7 Ways to Create a Happier Workforce

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One of the most popular topics in the workplace these days is employee happiness. Happier employees are more successful employees, and as a result, researchers are finding that happiness makes business sense. Fostering both personal and professional happiness in the workplace can help your organization become more effective.

Research points to the fact that happier employees are more productive, creative, and committed (Lyubomirsky & King, “The Benefits of Frequent Positive Affect: Does Happiness Lead to Success?”). Additionally, 2010 studies show that happier people tend to receive better performance evaluations and higher compensation. Happier employees are also more likely to stay at their organizations. In his book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, Shawn Anchor finds that happiness among employees and organizations gives them a competitive advantage.

Focusing on more happiness in the workplace seems to pay off so here are seven (7) simple and research-supported ways to create a happier workforce.

1. Strive for more day-to-day happiness.

Focus on helping employees have more good days than bad days through simple everyday actions like courteous and respectful behavior, better listening, being empathetic, displaying gratitude, keeping interactions mostly positive, showing interest in others, and creating a sense of security and comfort in the work environment. Very small improvements in behavior at work can lead to more happiness on a daily basis.

2. Encourage personal development.

Helping employees become better personally can help them become better employees professionally. Not only show an interest in their personal development, but offer training and skill development in topics like personal empowerment, conflict resolution, communication, emotional intelligence, assertiveness, stress management, and time/priority management. These skills help employees lead happier and more productive lives and benefit your business.

3. Help employees reach their potential.

Reaching one's potential and thriving at work are predictors of success and happiness. Employers can create opportunities for employees to grow and develop and eventually reach their full potential by helping employees become more actively involved in their work, providing them with challenging work, allowing them to work on important and difficult business problems, and shaping/supporting their career path.

4. Make work meaningful.

Meaning is strongly correlated to happiness. Employees want to make an important impact on the world around them and accomplish meaningful work. Creating a culture and an environment with a deeper sense of mission and purpose can help drive more happiness in your workforce.

5. Promote a healthy lifestyle.

Happy employees are healthier and more energetic. For this reason, help employees become healthier employees by promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors such as good nutrition, exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep, and by providing the resources, time, and support to help them become healthier.

6. Improve manager-employee and coworker relationships.

Positive improvements in an employee's relationship with their boss have been linked to increased happiness. Treating employees well in the workplace, creating stronger manager-employee relationships, and fostering positive and collaborative coworker relationships can lead to improved happiness.

7. Offer coaching, counseling, and support.

Personal factors play a role in employees’ happiness. Employee assistance programs, counselors or coaches, and other support benefits and resources can help employees deal with their personal and professional issues in the workplace and lead happier lives. Additionally, strive to create a supportive workplace that is understanding of people’s personal challenges and lives outside of work.


A happy workforce is a productive workforce and employers can truly positively impact employee happiness in the workplace by using these strategies.

Additional Resources

Training & Skill Development
ERC offers training in topics such as personal empowerment, communication, conflict resolution, stress management, time and priority management, among others to help strengthen personal and professional skills.

Employee Engagement Surveys

Research shows that high employee engagement leads to increased retention, productivity and business success. The ERC Employee Engagement Survey (EES) assesses employees’ level of engagement or commitment to an organization. It identifies 11 primary factors that contribute to engagement including workplace practices that have all been shown to statistically correlate with employee engagement.

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