Complex Made Simple

‘Unhappy’ employees cost businesses 16% profit

* Firms with unhappy employees experience 16 per cent lower profitability 

* Having dissatisfied workers can lower share price by 65 per cent

* Pay raises are not always the key to employee happiness and retention

* Creating a better work environment goes a long way


Countries across the Middle East, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bahrain and Qatar, join countries across the globe to celebrate International Happiness Day on March 20  – the movement to make the world a happier place.

But what if your company does not boast a happy workforce? It’s a no brainer that a happy workforce is good for business; greater productivity results in healthier end-of-year profits. But companies that employ an ‘unhappy’ workforce are increasingly left, quite literally, counting the costs.

Companies with unhappy employees experience 16 per cent lower profitability and a 65 per cent lower share price when compared to firms with happy employees, according to a Harvard Business Review study released last year.

Although it’s a common belief that low pay is the main cause for unhappiness, the reality is that money can only go so far and has little to do with employee dissatisfaction.

Here are five things companies should do to ensure a happy workforce; one that contributes to both company productivity and profit.


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Be transparent

A Gallup report found that only half of a company’s employees on average have a clear idea of what’s expected of them at work. The solution is clear: all expectations should be out in the open and all communication should be transparent in order to achieve high performance and workplace satisfaction.


Prioritise work-life balance

Everyone understands that there may at times be a need to work those extra hours, but a simple reassurance that a company cares about its employees’ work-life balance truly makes a difference. Another tip: Top employers create a positive work environment that makes their workforce engage in happy and rich social experiences, even at work.


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Focus on training and development

Here is an excellent way to give back to your employees. Training opportunities and skills development programmes have a long-lasting impact on employees – and you don’t have to invest in external trainers. You can use your own “expert” employees to carry out training sessions across different departments.


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Have higher management lead by example

Employees always look up to higher management. So, if the top rung of the company isn’t happy, the ones working below them will not be either. So companies need to ensure that best practices and behaviours are replicated right from the very top.


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Recognise and reward high achievers

Rewarding employees through simple gestures, such as highlighting their achievements across the company or just organising a team outing or even a team lunch is a sure fire way to make employees feel valued and wanted. And they will surely give back to the company.


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What else do you think companies can do to keep employees happy? Let us know in the comments.