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Joe Szynkowski: Happy workers are 13% more productive
Column | WorkHappy

Joe Szynkowski: Happy workers are 13% more productive

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An extensive study into the workforce has found that happy workers are more productive. Stop the presses!

This may not sound like breaking news, but it should sound the alarm for many companies struggling to engage their workforces.

We’ve all seen the headlines about toxic company cultures, specifically around men in power. Not every boss is a great leader and not every workplace is one where people enjoy spending their time.

The aforementioned research by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School found happy workers to be 13 percent more productive when happy. Enhanced productivity means more satisfied customers, better processes, more idea-sharing, and additional deals being closed.

So why isn’t culture the No. 1 priority for every company in the world? Wouldn’t businesses be unstoppable if they could just figure out the people side of their business?

It’s a global issue

One reason building a positive culture is difficult is the work force’s overall feeling toward their careers. We already know that Americans are struggling to find vocational happiness, as more than half of the population is reportedly unhappy at work.

And we’re not the only ones. The interesting thing about this study coming from the UK is that recent research into the mood of the country has found that paid work is ranked near the bottom in terms of activities that make the population happy.

Negative leadership, inconsistent raises, long commutes and longer hours are just a few of the reasons professionals around the world seem to be fed up with working. Throw in a global pandemic – during which many of us have been able to spend more time with friends and families – and we’re at a whole new level of discontentment with the traditional work engagement.

An optimist will see this overall state of the workplace as an opportunity for improvement. But we can only improve something by taking action.

Be the change

If you see holes in your company’s culture, don’t be afraid to speak up. The best leaders in American businesses are willing to listen to their people. Companies like Chick-fil-A have built reputations as great places to work because they respect their people and offer opportunities for advancement, as well as forums for offering ideas and speaking their minds.

If your opinions are not welcome where you work, then you weren’t valued there in the first place and it might be time to look for another company.

Stay positive

Happy workplaces aren’t exactly unicorns, but they can take some digging to find. When you’re considering joining a new company, research them online and on social media to find out what current and past employees have to say about their experiences.

While you’re looking, stay positive and patient. There are definitely leadership teams out there looking for hard-working, dedicated employees. They understand the connection between your happiness and productivity, and they’re willing to put programs in place to ensure your ongoing satisfaction as an employee.

Joe Szynkowski is a Sr. Director for NuVinAir Global, a Dallas-based company disrupting the automotive industry. Thanks to technology, he does so happily from his home east of Marion. Check out for his WorkHappy Spotlights or email for more guidance on finding career joy.


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