Do you want the secret to outperform your competitors by 147%? Here’s what matters most: it starts with happy employees.
A Gallup study that looked at 49 publicly traded companies found that those with a more engaged workforce had 147% higher earnings per share than their competitors. The importance of a happy and engaged workforce is becoming impossible to ignore. As a result, the most successful corporations are directing renewed focus towards their employees. And it’s working.
Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of Virgin, knows just the power of a happy workforce.
Why does the employee-centric approach work? Here’s the juice behind the secret: happier employees are better workers. So if you’re looking for an edge over competitors, find out why happy employees might just be the key to your success.
Happy employees work harder (and better)
Employees who are happiest not only work harder but are more efficient. An Oxford University study found that happier employees made more phone calls per hour and made more calls that led to sales. They were not working more hours — they were simply working more efficiently.
Research by Shawn Anchor, a Harvard psychology researcher, may provide an explanation for this. His work suggests that the brain is more efficient when you’re feeling positive. In other words, happier employees are better able to tap into their brain power and get tasks done.
Happy employees are also more likely to introduce innovative ideas. A BI Worldwide study questioned workers on their happiness levels at work. Of those who strongly disagreed that they were happy at work, only 6% said their job brings out their best ideas. Compare that to 82% in those who are the most happy at work and the message is clear. Unhappy employees aren’t using their full potential.
Happy employees stick around longer
Happier workers are more likely to stay with the company longer. The previously mentioned BI Worldwide study has the statistics to back this up. The research showed that of those who are the most unhappy, 88% say they wish they were working elsewhere. What’s more, 62% say they plan to leave in the next year.
Above all, less turnover means a more knowledgeable and experienced workforce. The longer an employee stays with a company, the more they build up specific expertise that allows them to do their jobs better and provide better service for customers. It also means massive savings for business owners who don’t need to hire and train new staff as often.
Finally, happy employees are more likely to refer friends and relatives to their places of work. This saves the company time and resources they would normally need to spend recruiting staff.
Happy employees make happy customers
Simply put, happy employees provide a happier experience for customers. And their positivity translates to customers in meaningful ways.
A 2015 study by The Answers Corporation proved something special. The study showed a direct, causal relationship between employee engagement and customer satisfaction in retail. In short, the positive feelings of retail workers were directly impacting the customer experience.
Remarkably, Starbucks uses positive employee experience to boost its brand. A customer study showed that 87% of customers’ affinity towards Starbucks is motivated by the way the brand treats its employees.
As Richard Branson says, “If the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing […] if they’re treated well, then they’re gonna be smiling, they’re gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience.”
Happy workers are not so common
While an employee-centric approach is taking over the focus of business leaders, it doesn’t mean they are doing a great job at it. For example, 80% of executives rate employee experience as a high priority. But only 22% of them believe they are doing a good job at creating a differentiated employee experience.
What’s more, research shows that only 33% of US employees are engaged on the job. It seems that most managers simply don’t know how to make employees happy.
This could be good news for leaders who do invest in a positive employee experience. By taking steps to foster a positive workplace, you’ll have the edge over competitors who aren’t.
The research leaves no question that a happier, more engaged workplace leads to a more productive — and more profitable — company. Happy employees work better, stay with the company longer and make happier customers.
Since most companies are falling behind on this aspect, improving your employees’ happiness could be the secret to beating the competition and skyrocketing your business.
Looking for the best tips for a happier and more engaged workforce? Click here for 4 ways you can improve employee experience today.