The Recognition Effect® Blog

Happy Employees are More Productive-Employee Recognition IS Relevant

Posted by Anthony Luciano on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 06:57 PM

Happy Employees, a pioneer in online personality, career, IQ and relationship assessments has released its latest research on the comparison between people who identified themselves as happy, productive employees and their less contented counterparts. Happiness is an ambiguous term, which encompasses many traits including obvious ones like optimism.

In the Queendom study, nearly 600 people were asked to rate their level of happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, comparing happy vs. unhappy people on 40 different traits. Happy people outscored unhappy people on all 40, and for 14 traits, the difference was more than 10 points. According to their research, happy people are more likely to be emotionally stable, extroverted, poised, resilient, confident, optimistic, sociable, and approachable. They are better at managing stress, more willing to open up to others, able to trust others, and more likely to ask others for help when necessary. Happy people were also better able to adapt to new or ambiguous situations, and more likely to consistently strive toward success and self-improvement.

Here’s the link to take the test yourself: It’s called the Big 5 Personality Test.

A great deal of research over the past decade has focused on creativity, productivity, and the psychology of everyday work life. Whether looking at entrepreneurial startups or large, established enterprises, the same holds true: People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions. In fact, if they are happier on a given day, people were not only more likely to come up with a new idea or solve a complex problem that same day but also to do so the following day, too.

I can personally agree that I tend to get more done when I’m happier. Cleaning my office is a great example, once I start filing – and pitching – materials, the results fuel my desire to finish the job and do it well.

Gallup quantified the link between employee feelings and corporate outcomes, reporting that lost productivity due to employee disengagement costs more than $300 billion in the U.S. annually. A separate Gallup study headed by researcher James Harter found that business unit sales and profits at any given point in time can be predicted by employee feelings about the organization at earlier points in time.

We have found in our own company that managers can ensure that people are happily engaged at work. Worker well-being depends, in large part, on  a managers’ ability and willingness to facilitate workplace accomplishments by removing obstacles, providing help and acknowledging strong effort through employee recognition. When the work experience is meaningful, engagement follows, improving performance to create a positive spiral.

We spend more of our waking hours at work than anywhere else, so work should ennoble the human spirit.  Train your managers to be good leaders because it makes economic sense.  A workplace climate that fosters individual engagement also likely has created a culture where employees internalize the organization's goals and are hard-wired in their daily activities with daily strategies. Organic engagement creates and sustains a goal oriented workforce.

Employee recognition is vital to ensure a solid working community. It doesn’t matter if you have a small staff or hundreds of people: recognizing the sacrifices that your employees make on a daily basis will go a long way towards employee satisfaction. As a general rule of thumb, the happier the employee, the more productive he or she will be. And, the more productive employees are, the better the company will perform as a whole.

What do you do to generate  a sense of employee happiness? As an employee, how do you contribute to the overall happiness quotient of your organization?  As the study shows, the benefits of happiness are unlimited. Give us some examples, we'd love to hear them!

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Tags: employee recognition, peer to peer recognition, Happy Employees, Productive Employees