A Happier Workplace is a Happier Place to Work

A surge of happiness research in recent years has explored what makes people happy—both how to be happy at work and how to be happy in life overall. It finds that a person’s happiness stems from a combination of factors, including:

  • Committing to being happy
  • Having close relationships with others
  • Being good at what you do (your job)
  • Showing compassion and helping others

Interestingly, how much money someone makes is a less important factor than the others.

Creating a happy workplace should therefore be every business owner’s goal—as it can benefit the company immensely, from improving employee satisfaction and retention to building stronger client and vendor relations. In honor of International Day of Happiness, here are four tips for promoting a happy culture at your business:

Encourage friendships at work

Having good friends at work has shown to be one of the top factors leading to happier, more engaged workers. So it only makes sense to promote employee-bonding time. That can mean hosting after-work social events and encouraging—not discouraging—employees to chat with each other during the workday. (Look at it this way: Employees socializing on the job is actually good for your bottom line!)

Promote wellness

Physical activity and overall healthy lifestyles have been shown to improve happiness. So, think about how you can encourage those things at work—whether it’s a weekly yoga class or holding “walking meetings.”

Invest in professional growth

Since being good at their job is a top factor for why someone is happy, it only makes sense that helping employees improve professionally will bolster happiness. You can consider affordable ways to provide training and growth opportunities to your employees. That could include meaning lining young or new employees up with on-the-job mentors or paying for online courses that expand their professional skills and knowledge.

Keep the mood positive

There’s nothing like a stress-filled, cut-throat workplace to kill someone’s spirit. If you want your people—and, in turn, your customers and vendors—to go to work happy, you can create a work environment that embraces positivity and happiness. You can let your employees know that you want them to enjoy coming to work everyday. But it also means: giving employees freedom to make decisions (without fear of being reprimanded if they make a mistake), publicly praising and recognizing employees who do a good job, hiring people with naturally positive, upbeat attitudes and encouraging work-life balance.

Overall, building a happy workplace is not rocket science, but it starts at the top. As the leader, you can create the culture and set in motion the practices that will either make—or break—your employees’ spirit and ultimate happiness on the job.

About the Author 

Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.


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