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Happy Employees Experience 12% Greater Productivity

Creating positive employee experiences will foster happiness in your workplace
September 12th, 2017

If you’re an employer, you should be striving to increase happiness in your workplace.


Many researchers have been trying to understand the significance of employee happiness and productivity. One study conducted four different experiments.

Interestingly, the conclusion from all four experiments was the same – happy employees are more productive than unhappy employees.

In fact, happy employees experience 12% greater productivity, while unhappy employees experience 10% less productivity.1

Happiness is the key to productivity at work

Organizations that invest in their employees tend to have happier employees. And as research shows, happiness is an essential factor for the success of an organization.

One study performed a meta-analysis of more than 200 academic studies, showing that happy employees experience 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales, and three times higher creativity.2

With this in mind, organizations need to be taking the time to reflect on the ways they can support employee happiness.

Employee happiness is not just about a paycheck these days

It’s not just about money these days. More and more, employees want to work for an organization that has a positive workplace culture and a supportive environment.

We found American Express to be a great example of a company that invests in their employees’ happiness and employee experience. They provide a variety of things their employees find valuable, such as flexible hours, an onsite café, and paid time off to volunteer.

In addition, American Express fosters the growth of employee networks with 16 different networks and nearly 100 chapters globally. This gives employees the chance to learn from each other and engage with employees who have the same interests.

All of these things relate back to the 5Ps: Purpose, People, Places, PracticesPolicies.

Other organizations like St. Jude’s Hospital, The Container Store, Build-A-Bear-Workshop, and the Mayo Clinic are excellent examples of organizations that emulate how to care for your employees by offering them perks that make their lives easier and less complex.

These organizations support employees by offering things like transportation reimbursement and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery. Some of these organizations even make adoption cost reimbursement available to employees.

More importantly, these organizations care for their employees by supporting them with ways to improve their lifestyle, easy financial burdens, and eliminate stress related to time constraints, all things that help create a positive, happy life for employees.

The ways organizations can support employees are endless. This is why it’s important to understand what your employees’ needs are. Decide what’s right for workplace culture and your employees’ happiness together.

3 Ways to cultivate happiness in your workplace

Unhappiness inevitable. At some point in life, we will all suffer from some unhappiness. Life brings uncertainty, and that alone can be upsetting.

Nevertheless, studies say improving short-term employee happiness and well-being can make a big difference to employees in an organization.3

All of the day-to-day experiences employees have at work ultimately impact their happiness. To create a positive workplace culture and employee experience an organization needs to do the following:

  1. Build trust

Building trust is a critical component to a positive, productive workplace environment and culture.

In fact, studies point out a person’s trust is linked to cooperation, performance, and communication in workplaces.4

Having a strong foundation of trust between leadership and employees makes it easier for employees to focus on their tasks instead of worrying about protecting their work or job.

  1. Give employees a sense of ownership

Instilling a sense of ownership in employees will not only give management a chance to focus on bigger matters but more notably, it will provide employees with a reason to take a more considerable interest in their work.

According to findings from the National Bureau of Economic Research, organizations with employee ownership tend to match or exceed the performance of other similar firms.5

  1. Establish a mentorship program

Similar to what American Express offers through its networks, you can create smaller opportunities for employees to learn from one another and share ideas.

Creating a mentorship program is a great way to do this. There are a number of benefits from workplace mentorship programs. Some of them are:

  • Benefits to the employee: Employees who are mentored can gain first-hand knowledge about their role and processes within their organization. Mentors play an important role in guiding mentees in solving problems and connecting them with other employees.
  • Benefits to the mentor: Being a mentor can instill confidence in employees. They may even get more job satisfaction after being a mentor. Additionally, mentors have the opportunity to grow their leadership and supervisory skills.
  • Benefits to the employer: Employers offering mentorship programs are likely to experience higher productivity and a more positive workplace environment. Mentoring programs may even attract new employees who are looking for a career change or career development.

If there’s one takeaway to all of this, it’s the importance of creating a workplace culture that truly fosters happiness. We aren’t saying employee happiness is entirely on the plate of employers, but employers can make a difference.

The employers who decide to make every workplace experience employees have exceptionally positive will be the ones with the happiest, most productive employees!

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  1. Oswald, A., Proto, E., and Sgroi, D. (2014). Happiness and productivity. University of Warwick Department of Economics. Retrieved from
  2. Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., and Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: does happiness lead to success? University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and The Gallup Organization. Retrieved from
  3. Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A. and Ilies, R. (2012). Everyday working life: explaining within-person. The Tavistock Institute. Retrieved from
  4. Stawiski, S., Deal, J., and Ruderman, M. (2010). Building trust in the workplace. Center for Creative Leadership. Retrieved from
  5. Francis, D. (2017). Motivating Employees with Stock and Involvement. The National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from
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