Employee engagement and satisfaction should be of the utmost importance in business. But exactly how crucial is it in the large scheme of things when it comes to a thriving organization?
The question here isn’t necessarily about happy versus unhappy employees. Obviously, if businesses had a choice, surely having satisfied employees is much more preferable to dissatisfied ones. I certainly can’t speak for every company out there, but my guess would be that disappointing people on purpose isn’t something any person or entity would strive for. No, that seems quite backwards. But, all the same, keeping every single employee happy is a monumental task that generally is never fully fulfilled on every level for each individual.
Rather, the question posed here is: to what extent does employee satisfaction play in the overall effectiveness and success of a company’s mission and goals?
Recently, I read an article published by The Globe and Mail, that covers a lot of research statistics on the subject matter. To spare you the overwhelming inundation of the numbers (reported in paragraph form), I’ve taken the liberty of listing some of the statistics below in bullet form:
- Happiness makes people 12% more productive
- 63% of employees today are not engaged
- 24% of employees today are disengaged
- 87% of employees have no passion for their work, lack motivation to get the job done and are unhappy
- Companies with a low level of employee engagement have a 33% annual decline in operating income and an 11% annual decline in growth
These numbers are based off of various research, but I’d say overall, the gist to these statistics is pretty clear: factors such as employee engagement, motivation and happiness should be a priority in business. Frankly, this comes as no surprise to us. Since our start, AccelaWork has discussed, highlighted, written and at times, even defended our views on why keeping employees happy is the key to maintaining vitality in the office. But, we do not sugar coat our perspective; achieving happiness in the workplace shouldn’t always just be about rewards or gimmicks nor perks on the job.
Instead, companies should focus their sights on providing employees with beneficial freedoms and reassurances that directly involve the work they are doing and enhances the goals with which they are striving to achieve. These crucial benefits, which cost virtually nothing, outweigh the typical monetary rewards because they don’t just satisfy employees’ needs, they change the overall office culture.
For example, according to one survey conducted by The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review, meeting specific criteria can make all the difference when it comes to keeping people happy in their jobs:
Employees are vastly more satisfied and productive, it turns out, when four of their core needs are met: physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done; and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.
The more effectively leaders and organizations support employees in meeting these core needs, the more likely the employees are to experience engagement, loyalty, job satisfaction and positive energy at work, and the lower their perceived levels of stress. When employees have one need met, compared with none, all of their performance variables improve. The more needs met, the more positive the impact.
If you have the time, we encourage you to read the full report of The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review’s survey. It is profound in its results and can lend a good amount of inspiration for ways to move forward in your company’s endeavors for increasing employee satisfaction.
In the end, we at AccelaWork understand the dilemma with employee satisfaction and rewards can be for stakeholders. But, we contend that the best way to keep employees happy in their job is to provide work that is engaging, worthwhile and complementary to their vision as dedicated, talented individuals. Truly investing in an employee’s needs on a deeper, more conscientious level, can make all the difference–no longer would it be about “buying them off” with sporadically catered lunches, surprise bonuses or office gyms. To learn more about our perspective on employee engagement, feel free to read more on The Methodology Blog.