Happy Workers Are Productive Workers

Categories: WorkersWorkplace

For the purposes of my course HR and Organizational Development and under the guidance of Dr. Maria Michailidis I choose the subject “happy workers are productive workers”. My aim is to prove that the statement is correct, under what circumstances happy workers are productive and to which extend. I am going to refer to studies, experiments and different theories. Through the examination the findings suggest strongly that the creation of a happy workplace contributes in to having more productive workers.

The last few decades organizations are investing more resources in the creation and expansion of their Human Resources departments in order to develop and implement the most effective practices in the creation of a happy workplace.

That has to do not only to the direct effect of happy workers been more productive, but it also has to do with the creation of an image of an organization that cares about it's people. That appeals positively to the views and beliefs of society gaining the support of the public.

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In order for any changes and implementations to be successful it's mandatory that the Management is not only fully supportive but it's actively on the front line of the developments – changes.

Theory X and Theory Y : “Theory X and Theory Y are theories about human work motivation and management.

They were created in the 1950s and were developed in the 1960s by Douglas McGregor. They describe contradicting models of motivation at workplace. McGregor believed that self-actualization was the highest level of reward for employees and that the motivation employees use to reach self-actualization allows them to reach their full potential.

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According to theory X people do not like work and try to avoid responsibility. In addition the management of the organization is been described as authoritarian while control is centralized. In contrast Theory Y believes that people are self motivated and are prone on taking responsibilities. Employees take part in the decision making process. ”

The Hawthorne Studies

The Hawthorne Studies were conducted in the 1920s by Elton Mayo and Fritz Roethlisberger on workers at the Hawthorne plant. The study was made in order to examine the socio-psychological aspects of human behavior in organizations. Even though initially the study wanted to examine if workers were more responsive and efficient under certain environmental factors such as improved lighting, it proved that they were more affected by social factors.

For instance they were affected by their coworkers and by the treatment and attention they had from their supervisors at the job. Despite the impact that the study had in the 1920's nowadays is been dismissed. The main reason is that employees do not behave casually when they know that they are monitored and therefore the conclusions are not accurate. ”In addition to the mentioned theories there are several studies that were conducted the last few years and support the belief that happy workers are more productive.

Social Market Foundation Study

Social Market Foundation (SMF) is an independent British public policy think-tank. In a 2015 study it found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. The biggest impact was found to salespeople with happiness having a huge impact, raising sales by 37%. Fortune MagazineThe fact that happy workers are productive workers is heavily supportive by the fact that the stock prices of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for" rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list only reported a 6% increase.

The findings are very interesting as they show that the benefits for a company that cares for the happiness of it's employee’s are also indirectly and affect the opinion of people in regards to the image of the organization. The public in most occasions rewards and appreciates companies that treats its employees fairly and in an ethical way. IZA — Journal of European LaborIn 2017 a report from researchers at the University of Warwick in the U. K. was conducted and was published in the “IZA — Journal of European Labor. In one experiment, people were asked to perform math problems after viewing a comedy video. Productivity among those who watched the video was roughly 10% higher than a control group that performed similar problems without the positive stimulus at the outset.

Harvard Business Review

A 2011 Harvard Business Review article stated that the level of happiness has a profound impact on workers' creativity, productivity, commitment and collegiality. “Twenty-six project teams from seven companies participated, comprising 238 individuals. This yielded nearly 12,000 diary entries. The goal was to discover the states of inner work life and the workday events that correlated with the highest levels of creative output. The study showed that, at least in the realm of knowledge work, people are more creative and productive when their inner work lives are positive—when they feel happy, are intrinsically motivated by the work itself, and have positive perceptions of their colleagues and the organization. Moreover, in those positive states, people are more committed to the work and more collegial toward those around them. ”

Negative effects of unhappy employees : Having unhappy and unmotivated employees could be proved literally extremely costly for an organization. This is supported by a research that was conducted by Gallup between 2010 and 2012 regarding the negative effects that unhappy employees have in the American economy. According to Gallup's State of the American Workplace report that was conducted between 2010-2012, employee engagement levels remain stagnant among U. S. workers. “By the end of 2012, as the U. S. inched toward a modest economic recovery, only 30% of American workers were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.

