Kavitha’s keynote: The benefits of investing in happiness

New research has found that employee happiness has dropped 75% from two years ago, with motivation having fallen by nearly a fifth and anxiety rising by 78%.

The study was carried out employee engagement consultancy Inpulse, and its founder and CEO Matt Stephens believes the findings reflect the toll Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has had on stress levels, as well as how employees’ emotions are having a direct impact on their connection, focus and loyalty to organisations.

He warned that if employers fail to respond quickly, the problems will “detrimentally impact engagement, productivity, absence, and retention”.

This isn’t the first time that research has indicated a link between happiness and productivity or engagement – some studies have even suggested employees value it more than pay, while others have found it could help build resilience among workers. But how to measure happiness is where some employers have come unstuck.

A variety of contributing factors must be considered in order to gauge happiness effectively. By doing so and taking into account those responsible for burnout, stress and wellbeing, employers can identify and address potential issues. For some organisations, hosting wellbeing themed weeks have also helped to measure engagement and happiness.

Of course, employee benefits can also have an important role to play in the contentment and wellbeing of workers, which is why it was unfortunate to report other research that revealed more than one in five have had their benefits reduced or removed in the past 12 months.

The survey carried out by salary advance start-up Borofree further found that 15% of respondents had never received any perks at all from their employer. This is surprising given that there are so many that can be offered at little, or sometimes no cost, to the employer. Clearly organisations that don’t recognise the value of offering employee benefits are missing out on an opportunity to boost happiness, engagement and productivity among their workforces.


Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
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