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The infinite benefits of a happy workplace

Find out how a happy workplace environment can help businesses to achieve higher staff retention, secure more clients and produce more creative and innovative work

By Ben Robson
Co-founder, GOAT

The infinite benefits of striving for a positive workplace environment. Every. Single. Day.

Have you ever worked for, or done business with a company where something’s missing? They might produce good work, or have a myriad of seemingly attractive employee perks in place – but despite the good intentions, the company culture is one of stress, over-time and, in the long-run, disgruntled staff and clients.

Step forward the new-wave of business. Companies who strive to put happiness before profits

This post talks about the need to go the whole-hog. No longer is it good enough to merely pay lip-service to creating a culture of happiness at work and in life – gone will be the days where current happiness is held ransom for promises of a happier future.

Let’s delve into some of the reasons and ways in which GOAT places positive work/life balance at the very peak of its mountain (business vision and culture).

The key benefits of a positive workplace environment

1. Makes your business more appealing to work with

If employees enjoy being at work, they will display more creativity, be able to overcome more challenges and positively impact the direction of the business they work for. In turn, clients will see working with that business as a more appealing proposition – as good work and a happy team soon has a magnetic effect – people wanting to work with good people… highly creative, well rested people who love what they do.

2. A positive workplace environment aids attraction and retention of the best talent in the industry

Happy people will want to go the extra-mile for you and tell others about their experience. Having a focus on a positive workplace environment will make your business synonymous with the best work and highest level of innovation in the industry, over time.

3. Too much stress can have negative effects on health – SO FLIP THAT ON ITS HEAD!

Give time to your family and friends and have proper rest

Employers have a duty of care to their employees’ health. This quote, by former Coca Cola CEO, sums it up nicely:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

“You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

“Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest.

“Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

The downsides of not having a positive workplace

The downsides of not having a positive workplace are that it will damage your brand reputation. Even the most loyal member of staff will complain about their working conditions, meaning the business will struggle to attract and retain the best talent. If workplace happiness is not top of the agenda, pretty soon the standard of work/delivery that a business produces will fall into decline too. A waterfall effect — Lower quality work — higher stress as the business struggles for retained business — unhappy staff because of increased stress and poor workplace environment — and so it goes on.

Top five steps to creating a positive workplace

1: Create a culture where people leave on time and take a full lunch break away from their desks

With too much sitting said to be bad for health, make sure that your team is getting the opportunity to walk around / leave their desks on a regular basis. In addition, a change of scenery can spark the best ideas, so work on building a culture where people value a break and taking time to think of other things aside from work.

2: Encourage ideas and show employees they can make a difference to the choices/direction a business takes

We believe that this is aided by having a flatter organisational structure, one where every person is equal and the best ideas can be shared in a collaborative, rather than linear outdated structure e.g. ‘go away and report back to me with your findings’. Encourage teamwork and group creativity sessions – using the power of group mind to solve a current or upcoming challenge.

3: Don’t get greedy

A small team is far more agile in its processes and delivery of work than a large organisation. In addition, it’s easier to protect a company culture of workplace happiness / giving back the community etc. if you put happiness before profits.

A happy, well-rested team results in creativity and innovation

A perfect example of this is our own agency, GOAT, where workplace happiness and a focus on protecting a positive work/life balance is paramount. If GOAT employees have a life event / responsibility to take part in, room and time is always made for them to do so. This is also achieved by creating a culture where no one is allowed to work after hours, or at weekends – ensuring that family, friends and making time for living life is always high on the agenda.

If businesses act in this way, they will find they get more out of their employees… a happy and well rested team, positioned to produce highly creative and innovative work at all times.

4: Don’t use employee perks as a bargaining tool

Employee perks, e.g. days off on birthdays / flexitime etc. should be easily accessible to all staff, never making them feel they need to jump through hoops to benefit from them. If you offer a perk, it should be just that, ‘a perk’, not one with a list of requirements to tick off before you can benefit from it e.g. ‘do you have any meetings today?’, have you finished this piece of work?’, etc. If a perk becomes a chore to secure with upper management, then it becomes another element for potential stress – defeating the object of having the perk in the first place. NB – as mentioned, we don’t believe in the need for hierarchy, which leads on to point 5.

5: Never employ managers to micro-manage employees

If you’re going to employ managers, employ them to pass on wisdom and be true leaders – never to micro-manage. This article is a great pointer into what makes a great leader.

You may also consider the Holacracy approach, quoted on holacracy.org, as:

“a new way of running an organization that removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles, which can then be executed autonomously, without a micromanaging boss. The work is actually more structured than in a conventional company, just differently so. With Holacracy, there is a clear set of rules and processes for how a team breaks up its work, and defines its roles with clear responsibilities and expectations”

Likewise, if you employ someone for their skill-set, give them the opportunity to display it to its fullest. Micro-management and molly-coddling leads to frustration, preventing your team from helping to take your business to the next level – one where innovation grows and the mentality of ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ becomes a distant memory, leaving your business to reap the rewards of a forward thinking, empowered team

To find how GOAT’s research led process can help you achieve business growth online, contact us today.

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Are you focused on building a positive workplace and happy business culture? We’d love to hear your thoughts and thinking for how you’re making it happen. Please leave a comment and spark up the conversation!

Thanks for reading.