14 November 2016

How happy are your employees?

It’s a simple idea: happy employees are more productive, more engaged, less likely to leave and, well, happier!

We attended the Employee Engagement Alliance (EEA) Happiness Event last week. Here’s the snapshot!


But just how content are UK employees, and what can managers really do to make their teams more positive? We went along to the EEA’s Employee Happiness Event to find out.

The big issue

Perkbox’s Gautam Sahgal, believes there’s a real employee engagement crisis. A massive 60% of people are disengaged with their jobs while 30% say they wouldn’t describe themselves as happy at work. So perhaps it’s little wonder that the UK has a lower productivity rate than other G7 countries. The big reasons for not being happy at work include:

  • Lack of reward and recognition 26%
  • A negative (or even toxic) culture 21%
  • Micromanagement 17%
  • Long working hours 15%

The happiness formula

So what does happiness at work really look like? The session discussed how many of us believe:


But this formula needs to be turned on its head. Happiness needs to come first:


A study by Lyobomirsky in 2005 showed that if you can boost happiness in the workplace you see a 31% increase in productivity, increased resilience, less burnout, increased sales and quicker decision-making. Pretty motivating stuff.

How to be happier

So happy employees are more successful. But creating real long-lasting change takes more than a Christmas bonus or a box of donuts on a Friday – you need to rewire the brain – every day… for 21 days…. Try this!

  • Finding three things to be grateful for
  • Journaling your positive moments
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Practicing random acts of kindness

Doing these things every day will help your brain scan for the positive, rather than the negative.

Activities to boost your team’s happiness

  • Peak experience: In pairs, talk about a time when you loved doing what you were doing. How did it make you feel? Share this with the group.
  • Create ‘your playlist’: A list of things that makes you feel better that you can refer back to when the going gets tough e.g. friends
  • Mindfulness sessions
  • Praise effort rather than intelligence: for example, ‘That’s a good piece of work, you tried really hard,’ rather than, ‘That’s a good piece of work, you must be really smart.’
  • Boost the energy: According to Andrea Callanan from Inspire Me, engagement is all about connection, so work on connecting your people to their work environment, colleagues and feelings.

Let’s talk!

From employee engagement to fun comms campaigns, creating workforce happiness is definitely our bag. Get in touch with gemma@mccannsynergy.com.uk to find out more.



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