It’s safe to assume that most companies want happy employees. Unfortunately, for many businesses, profits often take priority at the helm of the ship and employee satisfaction takes the stern. Moreover, even fewer companies know what it takes to actually make their employees happy. What if happy employees directly translated to larger profits and business success? That would be a real “rising tide lifts all boats” situation. There is good news: they do.

Here are a few simple and profitable ways happy employees can take businesses full steam ahead.

Happiness Fuels Productivity

According to a recent study from economists at the University of Warwick, “human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.” The study also found that happiness led to a 12% spike in employee productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive.

On the note of productivity, the average human sits for 12 hours per day. Something as simple as a program that encourages employees to get up and walk around every hour, or an investment in ergonomic office furniture can make an astronomic difference to ensure employees are happy, healthy, and engaged.

In fact, research shows when employees are given ergonomic office options, like standing desks, their productivity can increase by up to 23%.  So, if you’re trying to convince your boss to invest in standing desks for the office, you might want to share this small study by BMJ. In the study, researchers measured mental health and job performance of desk-sitters vs. desk-standers. By the end of the trial, they found that people using sit/stand desks were more engaged at work and better at their jobs than their chair-bound counterparts. The sit/stand desk users also reported less job-related fatigue, less lower back issues, higher quality of life, and less anxiety.

Happy Employees Make Happy Customers

Have you ever walked into a retail situation and the demeanor of a cranky employee impacted the way you felt about your entire day and the company itself? A happy and positive employee makes a big difference for customer loyalty, sales, and retention.

According to “The State of the American Workplace” report by Gallup, employees who are engaged are more likely to improve customer relationships, with a resulting 20% increase in sales.

What Employees Want

Ok, ok, so hopefully I’ve convinced you … it is important to invest some time and money into ensuring employees are happy—but, how do we get there? It’s actually quite simple. A few factors that make up employee satisfaction include:

  • Trust in leadership: Employees crave a good relationship with their leadership team and want to work for a company they trust and believe in. By getting employees involved in company decisions from the foundation and giving them ownership in milestones, leaders can motivate and inspire employee passions to steer toward a common goal.
  • Health: Physical and mental health are integral for cultivating happy employees. By offering health benefits, gym packages, healthy snacks, standing desks, and programs that encourage activity, you can increase employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Recognition/Growth: It feels nice to be acknowledged for a job well done both verbally, financially, and at a promotion level. Employees want to have a clear vision of their growth trajectory and what it takes to get there. It’s a good idea to encourage company kudos and establish clear growth paths within the organization.
  • Culture: The fact of the matter is, we often spend more time at work than we do at home. That said, employees want to enjoy the atmosphere of the workplace. Successful businesses encourage employees to connect with one another and cultivate programs that inspire good company culture.

The Takeaway

Happy employees directly translate to larger profits and business success. From productivity, to culture, to retention, to customer satisfaction, employees who are happy overall perform better. By following the above tips, leaders can foster a work environment of financial and personal prosperity.