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3 Science-Backed Ways to Increase Employee Happiness

According to the SME-focused magazine Business Matters, the UK is falling behind in the race to be crowned the happiest country in the world

In fact, from an employment perspective, the UK is given a ‘happiness ranking’ of just 67.2 percent, coming in behind Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States, which is said to boast the highest number of happy workers across the globe.

Happy, satisfied employees aren’t just nice to have around; they’re also shown to be more productive, and remain in the company for longer. And at a time when social contagion is dominating our behaviours, happiness is, quite literally, catching. It’s never been more important to have happy faces on board, so just what can UK start-up enterprises do to boost happiness and satisfaction in the workplace?

1. Adopt a Transparent Policy

Workplace research organisation TinyPulse states that transparency is the most important contributing factor to employee happiness. An open policy could potentially help to improve communications, while simultaneously minimising the traditional formal environment of the office space, making employees feel more relaxed and at ease. Financial transparency plays a significant role here, with an increasing number of businesses publicly declaring financial status, and some even publishing salaries in a bid to eradicate office politics. At The Accountancy Cloud, we believe Xero is key to improving transparency.

2. Utilise Start-Up Benefits

Some say that start-up enterprises have it harder than their larger counterparts, and it’s easy to see why. After all, new businesses don’t have the history, the recognition, or the familiarity of firmly established organisations. However, start-ups do have one big advantage that they should be making use of: their size. Across the pond, the 2017 Aflac Small Business Happiness Report concluded that nearly half of all happy small business employees attribute their satisfaction to the small size of the company. Workers claim that a cosier environment makes them feel more valued, and more rewarded for their efforts.

3. Create an Organisational Structure

As a start-up, it’s easy to take a ‘go with the flow’ approach to hierarchy. However, a strong organisational structure could be important for employee happiness, according to science. Phil Sheridan of recruitment firm Robert Half states that their research suggests a direct correlation between employee happiness and seniority. This highlights the need for clear pathways for progression throughout the firm, providing workers with key training needed to work their way up into skilled roles. A clear path from entry level jobs to skilled professions is one way to build strong employer-employee relationships.

A Start-Up Solution

Start-up enterprises often encounter obstacles on the road to success, with one of the most prominent issues being employee retention. Fortunately, creating a happy place to work – through implementing a strong organisational structure, building a small yet thriving firm, and adopting transparent processes – could have a significant and positive impact on retention rates, giving your business a chance to develop.

Consider Facebook and Google, for example, which are both widely acknowledged to be the best places to work in the world. The average employee of these companies remains for 2.02 years and 1.90 years respectively; significantly longer than employees of Airbnb (1.64), Snap Inc. (1.62) and Uber (1.23). Research such as this demonstrates a strong and undeniable link between happiness and overall success.

At The Accountancy Cloud, we work with tech start-ups like yours to help them boost employee happiness rates and overall satisfaction, in an effort to achieve their ultimate organisational goals. From implementing Xero software to improve financial transparency, to exploring investment and funding options to create further opportunities for skilled workers, we’re dedicated to giving you, your business, and your employees the support needed to grow, develop, and succeed in a competitive market.