Are Workers Who Are Happy More Productive Workers? Review and Discuss Evidence for and Against.

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It is certainly true that there are many encompassing theories in relation to happiness and productivity. Happiness is defined as a 'state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy’ . Productivity has a one-to-one co-relation with performance and we use them synonymously. It is widely accepted that job satisfaction is co-related with happiness. In order to reach a sensible conclusion one must consider the relationship between job satisfaction and productivity, the relationship between happiness, motivation and performance, the importance of other factors in the determination of productivity and role of the organization in improving job satisfaction. Happiness and Job Satisfaction

‘Happier workers are more productive workers, according to a new study that shows that offering comprehensive depression treatment may help employers improve their bottom line.’ It is accepted that if a company can influence its employees to perform to the maximum and put all their efforts, energy and talent into their work then the employees can produce a competitive advantage for the firm. ‘The Human Relations movement, of Elton Mayo and others believed that job satisfaction had beneficial effects, including increased work performance and productivity’ . Peter Hosie also argues that positive affective well-being was associated with enhanced performance whereas poor affective wellbeing indicated diminished performance . Indeed certain aspects of contented states of happiness and intrinsic job satisfaction 'were found to be most influential on a manager’s contextual and task performance' . However, according to Buchannan, research has failed to show that unhappy workers are less productive than contented ones . He implies that the relationship between the two ‘is more complex than common sense suggests’6. The association between job satisfaction and individual performance is frequently accounted for by assuming that satisfied employees feel obliged to do their employer a favour by working hard. Workers expectations such as getting paid, self-esteem, satisfaction and social contact contribute to their overall happiness. The early motivation theories certainly suggest a relationship between productivity and happiness. Indeed Herzberg’s satisfaction theory assumes that a satisfied worker is a more productive worker. Even though there is no evidence for this, research shows workers tend to stay at companies where they are treated fairly and working conditions are satisfactory . Indeed if the style of management in an organization is likable and employees see future opportunities of growth, then they will seek responsibility and are more willing to work to the best of their ability. On these principles is based the Theory Y by McGregor. Whilst, Theory X claims that people are motivated primarily by money, Theory Y shows money isn’t the main motivating factor, but self-growth. The outcome of the discussed theories could be stated that workers are happier when they are given the possibility to be creative and consequently more productive. Indeed seeking new ways to improve job satisfaction and worker morale can pay dividends to any business or organization. This is shown by Sear’s 800-store survey that showed the impact of job satisfaction and employee attitudes on the front line. The survey concluded that when employee attitudes improved by 5%, customer satisfaction jumped by 1.3%, consequently increasing revenue by one-half a percentage point . Moreover Stephen Humphrey found, from a survey of 220,000 employees over 40 years, that by simplifying tasks of work, management can dramatically decrease job satisfaction and lower performance and productivity . Indeed he also found that the higher autonomy level, the higher the performance and productivity. He summarised that organizations which focus on providing job flexibility, opportunities for social interaction and performance feedback can produce highly...
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