How Your Intranet Can Make Employees Ridiculously Happy

20 May 2019
Two people laughing in an office
Everyone wants to be happier, especially when it comes to working.

And, according to the CIPD UK Working Lives Summer 2018 Survey, the overall results from surveyed workers are mostly positive, despite the UK only ranking 19 on the Global Happiness Policy Report.

Why is this important? Because happy employees mean increased productivity. 

Productivity contributes more to society’s well-being more than anything else. To find out how to help naturally increase productivity, economists previously have researched into the effects of learning new skills, increased education, access to newer tech and investment — but newer research says that human emotion, more specifically happiness, has the largest influence on an employee’s productivity. 

 

The research behind employee happiness

According to Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi at the University of Warwick, happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy colleagues. They say, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”  

The research team found that happy feelings energise people, who then go on to work more efficiently and put more effort into their job. Happier workers are also more focussed and less likely to make mistakes. Whereas, those who have recently experienced a trauma, such as bereavement, saw a 10% drop in productivity. 

These results speak volumes about how an employee’s wellbeing impacts their work and employers should take note. When a company invests in their employee’s wellbeing, satisfaction at work can increase up to 37%, as was the case when Google decided to do just that.  

We can all appreciate that Google might have a larger budget for fun perks than most. But, studies find that it’s not the quick-win benefits, like a company trip or Nap Pods, that increase happiness in the workplace — it’s job quality. 

 

How your intranet can help

According to the CIPD UK Working Lives 2018, raising job quality requires a more in-depth approach where leaders, managers and employees all work together to create a healthy work culture to improve overall employee happiness — which can be achieved through collaborative, responsive intranet.

Here’s how employee happiness be achieved with your intranet, such as Oak: 

 

Create clearer paths to career progression.

According to the CIPD, nearly half of all UK jobs are not providing decent career development — with one in six workers in low- or un-skilled labour jobs worse off with fewer opportunities to grow their career. This means they’re at a higher risk of being stuck in a poor-quality job. 
Career progression means a higher salary and social mobility; when employees confidently know there is the opportunity to pursue a promotion or job raise, they are much happier for it. 
 
 
If your organisation offers career development, skill training and even broadcasts opportunities for a new position on your intranet, employees have a clearer idea of how the promotion structure at their company works and can envision themselves on the rise within your company. 
 
Your intranet: 
Has Hub Areas and can host skill training courses for a specific skill, such as coding. Find an expert within your company and offer them an incentive (pay raise, a fun perk, cookies) and have them teach what they know. They’ll be able to upload webinars, share links and resources, and hold mini-competitions so their students can submit coding projects for a prize. Behind the scenes, analytics will show insight into how engaged employees were for different classes, which can then repeat in the future.

 

Access to flexible working. 

Flexible working is when an employee can choose how they work, at times that suits their needs — not the other way around. This could mean a flexible start and end times or working at home. There are many different types of flexible-working possibilities that employees have the right to ask for from their employers.  

Providing flexible working can help your company attract top talent and increase employee satisfaction and well-being. It’s the modern way of working, and the company valuing quantity of hours on-site and not quality of the work achieved remotely, is woefully outdated. 

Your intranet:
Supports flexible working via remote access on laptops and mobile devices. The intranet is your company’s depository of all company information with live chat and collaboration features so employees can connect and engage with their colleagues without physically being at the office.  

 

Give your employees a voice. 

When employees are given a voice, their levels of happiness and engagement increases as they feel they are valued contributors to the success of the company and have more autonomy over their working conditions. Other benefits include building trusting relationships between employees and their managers.  

According to the CIPD, workers are more likely to remain loyal to their organisation if they have a voice. Not to mention, sharing ideas and seeing those ideas used leads to company-wide innovation, problem-solving and increased productivity. 

Your intranet:
Encourage employees to share their voice through social features such as Timelines, Quick Polls, Hubs and Team pages. Elect Content Captains to manage these areas and engage with employees when needed and make sure they have the authority to decide on the right course of action to problem-solve when needed. 

 

Conclusion

The great news is that job quality is generally good throughout the UK where it becomes worse in low or unskilled labour jobs. The relationship between work and happiness is complex as expectations evolve over the coming years. It’s imperative for companies to realise that if they want to attract and retain talented people, they will need to adapt and make sure they’re providing quality jobs. 

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