A company’s culture can vary across different locations and departments. But there’s one thing they all have in common if our managers or our colleagues are creating a toxic and depressing environment for us, we are unproductive. On the other hand, if our work environment is positive and filled with excitement our production is higher than ever before.
Evidence proves that a positive work culture results in more productivity and profitability for companies. It boosts employee engagement, which in turn increases business outcomes. It has been shown that businesses that are highly engaged experience up to 40% less absenteeism and achieve up to 20% more productivity. Moreover, highly engaged companies and business units also experience less turnover according to a report by Gallup.
According to another study done by Glassdoor, companies with a positive work culture outperformed significantly in the market as compared to companies where employee satisfaction was low. That is why many companies are focusing on the well-being of their employees. They offer mindfulness lessons, various wellness programs, yoga lessons, and gym memberships.
But those free lessons are not only measures that companies take to improve employees’ work-life balance. The work-life balance has become more important for employers than in previous years because data shows that a good work-life balance affects productivity and results in better business outcomes.
What are the problems associated with a stressful work culture?
According to many experts, a workplace with constant pressure and stress is highly dangerous as it results in many health problems such as cognitive stress. Excessive workplace stress causes a staggering 120,000 deaths and results in nearly $190 billion in health care costs each year. Constant stress in the workplace also leads to depression and depression is as costly as heart disease or AIDS to the US economy, costing over $51 billion in absenteeism from work and lost productivity and $26 billion in direct treatment costs.
According to the American Psychological Association, over $500 billion are drained off from the economy of the United States of America due to workplace stress and over 600 million workdays are lost every year because of job stress. Likewise, more than 60% of accidents in the workplace are directly attributed to stress. Workplace stress has been related to many health as well as economic problems, which affect the employees as well as the company.
A high-pressured workplace also results in less engaged employees over the long term. On the other hand, a positive workplace is associated with happier employees. A study titled “Happiness and productivity: Understanding the happy-productive worker” found that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than employees that are not happy at work.
Why are positive work cultures more productive?
A positive work culture where the employees are happy and satisfied can do wonders for your business. Such a work culture boosts employees’ satisfaction, and thus they find their work culture more motivating. Consequently, they enjoy working in such an environment that ultimately promotes workplace productivity.
Those statements are not plucked from the air; they have a strong foundation and are backed up by profound research. In 2012, Gallup conducted its eighth meta-analysis using 263 research studies across 192 organizations in 49 industries and 34 countries. Within each study, Gallup researchers statistically calculated the work-unit-level relationship between employee engagement and performance outcomes that the organization supplied.
Gallup’s research also shows that companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS), and they seem to have recovered from the recession at a faster rate.
Engaged and satisfied individuals at a workplace are a byproduct of healthy and positive work culture. According to a report by the University of Warwick made in 2017, a happy work culture boosts inventiveness and innovation, which in turn increases productivity, and happy employees are 10–12% more productive.
Here’s why positive work cultures are more productive:
1. They promote happier employees and a healthy environment
Spending all those hours in a nine to five job isn’t easy if the work environment isn’t relaxed. You don’t want your employees to keep checking their watches and waiting for 5 p.m. Microsoft Japan started trialing a four-day workweek and this activity boosted productivity by 40 percent and their employees were happier.
In addition to the increased productivity, employees took 25% less time off during the trial and electricity use was down 23% in the office with the additional day off per week. Employees printed 59% fewer pages of paper during the trial. (Source: The Guardian)
Unhappy employees not only affect the work environment, but there is also less productivity, which will, in turn, have a negative impact on the quality of work. It is quite evident that when employees are happy, they want to exceed expectations, and they will more likely love to stick around.
That means that there will be less job turnover as well, and you don’t need to pass through the interview and hiring process continually. That is why it is essential to promote a positive work culture where the employees feel important and remain excited to do their job all day long.
A positive work culture keeps projects moving at a consistent as well as productive pace.
2. They promote unity and unity means creativity
Positive and healthy work culture is highly helpful for the employees as it encourages them to get acquainted with their coworkers as well as other team members. A culture wherein the employees are interested in getting to know each other by chatting, spending time with each other and sharing ideas and opinions doesn’t only promote unity, it also has a psychological effect on the employees, and they feel relaxed and motivated. Unity among the employees also ensures that things are moving in the right direction.
Moreover, a positive work environment also encourages the employees to take full interest in their tasks and ongoing projects. When individuals feel like they can share ideas and speak up with each other, they come up with the best problem-solving and creative ideas.
Therefore, if you want to keep your employees and workforce productive, you need to make sure they are happy and motivated. Only then will they be able to express their thoughts and creativity. Remember! The more invested your employees are, the more productive and creative they will become!
3. They promote loyalty
A positive work culture fosters loyalty. According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress results in higher voluntary turnover and based on a CAP study the turnover of a single employee costs more than 20% of that single employee’s salary. Twenty percent of the annual salary for midrange positions, but for the highly educated executive positions it could be even up to 213 percent of their annual salary.
On the other hand, a workplace where employees feel encouraged is one where they provide their best input and remain loyal to the company.
There are more than 615 million people suffering from depression or anxiety around the world, an increase of nearly 50% from 1990, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry. Together with a high-pressure work environment, this leads to lower productivity, which is often costly for businesses.
That is why the only way a company can move forward is by fostering a positive and relaxed work culture for its employees. And they need to start considering the mental health of their employees as one of their priorities. People are not leaving companies only because of an offer of a higher paycheck but also because they work in a constantly high-stress environment.
By going the extra mile, companies can achieve greater productivity, lesser turnover, higher loyalty and more innovation from their employees. Staying positive is the only key to success, whether it is related to health or profit.
Engaged and happy employees result in better business outcomes!