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The Importance of Happiness in the Workplace: Boosting Engagement and Productivity through Operational Efficiency

25 June 2024

By Emma Gosling

I’m 4 months into an amazing new job – COO at The Happy Consultancy Group (THCG). The name sounds very 'happy clappy'… but when you get into the crux of why happy is in the title – it makes total sense. Happiness really IS a serious business. And not just for our clients, but for everyone!

Having ‘Operations’ in your job title doesn’t typically speak to happiness, however having an operationally efficient workplace and making everyone’s day-to-day smooth, does speak to happiness. So, let’s explore why happiness at work is so important and how boosting efficiency can skyrocket any team's engagement, productivity levels and, ultimately, the bottom line.

Why Happiness at Work Matters

First things first, let's talk about why happiness in the workplace is such a big deal. According to a McKinsey study, employees who are happy at work are 31% more productive and 3 times more creative. That's a huge difference!

Happy employees are also 87% less likely to leave their jobs. That means lower turnover rates, less money spent on recruitment and training and, well, more stability for your team.

But it’s not just about the numbers. A happy workplace fosters better relationships, encourages collaboration, and makes Mondays to Fridays considerably more fun - something to look forward to instead of inducing anxiety.

The Role of Operational Efficiency

So, how does operational efficiency fit into all this happiness? Well, an operationally efficient workplace isn't just about streamlining processes or reducing costs. It's about creating an environment that allows your people to thrive.

Here’s how operational efficiency contributes to happiness:

  1. Improved Work-Life Balance: When things run smoothly at work, it’s easier for people to preserve a healthy work-life balance. Efficient ways of working reduce wasted time, meaning people aren’t stuck in the office until all hours (unless that client throws in a last minute curveball). A study by McKinsey found that companies with high operational efficiency often report higher employee satisfaction because their teams can actually log off and enjoy their evenings. It’s simple, we work to live (and not the other way round).

2. Empowerment and Engagement: When people feel valued and see that their time and efforts are making a positive contribution, it boosts confidence. Confidence leads to high performance, fewer mistakes and builds on trust. This means, less micromanagement and more autonomous working, so people feel more in control of their work, which leads to higher engagement. According to Gallup, engaged employees are 21% more profitable.

3. Reduced Stress: Efficient operations mean fewer unnecessary steps in the process, therefore a reduction in unnecessary tasks – creating clarity on the road ahead, and less chaos. When people have clear processes, they can focus on what really matters without feeling overwhelmed.

4. Better Collaboration: Streamlined processes improve communication and collaboration. When everyone understands their role and the part they play in a project or the business, teamwork thrives. A Harvard Business Review study shows that companies with strong collaborative cultures are 5 times more likely to be high performing.

5. Continuous Improvement: An efficient workplace fosters a culture of “that was great, how can we make it even better next time?”. Encouraging people to build on their already amazing work, looking at current and future trends, keeps them motivated and invested in their work. Especially if they own the solution and can really see the difference it’s making. This is a two-for and also helps to stay current and ahead of the competition!

Top Tips for Creating an Efficient and Happy Workplace

So, are you ready to boost efficiency (and happiness) in your workplace? Here are some actionable top tips:

  • Streamline Processes: Identify bottlenecks and simplify ways of working, use tech to support automating workflows if budget allows. Get the wider team involved and have them be part of the solution – this helps with adoption and uptake.

  • Promote Flexibility: Allow flexible working hours or remote working options to help people balance their work and life. At THCG we have flexible public holidays, we can work the public holidays and bank the days for annual leave. It makes a huge difference when viewing how many days leave you have left!

  • Invest in Training: Provide training and development opportunities for your people. This not only improves efficiency but also shows employees you’re invested in their growth and are it in for the long run with them.

  • Create a Positive Culture: Encourage a supportive team environment, with an open-door (or ‘available’ online) policy. Shout about the amazing things your team are doing – nothing is too big or small. Your people are the heart of your company, let them know it!

Happiness at work isn’t a luxury

Happiness at work isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. And operational efficiency is one of the keys to unlocking it. By creating a well-oiled machine where processes run smoothly and people feel valued, you’re setting the stage for a happier, more engaged, and more productive workplace. So, strive for efficiency! For the sake of the bottom line, but also for the well-being of the people who make it all possible.

Remember, a happy team is a productive team. And that’s something worth smiling about. Stay happy people!


If you’d like to hear more about The Happy Consultancy Group and how we can help you create happiness for your workplace, we’d love to tell you more!

Please get in touch by emailing

Stay happy,

Emma Gosling

Chief Operations Officer


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