Why happiness impacts employees' productivity

How to be more productive is one of the most discussed topics of today. Authors, psychologists, business professionals and I’m sure even your fellow colleagues, are forever offering up their strategies to help you become more productive. Write ‘to do’ lists, don’t write ‘to do’ lists, do your planning at the end of the day, set a timer, block off your calendar and so on… There are countless ways you can boost your output, but at the core of it all, Shawn Achor (a researcher on happiness), argues that you need to be happy in order to optimize your efficiency. In his inspirational and entertaining TedX Talk, Shawn suggests that there is a direct correlation between an individual’s level of positivity and their productivity. His theory is supported by several studies and impressive stats, including:

  • “Only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ; 75% of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”
  • “Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed. You’re 37% better at sales [at positive].”
  • “Doctors are 19% faster, [and] more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis when positive instead of negative, neutral or stressed.”

Knowing how impactful happiness is on our ability to successfully complete tasks,  Shawn suggests that individuals need to train their brain to become more positive.  He offers several practical tools, including writing gratitude lists, exercising and meditating. At The Headhunters we have taken on board Shawn’s advice and are now weaving more uplifting news into our days, taking walks at lunch, sending notes of gratitude and changing the way we ask questions to focus on the good.

Watch Shawn’s talk, have a laugh and get happy – you will be more productive as a result: