Conventional wisdom is that the success or failure of an organization is due primarily to its leadership. Everyone knows that success begins at the top, right? In a sense, that's true, because those at the top have the authority to make the rules, get things done, and generally set the tone in terms of the culture of their organization. However, most of the tedious work necessary to keep an organization running and producing on a daily basis is not carried out by those at the top. That's what those lower in the hierarchy are there for.
Businesses are like beehives. There are bosses (queen bees) and there are employees (worker bees). Without worker bees, the hive collapses and the queen dies. When you think about your organization in those terms, you'll probably realize how important it is to keep your employees happy. Successful businesses realize their budgets must include room for investments in initiatives that will boost employee morale.
Happy Employees Are Less Likely to Quit
This is a no-brainer: If your employees feel comfortable in their work environment, like what they do and who they interact with, and feel appreciated and valued by their bosses, they will be happy. If they are happy, they'll be far less likely to seek out greener pastures. Retaining your employees is much friendlier to your bottom line than recruiting and training new employees.
A 2017 report from Employee Benefit News concluded that the cost to replace an employee is about 33 percent of that employee's annual salary. So, replacing an employee who makes $50,000 per year would cost you about $17,000. Clearly, investing in employee happiness makes sound business sense.
Happy Employees Are Organic Brand Ambassadors
The most valuable advertising you can receive is sincere, unsolicited, word-of-mouth praise. Nobody knows your organization better than the employees who live and breathe it day in and day out. If your employees are your employees simply because you pay well and they need the paycheck, and they're more or less indifferent about working for you, don't expect them to extol the virtues of your company.
If your employees can't stand working for your company and stay only for the paycheck, they might be badmouthing your company. However, if your employees are happy, they'll speak highly of your company. They'll promote you on social media. They'll proudly sport their logoed swag. People will notice; insiders' perspectives about businesses are generally considered credible.
Happy Employees Want Their Company to Succeed
Indifferent or disgruntled employees don't really care about the company they work for. They're there to get paid, and that's it. Because they don't care, they have zero motivation to go the extra mile, be proactive, pitch in, or make suggestions. They're more likely to cut corners and waste time.
Happy employees, on the other hand, feel a sense of ownership in their contribution to the company (because you let them know they're important!). They're motivated, engaged, hard-working, invested, and more likely to collaborate with their coworkers to solve problems, improve processes, and identify ways to increase efficiency. According to a study by the Social Market Foundation, happy employees are at least 20 percent more productive than unhappy employees.
Happy Employees Miss Less Work
Employees who like their job are more likely to show up. Those who dread coming to work are more likely to come up with excuses about why they're not able to make it into the office. They're more likely to take sick days when they're not really sick, and more likely to take time off for "mental health days."
One 2018 study published in The Review of Regional Studies concluded that mental health days cost the U.S. economy $53 billion in per capita income each year. If missed workdays result in such a huge loss of revenue for the U.S. economy, you can be certain they're resulting in a huge loss of revenue for your company, too.
Happy Employees Lead to Happy Customers
Just as your business cannot exist without "worker bees," it absolutely cannot exist without customers. Your employees contribute to getting customers and servicing customers. How they feel about their company and their job directly influences how they interact with customers. Indifferent and unhappy employees have no sense of urgency when it comes to following up on e-mails, voicemails, or requests. They don't have any motivation to be especially helpful. They're more likely to do the bare minimum that's required of them.
Happy employees exude a positive and helpful attitude. They'll expedite orders, make exceptions, and do small favors in the name of outstanding customer service. They will go the extra mile, which is what turns customers into loyal customers. Loyal customers create a dependable revenue stream for your business. Employee happiness is the glue that cements all of the core components of a successful business. Are you making an effort to keep your employees happy?