You’re the boss. Responsible for demonstrating great leadership, the successful day to day running of your business and ensuring your staff’s happiness.
Wait a minute: ensuring my staff’s happiness? Are you kidding?
Well, no ‚Ä¶ not exactly.
You see, staff happiness levels are both integral to your business and directly influence your success as a leader.
We know from an increasing number of organisational and social studies that there are a number of factors that contribute to staff happiness which I’ll get to in a minute (hint: it’s NOT just the money) but first let’s look at the no-brainer benefits in keeping your staff happy.
- Happy staff stay
Now this one isn’t rocket science ‚Äì when people are happy, they don’t leave. Think about parties, celebrations and other social events – happy people are more likely to stay until the end. And they are more likely to remain long-term in a workplace too, instantly saving you significant time, money and effort in recruitment.
- Happy staff are productive
Recent studies outlined by fastcompany.com estimated that an increase in productivity by as much as 12 per cent can be attributed to greater staff happiness, while decreased productivity of approximately 10 per cent was noted by unhappy staff. Now in terms of successful leadership ‚Äì this one is key for you! After all, productive staff = productive leader.
- Happy staff produce more happy staff!
If a bad mood is merely contagious, then a happy mood is endemic. Ever noticed how happy workplaces have very few disengaged and unhappy staff? The better the overall morale of your staff, the stronger it will continue to grow ‚Äì a bit like an avalanche. And the flow-on effect of this? Happy staff tell others about the benefits of working with you ‚Äì an important aspect of organic marketing, especially in a tight-knit community such as the Hunter.
So what causes staff happiness?
We know that while money is a necessary evil and one of the big needs when deciding on employment, it is not the sole motivator for the vast majority of people.
I’ll repeat that: money is NOT the sole motivator.
This means that additional factors such as satisfaction, work/life balance, career development and advancement, autonomy and ownership, personal development, opportunity, mental growth, social interaction ‚Äì and about a thousand others are also major motivators for staff. Or in other words, these are just some of the factors that make up staff mojo.
Now, obviously you’re not going to be able to have an exact insight into every employee’s psyche nor would you be able to address their every need if you could.
But you DO have influence over certain aspects of staff happiness like general engagement, individual career and skill development, autonomy, and role advancement. And when you weigh up the benefits of ensuring your staff’s happiness, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s worth every cent.
Lauren Maxwell wears many hats. She is a Career Development Consultant and Rehabilitation Counsellor with a background in Psychology, and is founder of Headstrong Women.
When she's not providing one on one support to individuals to achieve their career development goals or developing skill-building workshops, she speaks and writes about all issues of career development with a focus on building personal mojo and confidence.
Need help with your team's career development and mojo. She's also available for corporate consulting.