Happy Workers are Productive Workers

The notion that “happy workers are productive workers” seems obvious at first but was developed over 70 years ago in the 1930’s and 40s by researchers conducting the Hawthorne studies in Western Electrics. It was an interesting and revolutionary experiment at the time to determine if production in a factory changed under high or low light intensities or by using different light sources over work places.

They found was that production had very little to do with light type or intensity at all!!!– they concluded that all working teams improved production simply due to the motivational effect of the interest being shown in them. This became known as the “Hawthorne Effect”.

Based on those conclusions, managers worked to make their workers happy by improving working conditions and the environment in which they work.

The reverse may also be true… productive workers are more likely to be happy workers. Why? Well – productivity leads to job satisfaction. If staff do a good job they intrinsically feel good about it. This increased productivity is likely to lead to higher wages, increased recognition and possibility of promotion. These rewards in turn increase job satisfaction.

Creating a great working environment, with supportive working conditions and providing mentally challenging work will contribute to having happy workers. Studies show workers prefer physical surroundings that are not dangerous or uncomfortable. They also like working relatively close to home, in clean and relatively modern conditions with adequate tools and equipment to do a challenging job.

Business owners should take note because higher job satisfaction leads to a decrease in absenteeism and lower rates of staff turnover– great profit drivers in any business!!!

Steve Eastwood

Small Fish Business Coaching Melbourne

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