An organization called “Delivering Happiness at Work” had some great insights that were outlined in a Wall Street Journal article about happy employees. A study it conducted has discovered happy, content employees have 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, and are three times more creative.
Although the research did not make this conclusion, employee attendance levels likely would also be higher and absentee levels lower when they feel happy and fulfilled in the work they perform.
This survey identified three major factors involved in having happy employees within an organization:
1) People need to enjoy the tasks required of them.
2) They need to be able to focus on the things they do best.
3) They need to be proud of their employer.
Based on this research, it would seem that if you want to foster higher productivity, it would be advisable to know and care about your employee’s strengths and passions. A passage from the Bible, although it seems directed to an agrarian context, applies well in this regard: “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds” (Proverbs 27:23).
Trying to implement the three factors cited above would be a good first step. We could learn more specifically how to fulfill these needs by soliciting suggestions from them, or conducting small group meetings where their ideas are welcomed and thoughtfully considered.
But employee happiness and contentment should involve more than a desire to improve the company’s bottom line. Striving to establish a work environment that is conducive to happy workers is also the right thing to do.
Consider if roles were reversed – that your employees, or the people who report to you, were instead the employer and you were reporting to them. How would you want to be treated? What kind of working environment would you desire to have provided for you? In what is often referred to as his “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus told his followers, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).
Often we presume workers are motivated primarily by financial compensation and other tangible benefits. However, employees that prove to be the most valuable, the ones most likely to remain high contributors to the company, are those that also derive intangible benefits such as feeling happy, fulfilled and appreciated for the work they do.
Thousands of years ago, King Solomon of Israel made this observation in Ecclesiastes 5:19 – “When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God.”
Copyright 2013, Integrity Resource Center, Inc. Adapted with permission from “Integrity Moments with Rick Boxx,” a commentary on issues of integrity in the workplace from a Christian perspective. To learn more about Integrity Resource Center or to sign up for Rick’s daily Integrity Moments, visit www.integrityresource.org. His book, How to Prosper in Business Without Sacrificing Integrity, gives a biblical approach for doing business with integrity.
1. How would be your definition of a “happy employee”?
2. What are specific factors that determine or affect your own level of happiness where you work? Do you feel you enjoy most of the tasks you are asked to do, and are empowered to focus on the things you do best? Explain your answer.
3. Do you believe your company or organization is intentionally concerned about the happiness and emotional well-being of its employees? What is the basis for your response?
4. Do you agree with the quotation from King Solomon, that for someone being able to accept their lot in life and enjoy their work is a gift from God? Why or why not?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 21:5, 22:29, 27:18, 28:19; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:17,23