How to Create a Happy Workplace - 5 Statistics From Our Data
A happy workplace is a healthy workplace – everyone can agree on this.
When employees are happy, performance increases, culture flourishes, and customers feel satisfied and supported. This is why we celebrate the 100 Most Loved Workplaces® each year, to shine a spotlight on exceptional companies that are going above and beyond to turn their business into the best place to work.
The key to success isn’t a mystery. Connecting all of these companies are several important similarities. So, today, we’ll be looking at 5 key facts from our data so that you can take those crucial steps to become a Most Loved Workplace®.
1 & 2: Respect Encourages Love; Love Encourages Performance
Facts 1 and 2 are intrinsically linked. If you get the first step correct, it will naturally lead to the second.
Our most prominent and important statistics are to do with love. You may be wondering, “What’s love got to do with it?” we aren’t referring to romantic love. Rather, it’s the love that your employees feel for where they work.
We’ll characterize it as a sense of ease. Whilst there should always be an element of challenge in the work your employees undertake, they shouldn’t feel stressed or anxious about coming in each morning. Every day should be a new opportunity to learn, grow, and collaborate. Ultimately, this is what best fuels both personal and company-wide performance.
But there is one vital thing that has to happen to set this in motion.
Respect amongst employees and from their employers greatly impacts how much love someone has for where they work. This is no surprise; no one wants to feel undervalued, discouraged, or ignored for what they do. Fostering a positive company culture and taking time to encourage interpersonal relationships will help your performance skyrocket.
Let’s look at the facts.
When asked, “How likely would it be that you would perform better if you knew you were valued and respected by your co-workers?”, 94% of respondents reported that they would be between 2 and 4 times more likely to produce more and be more engaged at work.
In fact, the majority of people – 59% – answered that they would be on the highest end of the scale, with only 6% of respondents indicating that respect would have no impact on their work.
Respect, whilst generated by people, is enhanced and grown through a positive company culture. Even though many types of culture come about due to a business’s size, aspirations, and structure, certain values remain universal in all of the most beloved workplaces.
So, whether your business likes to operate in a strict hierarchy or in a more close-knit, family-like setting, ensure you always advocate for mutual respect amongst peers. Taking the time to listen to peoples’ ideas and ensuring no one goes unheard or unappreciated helps perpetuate company-wide feelings of respect for one another.
When asked what the number 1 reason was why people loved where they worked, 78% of respondents explained that it was due to the respect they felt from others in the organization.
This is something that the company Certinia (formerly FinancialForce) upholds to a tremendous degree. On our list of Global Most Loved Workplaces 2023, Certinia placed 2nd overall. Their frequent use of Town Hall meetings and consistent adoption of employee suggestions help foster respect and equal treatment for all.
The effects of this system are clear to see. Not only is Certinia’s environment one that employees can flourish in, but it also leads to great growth and revenue generation as a whole.
3: Positive Relationships Improve Retention
It’s absolutely true that teamwork makes the dream work. Whilst working remotely and independently is the preferred working style for many people, it can get pretty lonely. It also means that when it comes to changing jobs, an employee doesn’t have many real connections, so they will be less incentivized to stay.
This is bad news for employee retention rates.
Conversely, the majority (42%) of employees interviewed during our research stated that the feelings they hold for their coworkers, bosses, and peers have a great impact on their decision-making when deciding whether or not to stay with their firm.
This beat other statistics such as compensation and benefits (27%), career development opportunities (9%), and personal understanding of the company and one’s value within it (19%).
The people we interact with on a daily basis can quickly become close friends. This not only makes for a more enjoyable work environment but can also boost productivity and engagement. When surrounded by peers, employees may:
Feel more comfortable bouncing ideas off one another
Share workloads where possible to alleviate stress
Help one another and act as a source of support during difficult times, both personally and professionally
Ultimately, losing an employee is not only bad for morale, but it’s costly, too. Even though that shouldn’t be a business’s main focus, it’s undeniable that it can cost significantly more to interview, hire, and train a new employee than it does to retain existing ones. So, by fostering a supportive environment where everyone gets along and enjoys working alongside their colleagues, you’re doing yourself a huge favor.
