When history looks back at 2019 - away from politics and pop culture - it will be remembered as the year when businesses relying on the deskless workforce finally started to take happiness seriously.
Now that’s a bold statement.
Let’s frame it by taking a quick look at consumers - because where consumers lead, businesses tend to follow. Thanks to big data, machine learning, AI and advanced algorithms, consumers have an unprecedented level of control and personalization over all aspects of their lives. They’re also increasingly shifting their loyalty to brands who have values aligned with their own.
These three elements - control, personalization and values - have permeated through what employees want from their jobs. The deskless workforce now tend to be happy when having control over when they work, when they can personalize their shifts around their lives and when they feel like their work is making a difference.
But why do happy employees matter? Engaging Works stated in their research that the commercial advantages for companies with happy employees include profits and productivity that are 20% higher, lower staff turnover and absence, better customer service and satisfaction, and a range of health and wellbeing benefits. Not too bad, right?
Meaning is the new money
During the last few years, a shift has occurred among the Millennials' and Gen Z's career priorities. Number one on the list is now to have a functional work-life balance. It’s from this shift the real benefits of ‘Happynomics’ stems. Employees with a far better work-life balance (which they get through flexible working) are happier, more engaged and generate more value for the business.
Meaning is stated to be the new money. Employees who feel like they have a meaning and significance in their workplace and are able to see how their contribution makes a difference, often value purpose over salary and are much more likely to stay with their organizations.
Moreover, as our culture shifts from being based on materialism to experimentalism, your employees will:
- Be less concerned about how much they earn.
- Be less inclined to work long hours to earn more money to buy goods they don't need to impress people.
- Be more concerned about the quality of their work life.
- Want to work for an organisation who has values that align with theirs.
- Want their work to have a strong purpose and meaning behind it.
Organizations who don’t make the effort to attract, retain and engage their employees (or make happiness a priority), risk losing them and, in the process, stunt their opportunities for growth.
Creating a happy workforce
Sometimes, creating a happy workforce is easier said than done. Our advice is to start small because even though the changes are tiny, the differences they make can be huge. Here’s some tips to get you started:
- Embrace flexible working
- Have a clear reward and recognition programme
- Create a strong culture and purpose
- Have brilliant communication
- Prioritize employee engagement, health and wellbeing
- Understand what your workforce wants and how they are feeling
It’s easy for business leaders and managers to sweep happiness under the carpet or to play lip-service to employee engagement but it’s no good simply expecting your employees to be happy because they have a job working for you. The concept of Happynomics and happiness at work goes deeper than that. It isn’t about gimmicks; it’s about rewards, recognition, communication, wellbeing, having a sense of pride, feeling empowered and having job satisfaction.
In short, creating a happy workforce is an essential ingredient in creating a happy and successful business.
Download are latest guide to see what trends - along with Happynomics - are driving workforce management forward in 2020 and beyond.