Dear current or potential customer of ours, this one is for you.
You’ve heard it before, happy employees equal happy customers. Everyone can see the logic behind that slightly musty phrase, but is there any proof about it?
Our vision is to be the happiest company, and because of that we put our employees before our customers. How can we prove it to you with facts that this is eventually good for you?
Well, let’s try!
Happy employees are more productive on average. A research from The University of Warwick found out that when subjects were given something that made them happier, like comedy videos or snacks, they were approximately 12 percent more productive than the control group that received nothing.
There are a lot more studies to be found with varying results, but all of them (at least the ones we found) saw a positive correlation between happiness/satisfaction and the output of the employee. Think about it yourself. If you feel good about yourself, your employer and the work that you do, you probably at least try your best. Conversely if you hate your work and feel bad in general, you really can’t fulfill your whole potential.
2. Higher work attendance
In Finland, sick leaves constitute approximately 4,3 % of working hours. Many of the sick leaves from work are generally caused by stress, depression or other mental health related issues. For example, In Great Britain, more than half of the sick leaves are caused by stress, anxiety or depression.
In order for us to help our customers, we need to be present and do our job. At VALA, we try to acknowledge any heightened level of stress, anxiety or dejection among our employees early and address the situation honestly and collectively, before it can get worse. Not only for the sake of the company but also especially for the person’s own well-being.
Our work towards happiness seems to be having at least some effect in this front. In the second half of last year, sick leaves constituted for 1,9 % of working hours here at VALA. Though not directly comparable, it’s still less than half of the Finnish average. This relatively good situation further encourages us to keep paying close attention to the matter.
3. High retention
Once again the above is not directly comparable to Finland and our industry, but we can still make some cautious presumptions based on it.
In order to make our people happy, we’ve been building and refining our company culture for many years. Company culture and happiness strengthen each other and both of them decrease employee retention. For our customers, our high retention means that they don’t have to worry about our people leaving VALA and thus their project.
We’ve had a high employee retention rate for some time. But especially after the announcement of our engagement program (currently with stock options) it has turned from high to very high. In 2018, only three permanent employees left VALA to work somewhere else. That’s about 3-4 % of our personnel, which can be considered very good in our line of business.
4. Project fit
A Gallup analysis study reveals that people who get to use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work, 8% more productive and 15% less likely to quit their jobs (gallup.com has 35 million respondents in their employee engagement database).
A major part of meaningful work is that one can both be good at the work, and pursue new challenges constantly. If possible, we always let our people choose their own projects. That leads to a situation where our people are working in a place where they want to work. Moreover, they are in a project where they encounter challenging tasks but also get to utilize their strengths.
And are VALA people really happy?
Good question. In this post we’ve hopefully managed to prove that happy/satisfied/motivated people really are better for our customers than their not-so-satisfied counterparts. Now, it’s natural for you as a reader to question whether our people are happier than others.
To be honest, it’s really not that smart to try to compare people’s happiness, and we haven’t even found any references where to compare our our statistics on happiness. Anyway, in terms of sheer numbers, it seems that our people are relatively happy. According to our last three employee satisfaction surveys conducted during the past year, the average for the question “how happy are you in your life right now?” has been 8,3 (in a scale of zero to ten). When you add that to the low level of absence leaves and high employee retention rates, it gives an idea that at the moment people are quite happy at VALA.
Still, our work towards happiness continues as usual. We try to take into account every little aspect of it, from sense of purpose, responsibility and joy to continuous motivation, development and ability to face challenges — both at work and in personal life. For us that is the key to everything.