4: Lead With Love, Not Fear
Managers often wonder whether it’s better to lead with love or with fear. Both get results but in vastly different ways. According to our research:
62% of respondents wanted a manager to lead with love
26% believed a combination of both was best
9% offered other alternatives
3% thought fear was the best tactic
The nature of how someone leads is influenced by many factors – both internal and external. There are certain styles of leadership that lend themselves well to one or the other.
For example, the coaching leading style encourages mutual conversation and the personal development of employees. In this instance, it is far better to lead with love.
However, an authoritarian style of leadership, such as those found in the military, works well when fear is instilled in employees since there is an underlying sense of urgency in every command, and instructions are often time-sensitive.
Nevertheless, in conventional office settings, employers who opt to lead with fear are often characterized as “insecure” with “egomaniac tendencies and inferiority complexes”. As a result:
Their businesses can suffer
Morale in the office is low
Employee turnover is high
Employees become burnt out and stressed much faster
Ultimately, it all comes back to respect. A good leader will be respected and will offer it to their employees in return. It is a balance that has to be struck to ensure the smoothest possible operations.
To be a good boss, it is important to follow these 9 principles:
Lead with love
Have genuine (not controlling) conversations
Take the steps and provide resources to align employees’ goals with those of the company
Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Create inclusive onboarding for new hires
Focus on initiatives that make people love their workplace
Recognize and reward employees’ hard work
Build DEIB (diversity, equality, inclusion, belonging) into your company culture
Make sure everyone has a positive vision for the future
5: Don’t Waste Effort on Incompatible Employees
Sadly, there may come a situation where the values and work ethic of your company simply do not align with those of an individual employee. In this instance, you may have to make the tough decision whether or not to let them go. Here are some interesting data points which may help ease that decision.
Compensation and benefits are 32% more important for an employee who doesn’t love where they work. This means that these employees are less engaged and cost you more in the long run.
Ultimately, there’s not a lot you can do in these situations. Some employees are purely motivated by financial gain. Despite this being a necessity for some people in a volatile economy, it makes it harder for them to align themselves with the values of your company.
If you are over-compensating staff for poor performance and limited returns, take a step back and have a discussion with them over your joint decisions for the future.
Better Performance From Employees Who Love Their Workplace
Employees who love where they work will perform 14% better on average than their less enthusiastic peers. This makes fostering a Most Loved Workplace® environment even more important, as it means your employees will feel more motivated to provide the best results possible.
In these circumstances, additional compensation and flexible working schedules were cited as only being a third as important as respect from the organization for its employees. The professional benefits of recognition and appreciation were considered to be more important than financial gain.
It’s, therefore, essential that you focus on methods to increase how much you recognize the work put in by your employees.
Another interesting statistic is that employees who feel respected are twice as likely to recommend your company to their friends and peers. It’s impossible to understand the importance of word-of-mouth advocacy. As informative as the internet is, it can still be difficult to trust a stranger to give their opinion.
However, when you have first-hand information from a friend or relative about how enjoyable it is to work somewhere, you feel more secure in your decision to apply. You also have the opportunity to ask additional questions and gain further insight before applying for a job opening.
As an employer, this is highly beneficial, as it means that potential employee turnover can quickly be dealt with. Regardless of how unfortunate it is to lose an employee, it is the nature of business. And the decision to leave a company can be one of hundreds of reasons, so it’s important to conduct an exit interview to see how you could improve next time.
The purpose of Most Loved Workplace® is to help you better understand what your employees think about your company. Clear, logical data can provide an enormous amount of answers and help give you a new sense of direction.
If you are looking for a way to measure how much your employees love to work for you, then our Pulse Surveys are here to help. Harnessing the power of AI (artificial intelligence) and natural language processing (NLP), these quick and easy questionnaires take minutes to fill out and can provide invaluable insight into employee sentiment.
Each year, we take a look at who has performed the best in our surveys to become an internationally recognized Most Loved Workplace®. These results are published in Newsweek, so go and take a look to see how you could compare to some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world.
Louis Carter is the founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, Most Loved Workplace, and Results-Based Culture. Author of In Great Company, Change Champions Field Guide, and Best Practices in Talent Management, as well as a series of Leadership Development books. He is a trusted strategic advisor and coach to CEOs, CHROs, and leaders of mid-sized to F500 companies – enabling change and steering employer brand development together with highly effective teams, leaders, and organizations as a whole.