A study from Robert Half has found the true drivers behind employee happiness and how businesses can nurture a positive work culture. in general the survey has found Australian employees are happy at work. Overall, Aussie workers rank middle-of-the-road, behind the United States (72/100); Germany (71) and The Netherlands (70); on par with Canada, (68) and preceding the UK (67), Belgium (65) and France (64).
Robert Half's research finds the majority of Australians are happy in their jobs, with the happiest worker's profile typically being management-level professionals, aged 55+, working in the marketing or creative industries and in small organisations.
"The majority of business leaders acknowledge that workplace happiness has a tangible impact on productivity and profitability,” said David Jones, senior managing director at Robert Half Asia Pacific. “Australians are known globally for their positive attitude in the workplace and it is encouraging to see this reflected throughout our research.
"Happy employees tend to be more engaged, loyal, creative and productive than their less-satisfied counterparts,” he continues. “They also take fewer sick days, tend to be more creative, proactive and express a greater sense of loyalty to the company. Creating a positive culture that engages employees and boosts satisfaction levels enables companies to remain competitive while having a direct impact on business performance.
The main driver of workplace happiness for Australians is that they are treated with fairness and respect, followed by a sense of pride in their organisation. The third most impactful element to workplace happiness is having a sense of accomplishment from their work.
"We know that interest in a job peaks among Australian employees who are in their second year of tenure,” added David Jones. “Beyond this timeframe, employees need to be rewarded with frequent feedback to maintain their spark for the job. Checking in regularly with employees to discuss the evolution of their objectives, their career development, and providing ongoing feedback will make them feel more appreciated, which in turn, enhances employee happiness.”
Not only are happy workers healthier with lower stress levels, 62 per cent say they have good friends at work. Companies with strong internal team relationships are 2.7 times more likely to have happier workers compared to those who do not get on with their colleagues.
Nic Marks, CEO and founder, Happiness Works, said: "Good relationships are the glue of an organisation. For managers, it's all about encouraging relationships for reasons beyond narrow business needs. When employees have friends at work, it has a broad impact on happiness."
"Happy employees also create a positive impression of their company externally, as it is evident they put more effort into their work, and in turn deliver a better client service," David Jones concluded.