By: Heidi Smith, CINHC, CCWS, CMP at the Integrative Wellness Studio
As we move into a new year, let’s look at ways that we can celebrate the best in the workplace by creating a more positive work environment which, in turn, creates a more powerful and positive workforce. In turn, when employees are happy, your customers, stakeholders and other key players are happier as well.
In an experiment that was conducted by the University of Warwick, 700 people were shown 10-minute comedy video clips or they were provided with beverages and snacks. The researchers then followed up with the individuals to confirm that those two things actually made them happy and when the individuals confirmed that they did, the researchers assigned each person certain tasks to measure their productivity levels. The outcome of the experiment showed that, on average, productivity increased an average of 12 percent and went as high as 20 percent above the control group, which is pretty astounding.
Conversely, the researchers also noted how “real-world” situations, such as family problems, illness and mourning affected the individuals and found that there was a link between the unhappiness of the individuals and a decrease in their productivity levels that actually could last as long as two years.
The reason that employees are more productive when they are happy is actually pretty simple. The brain functions better when a person is feeling positive. These employees tend to be more creative, have better problem-solving skills and they tend to collaborate more effectively when they are feeling happy and positive. When a person feels happiness, the brain state that they are in is much the same as when they are in what is called “collaboration or relational flow.” This brain state allows people to imagine new outcomes, share intentions, build confidence, develop curiosity and appreciate the contributions of others.
Professor Andrew Oswald, who was part of the University of Warwick experiment, provided a brief case study about Google that outlined Google’s investment in employee support and Google noted that employee satisfaction rose by about 37 percent. So as you move into 2018 either as a leader or as part of an employee population, what can you do to make sure that your workplace is a happier one? The possibilities are endless. There are specialists and organizations available that can help you tailor employee wellness and happiness programs into your organization. For more information and ideas that you can implement, contact Heidi Smith, CINHC, CCWS, CMP at the Integrative Wellness Studio.