The research showed that an alarming 70% of American workers are not showing up to work committed to delivering their best performance, and this has serious consequences for both the companies and the U. S. economy as a whole. Of the 70% of American workers who are not reaching their full potential, 52% are not engaged, and another 18% are actively disengaged. These employees are emotionally disconnected from their companies and may actually be working against their employers' interests. They are less productive, are more likely to steal from their companies, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, and drive customers away. Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U. S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year. This is troubling as American business attempts to recover ground lost during the financial crisis and reach prerecession levels of prosperity. ”


As highlighted through the several studies and theories mentioned above there are countless of benefits for an organization that keeps it's employees happy. The benefits are both direct and indirect. One of the biggest benefit is the improvement in job performance of employees that are happy. Happy employees are more productive and efficient. Another benefit from happiness at work is that happy employees take much less sick leave from the job, as they are in better physical and psychological condition.

Further to that happy employees tend to stay much longer to an organization. High employee turnover can damage both the reputation of the organization and cost greatly financially as new employees need training and time to adjust, learn the skills and obtain the necessary know how. Happy employees are also more creative, think outside the box, as they care for their organization and try to find the best possible ways to achieve the organizations' targets. The role of HR Creating a happy working environment is one of the main issues and challenges that the HR department has to face. The role of the HR is fundamental in implementing the right policies, practices and systems in order to establish and promote a positive working environment. Nowadays organizations invest a lot of money in the development of Human Resources departments.

The Human resources department should develop the right procedures and training to management and employees in regards to how they treat their employees. Creating the right culture it's an ongoing process that cannot be achieved overnight. The organization and it's management needs to invest both in terms of time, money and effort. The most important aspect for the creation of the right positive culture is for the HR department to ensure that the management is not only on board in regards to any possible changes, but that it leads by example on the front line. Ways to create a happy environmentPerhaps the most important factor in order for an organization to have happy employees and definitely the first one that comes in mind are the benefits and rewards that the organization offers to it's employees. Money are definitely (and it shouldn't be) the only factor for happiness at workplace but it's a huge decisive factor. The organization through the HR department and management should create the right reward systems and policies that would reward it's top employees. That could happen with pay rises or even better with bonuses based on performance and achieved targets. There are several other ways to create a happy and positive workplace.

The management can create a pleasant place to be. A professional yet fun workplace with food in the workplaces by provided by the company, company outings casual days and/or some other incentives such as flexible working hours. The management should create a safe and pleasant place that responds to the needs of it's employees. Management should be respectful, honest, and supportive. An interactive relationship between employees and Management is necessary. Management should encourage the flow of ideas and suggestions and seek the feedback, another point of view. In addition it's very important for employees to feel that they are part of the organizations long term plans. A clear career path should be presented and the right tools and training should be given to to the employee in order to be able to achieve his/her full potential.

Additionally management should be transparent, sharing information about the organization and giving feedback to the employee. Management should recognize the achievements of it's employees and share positive feedback and praise when appropriate. Examples of positive workplaces :There are many companies that set an example in regards of creating amazing workplaces for their employees.

Google: Is regarded as the pioneer in creating a happy, positive working environment. Employees are given free food, transportation from and to work is provided, free dry cleaning, along with the opportunity to spend work time in the office by doing on non-work projects of “passion. ”

Stickyeyes: Offers outings with free food and drinks once a week for it's employees. This is not only a way to offer your appreciation to your employees but also to create a strong bond between employees. In addition it now offers free massages to it's employees.

Innocent Smoothies: Has games like ping pong tables and fussball. Also at its London headquarters it has nestling on fake grass. It pays attention to the suggestions by it's employees as every three months it gives them a detailed questionnaire about their happiness and/or suggestions. Some of the suggestions such as more flexible working hours were implemented.


Organizations are investing significant funds in to their HR departments, in order to develop and implement policies and structures that will tackle the issue. Age diversity in the workplace and the elimination of age discrimination are very important for the competitiveness of organizations today, with multiple benefits. Through the examination the findings suggest strongly that there is age discrimination in the workplace, even from the moment that an older person applies for a job.

The last few decades organizations are treating more strictly any issues of age discrimination. That has to do mainly due to the fact that they want to promote an image that appeals to the views and beliefs of society. Also organizations want to avoid potential lawsuits, as there are are very strict laws that protect older employees from age discrimination. Organizations are investing significant funds in to their HR departments, in order to develop and implement policies and structures that will tackle the issue. In order for such programs to succeed it's mandatory that the Management is fully supportive and on the front line of the developments – changes. Finally it is equally important as society, through education and the portrayal of elders through the media to fight the stereotype and prejudice against elder workers, in order to create the right culture and acceptance of diversity.

Updated: Feb 16, 2024

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Happy Workers Are Productive Workers. (2024, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/happy-workers-are-productive-workers-essay

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