Want to run your organisation successfully? Well, then start keeping your employees happy, says a Kansas State University researcher.
When employees have high levels of psychological well-being and job satisfaction, they perform better and are less likely to leave their job -making happiness a valuable tool for maximizing organizational outcomes, says Thomas Wright, Jon Wefald Leadership Chair in Business Administration and professor of management at Kansas State University.
"The benefits of a psychologically well work force are quite consequential to employers, especially so in our highly troubled economic environment," Wright said.
"Simply put, psychologically well employees are better performers. Since higher employee performance is inextricably tied to an organization's bottom line, employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive advantage," he added.
Happiness is a broad and subjective word, but a person's well-being includes the presence of positive emotions, like joy and interest, and the absence of negative emotions, like apathy and sadness, Wright said.
He said that an excessive negative focus in the workplace could be harmful, such as in performance evaluations where negatives like what an employee failed to do are the focus of concentration.
When properly implemented in the workplace environment, positive emotions can enhance employee perceptions of finding meaning in their work.
Also, Wright said that studies have shown that being psychologically well has many benefits for the individual.
He said that employees with high well-being tend to be superior decision makers, demonstrate better interpersonal behaviours and receive higher pay.
Studies have shown that after controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, job tenure and educational attainment level, psychological well-being still is significantly related to job performance.
As with job performance, the knowledge of an employee's well-being can be highly useful in helping human resource personnel determine cost-effective employee retention strategies, Wright said.
The findings have appeared in several publications, including the Journal of Management, Organizational Dynamics, the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, the Journal of Applied Psychology and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.