What is employee happiness?

Employee happiness is a fairly straightforward concept referring to the state of having a positive attitude and outlook on one’s work. Happy people are excited to go to their workplace. They enjoy what they do and the people they work with. They have high levels of employee engagement and job satisfaction.

But just because employee happiness is a relatively simple idea doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve in your organization. It requires deliberate thought and effort from HR professionals to create a positive employee experience throughout the entire employee lifecycle.

Why is employee happiness important?

A quick look at some employee happiness statistics reveals that it is an essential element of organizational success. Essentially, if you want to be able to attract and retain top talent, you’ll have to make your people’s happiness a priority. 

Taking a look at the numbers, 69 percent of people will reject a job offer if they find out that the company’s employees are generally unhappy. In addition, 75 percent of unhappy employees want to leave their current roles.

What’s the relationship between employee happiness and productivity?

There is also an important relationship between employee happiness and productivity, as happy professionals are 20 percent more productive than their unhappy counterparts. One survey demonstrates the link between happiness and performance, showing that people with excellent performance are about 15 percent happier at work than those with poor performance.

How can you measure employee happiness?

With the apparent importance of employee happiness in the workplace, it becomes clear that HR leaders must make it a priority to start measuring employee happiness. As a qualitative measure, the best approach to measure employee happiness is to use an employee happiness survey. 

Also called an employee satisfaction survey, this tool uses a variety of questions to explore how happy the people in an organization are with their role, team, manager, company, and more. 

Some great questions to include in an employee happiness survey are:

  • Do you feel connected to your co-workers?
  • Do you have a positive relationship with your manager?
  • Do you feel recognized and rewarded at work?
  • Are you satisfied with your role?
  • Are you happy with the company culture?

To ensure your survey is as efficient as possible, use an employee survey tool designed specifically for measuring your people’s satisfaction with work.

How can you improve employee happiness?

Once you have a sense of your people’s happiness levels, the next step is to build a strategy aimed at increasing employee happiness. There are many factors known to contribute to employee happiness that you can address to improve the employee experience at your organization. Some steps to take are:

  • Give recognition and rewards. Eight-two percent of employed adults consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work, so if you don’t already have an employee recognition and reward program in place, now is the time to build one.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements. In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, work-life balance and flexible work arrangements have repeatedly emerged as an increasingly important priority for people in the workplace.
  • Help people grow and develop. The modern professional isn’t happy staying in the same job with no progress year after year. Investing in people’s careers and providing professional development opportunities is an excellent way to boost happiness.
  • Develop relationships. When it comes to happiness, strong relationships are everything, with 70 percent of employed professionals saying that having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life.

Why should employee happiness be part of modern HR strategy?

Investing in employee happiness isn’t just a plus: It’s a must. Investing in your people’s happiness helps with everything from hiring and retention to productivity and performance. For a healthy, high-performing organization, the modern HR professional must make it a priority to both measure and improve employee happiness.