Staff are essential to business productivity – without a strong workforce few operations could operate at optimum levels. However, many organisations still fail to recognise just how much impact working conditions and the infrastructure of the business have on overall productivity.
Happy employees are more productive
Economists at the University of Warwick found that there is a 12% spike in productivity when employees are happy at work. Companies such has Google have been some of the first to recognise just how much employee happiness has a role to play in how productive and successful a business is. As a result of significant investment in employee support and employee satisfaction, Google saw productivity rise by 37%. So what factors affect the happiness levels for employees?
- Accurate staffing. Ensuring that your store is optimally staffed will do much to improve staff happiness, as this will ensure peak times can be easily dealt with and no one ends up feeling overworked.
- Proper training. Productivity comes from staff who understand their role and how to excel at it. Training provides the necessary skills to do well, to enjoy what they do and to find ways to help innovative for the broader business.
- Sound management. Poor management is a disaster in a retail environment. Managers must be able to inspire loyalty, take responsibility and provide the direction that staff need to effectively do their jobs.
- Achievement recognition. Recognition has a big part to play in the kind of staff performance that boosts productivity. Unmotivated employees cost companies $300 billion a year but those who feel that their contribution really matters will go the extra mile to support that customer or get that sale.
How do happiness levels impact on the broader business?
The way that employees deal with customers. Happy employees are helpful, committed and friendly.
The company culture. A toxic culture of bad working conditions, overly competitive structures, poor training and no support can destroy staff morale and lead to lower productivity across the board.
Absences. The number of absences for sick days or problems such as stress at work tend to increase where staff are not happy or treated well.
Attrition. Unhappy staff who don’t feel satisfied with employment conditions tend to move on quickly, which means businesses have to dedicate yet more time and resources to finding new staff.
Growth. A happy workforce helps to drive the growth of the business but when there are issues this can have the opposite effect. Content employees in a supportive environment will ensure consistent productivity during growth periods – and step up during challenging times to ensure that the business can cope with whatever comes its way.