Whistle While You Work: Happy Workers are More Productive

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Just 50% of British employees are happy with both their current job role and their current employer. While a further 25% are unhappy in both their role and their employer.

YouGov/Employee Benefits research on ' The role of reward in happiness in the workplace' found that employee happiness has an impact on levels of commitment, motivation, engagement, advocacy, loyalty and customer service.

The research found startling extremes in the different working behaviours between staff who are Total Happys (happy in their job role, and with their employer) and the Misery Guts (unhappy in both their role and their employer).

The vast majority (87%) of Total Happys are committed to their organisations compared to just 10% of the Misery Guts; a staggering gap. The Total Happys are much more motivated to perform (88%, compared to 13% of Misery Guts), feel more engaged by their organisation (77%, compared to 3% of Misery Guts) and will go the extra mile for customers (89%, compared to 47% of Misery Guts).
Furthermore, happy employees are more likely to be advocates of their organisation - both in terms of being a good employer (81%, compared to 10% of Misery Guts) and its products, services and brand (84%, compared to 27% of Misery Guts).

Debi O'Donovan, editorial director of Employee Benefits magazine, said: "Employers which do their best to ensure that staff are happy at work will reap the benefits of having a more productive workforce. This should be common sense, but too often managers dismiss the role that emotions, such as happiness, play in achieving business results."

Happy employees are also the key to staff retention; 90% of Total Happys say they want to be in their organisation in one year's time, and 78% say they plan to be there in three years' time.
In comparison, just 11% of the Misery Guts plan to be in the same job in a year's time, and a mere 7% plan to be there in three years.

Matt Roden, associate director at YouGov Organisational Consulting, said: "This clearly demonstrates the both short and longer term effects of an unhappy workplace. With the ever increasing war for talent and the costs involved in recruitment, it makes sense for employers to keep hold of their best people by keeping the smile on their face as they come to work."

How happy workers behave (See attached table)

KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS:

  •     59% of respondents are happy in their current job role.
  •     54% are happy with their employer.
  •     50% are happy with their current job role and their current employer.
  •     25% neither happy with their current job role nor their employer.
  •     9% are happy with their job role, but are not happy with their employer.
  •     6% are not happy with their job role, but are happy with their employer.
  •     10% are neither decidedly happy or unhappy with either.

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  •     The research, 'The role of reward in happiness in the workplace' was conducted and compiled by at YouGov, an online research and consultancy agency.
  •     The topic was devised by Employee Benefits, the UK's leading benefits magazine for the Employee Benefits Exhibition & Conference 2007.
  •     The survey was conducted using an online interview administered members of the YouGov Plc GB panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Total sample size was 4,134 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31 July - 7 August 2007. The figures have been weighted and are representative of the working population in terms of industry (aged 18 ).

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Debi O'Donovan
Employee Benefits
(+44) 020 7970 4661
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