Happy workers make better results

The coronavirus crisis has affected many companies and their employees. The transition to homeworking has been more or less successful depending on the case and has now become the the new normal. In fact, it has created a distance between teams and their managers, which made it difficult for the latter to really measure the satisfaction of their employees who could sometimes feel forgotten and isolated. Despite that, it is important that employee happiness remains one of the top priorities of companies if they want to continue to perform well.

Although the situation is rather positive in Belgium in terms of happiness at work, the numbers went down following the arrival of the coronavirus at the beginning of last year. Apart from that, the trend has been improving in recent years. In 2016, in a ranking established by Ederend-Ipsos, it emerged that 70% of Belgian workers felt good at work. In 2019, according to a survey conducted by Attentia, a Belgian company specializing in human resources management, these figures rose to 4 out of 5 Belgians. Among the elements that explain these good results, we find a top three composed of: colleagues and atmosphere, work-life balance and work content.

four happy people and one sad one

4 Belgians out of 5 feel happy at work.

But why talk about happiness at work at a time when company results take precedence over the human element ?

"According to a survey conducted by Elke Van Hoof, director of the Resilience Centre (a center of expertise for the treatment of stress and burn-out), 83% of employers have put in place initiatives to improve the well-being of workers, but half of them do not spend more than 10,000 euros per year on it." (L'Echo, 2020)

Despite these encouraging figures, almost one Belgian in five says that he or she does not feel happy at work. And although these figures may seem low, they are still challenging for any good human resources manager, for several reasons.

In addition to the health problems that an unhappy employee can develop, it also means that 20% of the workforce is not performing at its best. Among the things that make employees unhappy are mainly the lack of career perspectives and the lack of attention paid to well-being.

In fact, employee happiness and company results are closely related. When you know that happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy ones (Oxford University, 2019) and that companies with happy employees grow 3 times more than others (Ted, 2021), you can understand how important happiness at work is for the success of companies.

Then how do we make employees feel good in the workplace ?

Teams' well-being starts with a healthy work environment. This can range from a greater involvement of employees in decisions, to transparent and open communication, to a modern and adequate layout of the premises.

handshake between two business men

But the manager alone cannot guarantee the well-being of the employees. It is the result of a sincere collaboration between the employees on the one hand and the managers on the other hand. This collaboration is not only essential for the sustainability of the company but also for the happiness of its employees.

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