How to Cultivate a Happy Workplace without Spending a Single Penny

By taking small steps to create a cheerful and motivated work environment, there are likely to be fewer work-related conflicts, lesser absenteeism, and more productivity

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Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
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The happier the employees are, the more successful the company is. There’s overwhelming scientific evidence that links employee happiness to a firm’s healthy-looking balance sheet. Even a company with the right product in a high-growth industry cannot achieve success if leadership creates a toxic culture at the workplace.

Yet, companies struggle to ensure that their workplace is healthy.

Know the perks

According to a study, which was conducted by researchers at the Columbia University in the US, the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with high company culture is a mere 13.9 per cent, while the same in low company cultures is 48.4 per cent. Another research by the economics department at the University of Warwick in the UK has found that happy workers are 12 per cent more productive than the average worker, and unhappy workers are 10 per cent less productive. Reason? Employees who are unhappy do not work more than what is the minimum because they don’t feel appreciated and poor managers negatively affect their productivity.

"Having scientific support for generating happiness-productivity cycles within the workforce should … help managers to justify work-practices aimed at boosting happiness on productivity grounds," said Daniel Sgroi, the author of the University of Warwick study, which included 700 people. 

In a Harvard Business Review blog post, Rob Markey explains, “Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile. They bring you more great employees. And that spreads even more happiness — happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.”

There’s no need to spend thousands of many to keep workers happy. Small, considerate steps are enough. It’s no secret that happiness is contagious.

Dorothy Yiu, chief operating officer and co-founder of EngageRocket, a Singapore-based startup launched in 2016 that helps companies build better workplaces using people analytics, offers three tips on how to create a safe, empowering and a positive work environment, without spending a single penny.

After all, people are an organization’s number one asset, so keeping them happy should be all organization’s number one priority.

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