Happiness! A new puppy? A perfect bowling score? Your favorite pineapple upside-down cake? Those things would probably make most of us happier (although some might opt for chocolate cake instead). Work might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “happiness”.
Even at the wackiest Silicon Valley startup, it’s unlikely that employers will provide puppies, bowling or cake to increase happiness. But business owners know that employee satisfaction is extremely important. Happiness is defined as “subjective well-being” by experts at UC Berkeley. Both research and experience show that happy employees–those who feel more positive emotions and a deep sense of purpose–are more productive.
Of course, not everyone has the job of their dreams. But in nearly every workplace, there are ways that tech solutions can fuel employee happiness. Here are some suggestions.
1) Keep the workplace tech up to date. Employees with access to good technology are less frustrated and more efficient, particularly if given a choice of what platforms and tech tools to use at work. Workers are using the latest and greatest tech as consumers. If they have to struggle with outdated servers and programs in the workplace, happiness and productivity drop. One solution is to create a team of early tech adopters.
2) Have a good work environment. The office is a key toward employee productivity. Many companies are choosing to have an open work space in hopes to increase communication channels and cross-functionality across multiple teams, however in a recent study, 50% of employees expressed that a distraction free environment would increase productivity by up to 30% while stating that loud co-workers were the main distraction.
3) Emphasize a culture of cooperation. This is a real challenge, especially in a sales environment. However, leveraging tech to increase access, teamwork, and information sharing can increase employee happiness as the company culture shifts in a positive direction. Using the right technology can bring everything together. When implementing new tools, make sure everyone is on the same page with training and purpose in mind. For example, it may be a challenge to switch CRM’s, because people get use to using a certain software and fear that a change will be difficult and more work for them, however, if everyone is trained on the new CRM and understand the purpose of switching is to increase sales through a more automated system, employees can grasp the big picture and get on board.