To celebrate National Happiness Day, BARE International shares an article by David K Williams for Forbes:
“I recently had an employee quit suddenly. She said that she was happy … until the day she quit. I was surprised and felt bad that I couldn’t tell she had been struggling. How can I prevent this from happening in the future?”
‘Statistics have proven, again and again, that happy employees are more productive and successful in their jobs. Happy salespeople sell 37% more, have fewer sick days, are 12% more productive and stay in their jobs longer. It’s only natural that every CEO would want to create a work environment where they can fully reap these happiness benefits. The unfortunate reality is that not every employee is happy. There are those employees who are unsettled or even disgruntled with their work environment; but, because they don’t want to disappoint their manager, they don’t speak up about their unhappiness.
Before you lose another employee due to unhappiness, consider these four ways to evaluate and improve your company’s happiness quotient.
Improve your company’s happiness quotient with these four tips.
- Translate nonverbal communication. The first step to creating a happier workplace is to identify unhappy employees. This can be done fairly easy by paying attention to nonverbal communication, such as body language. “Researchers have found that people can identify with great accuracy seven separate human emotions, even after seeing only facial and eye expressions: sadness, happiness, anger, fear, surprise, contempt and interest,” according to Reference for Business. “Therefore, without speaking a word, a facial expression can convey a great deal of information to others. Similarly, eye contact or lack of eye contact can also indicate a person’s attitudes and emotions.” Is an employee breaking eye contact when they are asked to pull in some extra hours? Do they fold their arms in a defensive position when you ask them to team up with another employee? What happens to the conversation when you mention a looming deadlined project? Does the conversation suddenly change from fluid to stilted? By consciously studying these nonverbal cues when communicating with your employees, you will be able to suss out whether or not they are part of the happy crowd or the frustrated few.
- Ask questions. Once you’ve identified an unhappy employee, it’s time to delve deeper to find the root of the unhappiness. “Though only a few letters different in spelling, assess and assume are two very different words,” said Sujan Patel, VIP contributor for Entrepreneur.com. “Before you jump to any conclusions, take the time to dig in and really find out what’s going on with the individual. Find out why they’re upset. They could be upset with you, their current job status or another member of the staff. It’s also possible that they are unhappy due to something unrelated to their time at work.” With a few probing questions based on the nonverbal cues you’ve observed, determine what is holding those few employees back from finding joy in the workplace. Then let them take the lead in creating a pathway back to job happiness. Let them discover, on their own under your guidance, how they can overcome those happiness obstacles.
- Encourage conflict resolution. If it turns out that an employee’s barrier to happiness is being caused by a conflict with another employee, help them find the courage to resolve the problem on their own. “Workplace conflicts happen everywhere, and ignoring them can be costly. Every unaddressed conflict wastes about eight hours of company time in gossip and other unproductive activities,” said Joseph Grenny, cofounder of VitalSmarts, in an article for the Society of Human Resource Management. Encourage face-to-face communication, in a safe environment, where the employees can discuss and work out conflicts. Then be sure to follow up, asking how the meeting went. That follow-through will demonstrate your concern and support for the unhappy employee.
- Grow employee confidence. Confidence and happiness go hand in hand when it comes to employees, so as CEOs we must seek out opportunities to grow confidence within our workforce. “Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings,” according to economic researchers at the University of Warwick who discovered that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity. Seek out ways to empower and instill your employees with confidence—examples include demonstrating respect, celebrating successes, delegating responsibility, mentoring, allowing for creativity and providing an environment of honesty—and your entire company will reap the benefits.
If you’re hoping to cultivate an environment of happy, productive and confident employees, begin first by identifying those who are unhappy, uncover possible reasons for frustration, invite healthy conflict resolution and seek opportunities to build employee confidence.’
Let BARE International make your employees and customers smile – contact us for a complimentary evaluation of your business today!