Published on Oct 4, 2016
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Employees with a happy work life are more productive.
While this seems a little obvious, a happiness-productivity study undertaken by Duke University in the US had surprising results.
The quirky scenarios varied from employees receiving a cash bonus, a free pizza, a compliment from the boss and lastly absolutely no incentive at all.
The study found that complimenting your employees by telling them that you appreciate their hard work turns out to be a better boost to employee happiness than if you were to give them a cash bonus.
In fact, a cash bonus rated so low on the scale that both a Monday morning snack provided by the boss, or even failing to offer employees any incentive at all received a better response from employees than a cash bonus.
The findings of Warwick University in the UK showed that out of the 700 people, those who were given small doses of happiness prior to testing returned the favour with an average of a 12% enhanced productivity.
The boost to productivity was reached by having the employees watch comedy clips, or munch on free chocolate. The 2.30pm sugar-slump is bound to put a dent in the productivity of even the happiest employee.
While it may not be feasible to offer ‘Pizza Wednesdays’ or a sundae bar and intermittent screenings of The Office or The IT Crowd for your employees; there are a number of things you can do to boost your employee’s happiness and increase productivity.
It can be as simple as playing upbeat music, encouraging your employees to get up out of their chairs and move around, and discouraging your employees from doing too much multi-tasking.
Global success case Google have set the gold standard for employee happiness. They made changes to their management style leading to a 37% increase in productivity among employees, according to Warwick University.
So let your employees know that you value them with a simple ‘Well done’ and make a point to thank and acknowledge their achievements. Play happy music in the workplace. Make small gestures such as providing morning teas and public gestures.
Reward your valuable employees and reap a happier, more cooperative workplace. You will be rewarded in the long run with higher productivity.
For more information on intrinsic work motivators, please refer to the Happiness and Productivity paper.
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