In simple terms, unhappy workers will not realise their potential. Besides lower productivity, they cost companies a lot of money each year too.

The promise of positive psychology, dubbed the science of happiness, has never been more relevant. With rapid changing times bolstered by IT, globalisation and wide social collaboration, there has never been two generations sharing the same expectations and way of life. For them, the search for happiness seems to be the only unifying theme.

In a very competitive global economy today, workplace happiness might just be the “holy grail” many organisations seek.

We assess the benefits of a happy workplace:

1. Retaining key employees

Employer-employee relationships have seemingly changed towards a contingency model, with either party having the option to terminate the employment contract once the other party fails to meet its expectations.

This poses challenges to organisations in grooming their best talent, as well as retaining core employees who are essential to the daily running of operations. With workplace happiness operating in multiple facets in relation to job satisfaction, alignment, engagement, and perception of well-being, it could ultimately be the glue that holds everything together.

2. Improving work relationships and culture

Momentary happiness such as positive mood is associated with creativity and proactivity on the same day and the next day (Amabile , 2005)

Positive mood also reduces interpersonal conflicts and it enhances collaborative negotiation outcomes (Baron, 1990), thereby enhancing organisational citizenship.

In fact, the state of positivity can spread among co-workers and become a momentum for positive, upward spiralling of desired organisational culture.

3. Strengthening organisational resilience

While seemingly unrelated at first sight, workplace happiness has a direct effect on organisational resilience, i.e. the ability of the enterprise to face difficulties and embrace sudden change.

From the research on unit-level happiness, a happy team not only tends to stick resolutely with each other in difficult times, it is also able to broaden and build on the team repertoire to find creative solutions and grow from the challenges. This is consistent with Frederickson’s Broaden and Build Theory (2001).

4. Generating positive business performance

Research has clearly shown the benefits, in numbers. Let us take a look at them:

  • Productivity + 31%
  • Talent Retention + 33%
  • Sales + 37%
  • Creativity + 200%
  • Employee Engagement + 900%

Workplace happiness is no longer a luxury but a must have in today’s context.

Simply, it can make or break the business.

Contributed by Mr Low Boon Seong