What we’ve all suspected is true – happy employees are more productive employees over the long term. In their January 2012 Harvard Business Review Article, ”Creating Sustainable Performance”, Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath show that happy employees exhibit the following behaviours:
a) They routinely show up at work;
b) They are less likely to quit;
c) They go above and beyond the call of duty; and
d) They attract other people who have the same work ethic as them.
So what are the characteristics of a healthy work environment that encourages employees to thrive?
- Provide employees with decision-making discretion – empowering them with some decision-making ability empowers and motivates them.
- Share information – employers who don’t share strategy, operational and financial information expect their employees to work in an information vacuum. Employees perform better when they understand how their work affects the organization.
- Minimize incivility – their research showed that more than half of employees who had experienced uncivil behaviour decreased their efforts. Clearly bullies and leaders who are abusive have a negative effect on productivity.
- Offer performance feedback – provide feedback to employees regularly.
It’s clear that happy employees are engaged and committed employees. The authors show us some relatively simple and cost–effective ways to create a healthy culture in the workplace.