine-to-five schedule from 20 years ago. Fitting around your workers’ commitments and allowing work flexibility can help people feel more appreciated and improve work-life balance. To manage people’s flexible working schedule successfully, you can try using the Work Calendar Template, so that everyone’s in the loop on team availability.

Provide personal development opportunities

To further show your appreciation, take an interest in your workers’ passions and skills! Providing people with the ability to work on their own projects and present their own ideas to help the company shows levels of respect and trust — that you value what they have to say.

Listen and adapt

Your approach to creating and keeping a happy workplace is ever-evolving and requires constant listening and adapting. As the business grows, people and processes change. If something you’ve implemented doesn’t work, keep changing it until it does. Instead of crossing your fingers and relying on guesswork, using an Employee Engagement Survey Template at regular intervals may help you gather useful data to learn more about your employees and what makes them tick.

Sending employee satisfaction surveys every six months to a year offers the most valuable feedback from employees, without overwhelming them too often.

Workplace happiness is a work in progress

A happy workplace is a constantly evolving process combining conscious habit-forming, developing a positive work culture, and listening to employee wants and needs. Using a powerful Work OS may help you achieve better teamwork and increased productivity for more engaged employees.

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