Are You Happy?

Two recent reports identified people in Northern Ireland as being among the happiest in the UK. People here scored highest when asked questions that measured happiness and life satisfaction.

The report’s comments about the happiness levels of people here may seem incidental given the day-to-day concerns of most of the population and the wider community.

Similarly, the findings may seem lightweight and of little relevance to most businesses, particularly at a time when there is so much economic uncertainty about the future.

Yet, it seems there is a significant link between the happiness levels of people in the workplace, their performance and productivity and the number of jobs in the economy.

Happy people tend to have a greater understanding of others and the ability to engage with customers; they also tend to form better relationships with colleagues and within in their communities.

Unhappy people tend to be less motivated and less engaged in what they’re doing, which, in turn, can adversely affect their productivity, performance and relationships.

The right combination of happy and motivated people at work coupled with a supportive working environment has benefits both for the individual and the organisation.

The idea of happiness in this context relates to someone who is healthy both physically and mentally and therefore likely to be meaningfully engaged in, and focussed on, what they are doing.

The benefits to companies of ensuring a happy and positive workforce include increased sales, better productivity, higher profits, reduced staff turnover, reduced absence and less sickness.

Companies, organisations and colleagues value people who are happy, as their ability to perform and work with others helps to attract more business and thus create additional jobs.

SO, traditionally happiness in the workplace may not have been an aspiration of employer or employee but increasingly it is seen as an organisational competitive advantage.

What do you think? Are you happy? Get in touch! If you have any comments contact Nick on 028 8224 9494 or via Twitter @nick_oec.