It’s a common misconception that success breeds happiness. In fact, according to Shawn Achor, Harvard psychologist and author of The Happiness Advantage, it is actually quite the opposite. Happiness breeds success.
“So for you and for your team, if happiness is on the opposite side of success, you’ll never get there,” says Achor. “But if you increase your levels of happiness in the midst of a challenge—in the midst of searching for investment, in the midst of a down economy—what we find is that all of your success rates rise dramatically – every business outcomes improves.”
How Employee Happiness Boosts Profits
When it comes to your business, you are concerned about one thing – the bottom line. So, what you want to know is how investing in employee happiness can help make you money.
Happy Employees Are More Productive
“Only 25 percent of job success is based upon IQ,” explains Achor. “Seventy-five percent is about how your brain believes your behavior matters, connects to other people, and manages stress.”
A team of researchers set to quantify this statement. First, they randomly assigned volunteers into two groups. The first group was made to watch a funny video of a stand-up comedian while enjoying some free fruit and chocolate. The second group was shown a neutral video and was not treated to any special snacks. Both groups were then asked to complete a series of timed math problems. The “happy” group correctly completed between 10-12 percent more problems – a 12 percent spike in productivity.
“We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity,” writes the research team. “Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”
These results are published in the Journal of Labor Economics1.
Happy Employees Better Handle Stress
Stress is another major factor affecting employee happiness. And, according to Harvard researchers Achor, Phil Stone, and Tal Ben-Shahar2, the key to reducing stress is happiness. More specifically, the key to reducing stress is social support. In a study of 1,648 students, researchers found that “social support was the greatest predictor of happiness during periods of high stress.” Social support providers were 10 times more likely to be engaged at work and 40% more likely to get a promotion.
Happy Employees Save Money
According to a Gallup study3, lost productivity due to employee disengagement costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually. In layman’s terms, unhappy employees are unproductive employees. So it pays – literally – to invest in employee happiness.
“It’s a cultural myth that we cannot change our happiness,” says Achor.
According to professor Andrew Oswald, one of three researchers who led the aforementioned study in the Journal of Labor Economics, companies that invest in employee satisfaction tend to see a happier workplace and, thus, more productive employees. Google, for example, saw a 37 percent increase in employee satisfaction as the result of such initiatives.
Team Building Builds Happier Employees
“Working in an office can be a very sedentary job, so it’s especially important to your overall sense of health and happiness to take a few minutes during your workday to get up and move a little,” says Jason Bergund, founding director of Dancetherapy
A corporate team building retreat is a great way to reward your employees for all of their hard work and boost morale, while also instilling several valuable lessons.
“Team building is one of the most commonly applied group development interventions in organizations today,” write researchers Deborah Diazgranados, Cameron Klein, Eduardo Salas, Huy Le, C. Burke, Rebecca Lyons, and Gerald Goodwin4. “It is widely used and comes in many forms, including outdoor experiential activities and indoor group process discussions.”
Research suggest that team building has a positive moderate effect on team-building components (goal setting, interpersonal relations, problem solving, and role clarification) on cognitive, affective, process, and performance outcomes.
“Our findings are encouraging—team building improves team outcomes; that these team-development interventions are beneficial to team functioning is the good news,” says Diazgranados et al.
Corporate Team Building with Terrapin Adventures
Conveniently located between Baltimore and Washington DC in beautiful Howard County, Maryland, Terrapin Adventures will create a custom program designed to meet your unique needs. Our experienced staff is able to design a program – onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor –to help your group increase their ability to problem solve, think creatively and collaborate with one another.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Oswald, Andrew J., Eugenio Proto, and Daniel Sgroi. “Happiness and Productivity.” Journal of Labor Economics: 789-822. Print.
- Achor, Shawn. “Positive Intelligence.” Harvard Business Review 2012. Print.
- Harter, J. K., F. L. Schmidt, J. W. Asplund, E. A. Killham, and S. Agrawal. “Causal Impact of Employee Work Perceptions on the Bottom Line of Organizations.” Perspectives on Psychological Science (2010): 378-89. Print.
- Diazgranados, Deborah, Cameron Klein, Eduardo Salas, Huy Le, C. Burke, Rebecca Lyons, and Gerald Goodwin. “Does Team Building Work?” PsycEXTRA Dataset. Print.