My letter published in TODAY, 22 Jan 2013
From Vadivu Govind
Firms are reportedly keen to improve productivity but 53 per cent are “unsure of how and where to get started”, as reported in “Firms keen to improve productivity but …” (Jan 10).
While there has been a lot of discussion on the need to improve productivity, I have not read anything on the link between productivity and workplace happiness.
Research has shown that happier employees are more productive and creative and perform better. These employees take less sick leave and have more collaborative relationships at work.
There is also research on what happiness at work means. Meaningful, genuine appreciation is one way to help employees be happy. Another is to help them optimise their strengths and see their work as worthwhile. Compassion for employees as humans is critical.
As a workplace happiness consultant, I once had a manager tell me: “I don’t care about my staff’s happiness. I just want the work done”.
This kind of thinking reduces productivity and makes workplaces toxic. If people flourish at work, businesses and our society will flourish, too.