Traditionally, a lot of emphasis has been placed on employee satisfaction and engagement in the workplace, assuming that satisfied employees are simply content with their job, skills, abilities, and benefits and engaged employees feel connected to their work, co-workers, and boss.
Although these two aspects are important for a positive culture in the workplace, they do not directly correlate with employee happiness. A happy employee is one that finds pleasure and purpose in their overall work experience.
Southwest Airlines, a company that has mastered the culture of happiness, says that a happy employee must have their basic needs met, love their job and their coworkers, and feel like they are contributing to the company. A few tips for building a culture of happiness in your own company are:
- Enable overall progress by preventing unnecessary interruptions, side work, and vague goals.
- Establish multiple intermediate goals on the way to the final product.
- When a goal is determined, explain why it is important.
- Allow the employee some autonomy in designing a plan to reach the goal.
- Confront, grow, and learn from mistakes.
- Recognize deserving employees when they succeed.
Most importantly, hire happy people! Businesses have seen a 12% increase in productivity due to happiness in the workplace. Happy employees tend to be more creative, productive, and committed to the company. As Southwest Airlines has experienced, a happy culture, attracts more happy people. It is crucial that companies start this cycle, and get happy!
Colleen Culkin, SPS Team