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Why Your Employees’ Happiness Matters — And What To Do About It

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Professor Alex Edmans of The Wharton School
of the University of Pennsylvania discovered
that businesses with high levels of employee
satisfaction perform better than those
without. Research from the University of
Warwick says happiness makes people 12
percent more productive.
And yet a report from Gallup demonstrates
that 63 percent of employees today are ‘not
engaged’ (24 percent are ‘actively
disengaged’) in their jobs. This essentially
means that 87 percent of employees have no
passion for their work, lack motivation to get
the job done and are unhappy. This has an
impact on the bottom line, too – according to
Tower Perrin , companies with a low level of
employee engagement have a 33 percent
annual decline in operating income and an 11
percent annual decline in growth.
Considering that 3 out of 4 startups
fail already, the people in charge need to
unearth ways to skyrocket and maintain
employee happiness and satisfaction. Your
startup’s success might depend on it.
What makes employees happy?
Many factors together contribute to employee
satisfaction and happiness. To understand
this, The Energy Project teamed up with
Harvard Business Review to conduct a survey
of 12,115 workers. Ninety-four percent of
these workers were in white-collar jobs. The
rest (six percent), were in blue-collar jobs.
According to the survey, employees are most
satisfied and productive when their four core
needs are met. These are physical, emotional,
mental and spiritual needs.
The good news is that satisfying just one need
of the four can improve performance. These
steps can kick-start a culture that induces
employee satisfaction and happiness, which in
turn will boost productivity and performance.
Just remember everyone’s ideas on happiness
will vary greatly, so communicating with your
current employees and incorporating their
wants and needs in the work culture will
result in a positively functioning startup.
How should you get new employees to
adapt to your work culture?
Wondering how to get potential hires to adapt
to your work culture? You’re on the wrong
track.
Tony Hsieh, Founder and CEO of
Zappos, takes work culture so seriously that
his company performs two sets of interviews.
The hiring manager and his or her team
conducts the first set to determine whether
the candidate has relevant experience,
technical ability, and is a good fit. The HR
team conducts the second to ensure that the
potential employee would be a good culture
fit. Employees have to pass both interviews in
order to get hired.
Zappos turns down many talented people who
just don’t fit into their culture. For Zappos,
the long-term benefits are more important
than the short-term benefits. So instead of
looking for methods to get new employees to
adapt, look for employees who will directly fit
into your culture.
You can take it one step further and mandate
an employee probationary period like Buffer
does. They have a 45-day trial period with an
employee called Buffer Bootcamp . During this
phase, Buffer assesses the new employee to
see if they would fit in with the company .
The decision to stay together or part ways
depends on how both parties feel at the end
of 45 days. Usually 70 percent of new hires
stay on.
Buffer also takes effective pre-employment
steps. They’re well-known for their
transparency about their culture, salary
packages and everything else offered to make
it easy to attract people who fit in.
The secret: motivating employees to work
because it makes them happy
On average, people spend 8.8 hours each day
working (as compared to 2.6 on leisure and
sports). This represents an enormous section
of their lives. Businesses need to prioritize
bringing fulfillment and happiness to
employees. The obvious choice might seem
like paying them more, but that does not
directly correlate with long-term happiness.
Money is a reward that aids as a fuel for a
temporary period. Once it’s exhausted,
employees lose inte…read more on Forbes

This article was written by By Eric Siu and originally published on Forbes.com.

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