Employers reap many benefits from happy employees, including higher levels of productivity and revenue. In fact, one 2020 study found that happier bankers were able to cross-sell better than their unhappier colleagues.

Fortunately, there are many ways to boost happiness among your teams, and our top seven strategies are:

  1. Prioritising a work-life balance
  2. Developing a recognition and reward scheme
  3. Having transparent and open communication
  4. Providing career development opportunities
  5. Offering a holistic benefits package
  6. Building a healthy culture
  7. Creating a flexible working policy

To demonstrate the importance of employee happiness, we’ll first cover its positive relationship with productivity. Next, we’ll offer seven strategies to make your organisation a happier place to work. Lastly, we explain different methods of measuring employee motivation and happiness, so you can track how your teams feel throughout the year.

Happy employees playing with the office dog

Employee happiness and productivity

Economists know from lab-based studies that on average, employees are 12% more productive when they feel happy. However, this effect can be even greater in real-world environments. Take Google for example — they experienced a 37% increase in productivity after investing in employee support and satisfaction initiatives.

In addition to boosting productivity, making employee happiness a company priority has other benefits, as happy employees:

  • Will likely stay at your company for longer
  • Have a positive influence on colleagues
  • Are more open to career development and learning opportunities
  • Take a more innovative approach to working
  • Are usually healthier and take fewer authorised absences

However, HR professionals and business leaders may find investing in employee satisfaction and wellbeing challenging, particularly if senior stakeholders are concerned about its impact on profit margins.

In these situations, we recommend pitching a simple reward and recognition scheme, as employees who feel appreciated tend to also be the happiest. With Perkbox, your teams can send each other recognition on the go from an easy-to-use app.

What’s more, managers can also send points with each recognition they send, which allows their teams the flexibility to select the reward they want. 

For more ideas on how you can increase happiness in your workplace, download our helpful wellbeing strategy guide

A row of employees working happily at their laptops

How to improve employee happiness in the workplace: seven strategies

To increase employee happiness you must first understand what your employees value.

In a recent survey of 500 UK employees, 79% said they were happy in their roles. Their top reasons for being happy included:

  • Good colleagues
  • Feeling appreciated
  • Flexibility
  • Career development opportunities
  • Alignment with company’s mission

So you can create a work environment that makes your employees happy, we've developed seven strategies that can act as a guide for your wellbeing goals.

Strategy one: prioritise a work-life balance

While your employees must meet their deadlines, you should ensure the demands of a project don’t encroach on their personal lives. This is especially true in times of growth when you’re relying on experienced employees to also train new joiners. That said, if you’re concerned some of your employees are at risk of burnout, we suggest using an employee survey to gauge how people are feeling. For example, are they working outside of their normal hours or taking work home at the weekend? If they are, you’ll need to take action.

An employee smiling at a team meeting

Strategy two: recognise and reward your employees

When employees feel appreciated, they’ll be happy, as they know other people respect and value their efforts. However, it’s important to be sincere in your approach, otherwise, you run the risk of disappointment. So for that reason, we always recommend thanking someone verbally. That said, we do understand this is difficult if you have several direct reports. Fortunately, with Perkbox you can look up different team members by name and add a personalised message to each recognition you send —⁠ which is a great way to show your appreciation before thanking them in person.

Two co-workers discussing their latest project in front of a desktop

Strategy three: be transparent and have open communication

Open communication encourages collaboration and builds trust. Employees who feel they’re in a safe environment are often happier as they know their employer values what they have to say. On the other hand, when companies are reluctant to share information they tend to have more frustrated and unhappy employees. Furthermore, key updates could be missed if there is an overreliance on regional managers to cascade information. With our platform, internal comms managers and HR teams can use enhanced admin features to communicate key updates. This means everyone receives the same comms, no matter where they are in the world.

Strategy four: offer career development opportunities

The link between developing a person’s career and their happiness is progression — as it satisfies their hunger to grow and learn. Very rarely do people enjoy doing the same job every day for the rest of their working lives. They want variety and if they can progress at the same time — even better. Not to mention, career development opportunities also benefit your organisation. You’ll get access to an ever-expanding pool of high-calibre internal talent, and spend less time and money on the recruitment process. Finally, the renewed sense of purpose an employee gains after a successful promotion results in better productivity and engagement.

Two co-workers at a team meeting, one of them taking notes

Strategy five: offer a holistic benefits package

Employee benefits, especially those that support a person’s financial, mental, and physical wellbeing, naturally have a profound effect on happiness. So it’s not surprising that employees who have access to an extensive perks and discounts package are usually very loyal. Consider the Lanes Group, for example, they noticed a 98.3% increase in employee happiness and a 1.8% decrease in sick days after launching our employee experience platform. Because our perks and benefits include discounted gym memberships, in addition to 9,000+ deals with global retailers, employees really get value from what we offer.

Strategy six: build a positive company culture

A healthy company culture is incredibly important, particularly as we spend so much of our time working. In an ideal world, your employees should look forward to the start of the working week. While this may seem like a lofty aspiration, creating a supportive and inclusive work environment has many positive outcomes for employee health, experience and engagement. When your employees feel connected to your organisation they’re not only happier, but also work better as a team, which in turn promotes business success.

For more information on how to keep your workplace culture alive and your employees happy, watch our on-demand webinar

Two happy employees petting the office dog

Strategy seven: create a flexible working policy

Simply put, people are happier when their work schedules accommodate their personal commitments. Furthermore, offering flexible working options also attracts top talent to your business. Reasons for employees wanting to work flexibly include: starting later in the day to drop the kids off at school, or working remotely because of a lengthy commute. If you don’t have a flexible working policy, we recommend starting small by introducing a designated remote working day once a week.

How can you measure employee motivation and happiness?

If you want to find out how motivated and happy your employees are, you should first turn your attention to key performance indicators (KPIs). Usually, happy and motivated employees have no trouble achieving or exceeding their target goals, so this data gives you a good insight into how motivation varies across your organisation.

Other tools that are good at measuring happiness and motivation include:

  • Employee motivation assessments: These surveys ask questions based on a person’s commitment to goals, interest in promotion and job satisfaction
  • Focus groups: Teams share what makes their jobs exciting. They may also discuss what motivates them and any preferred ways of working.
  • Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI): Employees answer three questions on a scale. The results are then put into a formula to generate an ESI value. The higher the value, the happier the employee.

Motivated employees sitting in a circle of couches during a team meeting

Keep your employees happy and healthy with Perkbox

Prioritising employee happiness has many positive business outcomes and contributes to higher levels of productivity and lower absenteeism rates.

To make your teams happy, you need to consider how you can support their mental, physical and financial wellbeing, as these factors strongly influence employee experience.

Perkbox is a comprehensive employee experience solution and contains over 9,000 perks and discounts worldwide.

Additionally, it also has an ever-expanding library of wellbeing content that includes a range of physical and mental health resources.

What's more, the points-based reward system, gives your managers the flexibility to reward all of their star performers, no matter where they are, be it in the office, at home, or on the other side of the world.


Why are happy employees good for business?

Workplace happiness is good for business as it increases engagement and boosts employee morale. Plus, employees are most happy when they feel valued, which is why employee recognition is crucial.

Does employee happiness have an impact on productivity?

How do you determine employee happiness?

Get your employee experience blueprint

Learn how to enhance your employee experience across a dispersed workforce. Check out our blueprint to building an employee experience that works across the globe. 

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