Happy employees increase productivity & revenue in hospitality

happy employees are more productive

The happiness issue: Happy employees are more productive and better for your hotel or resort brand in every way. How can you make your team smile?

Happy workers are more productive. This is a truth supported by scientific evidence. How much more productive? It depends on who you ask, but studies suggest that it’s somewhere between 13% – 35%. 

One study from Oxford University, for example, found that happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy employees. Happy employees are also more likely to be engaged in their work and to feel a sense of purpose, leading to better focus, concentration, and ultimately productivity. It’s just common sense. People work better when they feel better. 

In hospitality, like any other customer-facing industry where staff interactions with guests are directly tied to revenue, employee happiness is particularly important. Happy team members = happy guests. Disgruntled ones yield different, undesirable, results. 

Human connection + physical and emotional health

So, what makes employees happy? You can probably guess that it’s the same things that make people happy in general, and those things include human connection and physical and emotional health.

A recent survey by Wondr Health underscored the need for these things in the workplace. The findings of the survey of about 500 people around the world are in line with the 85-year Harvard study that affirms the key to happiness and health lies in close relationships.

Wondr Health conducted the survey with its participants just before the new year and asked them to share what brings them the most happiness. Nearly 500 people responded around the globe with the following survey findings:

  • Close relationships and human connection, including spending time with family: 30.1%
  • Physical and emotional health and well-being: 21.5%
  • Engaging in activities that spark joy: 16.8%
  • Financial freedom: 12%
  • Helping others in need: 11.2%
  • Career satisfaction and fulfillment: 7.9%
  • Other: 0.6%

Leadership can create a more rewarding work environment by addressing these areas, helping support employee happiness. Let’s talk about how.

How to improve employee happiness in the workplace

Close relationships & human connection: Promote a culture of inclusivity and camaraderie by maintaining open communication, creating welcoming areas where staff can gather, relax, and spend time together, and being a supportive colleague as well as a leader. Team-building activities and social events can be great but should also be optional and include partners and families. Nobody should be made to feel forced to participate. Flexible scheduling and a supportive approach to work-life balance enable employees to spend more quality time with loved ones.

Physical and emotional health & well-being: Encourage your staff to participate in your wellness programs, offering access to fitness facilities and wellness amenities. Discounts or a trade system for treatments and services can also be a fun idea – massage therapists can trade for facials for example. But, again, people should not feel obliged to participate. Busy parents, or single ones, don’t need to feel like they’re failing because they can’t fit workouts and yoga classes into their schedules. Offer mental health resources and support where needed. 

Engaging in activities that spark joy: Creating a work environment that allows for personal expression and fun can significantly boost morale. This could be through allowing staff to engage with customers in a manner that reflects their personalities, organizing creative or leisure activities that are enjoyable, and recognizing and rewarding employees who bring positive energy to their role.

Financial freedom: Competitive wages, tips, bonuses, and opportunities for advancement are essential in providing employees with financial security. Offering financial planning resources and support can also help employees manage their earnings better and feel more secure in their financial situations.

Helping others in need: Many people find satisfaction in altruistic activities. Employers can foster this by coordinating (optional) community service events or partnerships with local charities. This not only helps the community but also builds a positive brand image and deepens the employees’ sense of purpose and fulfillment. Allowing time to volunteer, and encouraging people to do so is also important, as is recognizing people’s efforts when they do good works. 

Career satisfaction & fulfillment: As stated above, hospitality employers should focus on providing clear pathways for career advancement. These should include training and development opportunities. Ensure everyone is aligned with company goals and targets so that everyone feels like they are an integral part of the company’s success. Regular feedback and open communication channels can help employees feel valued and understood, and align their career goals with the organizational objectives.

Overall, enhancing employee happiness isn’t just about short-term boosts to morale but about creating a sustainable and positive work environment over the long term. By focusing on these key areas, companies can cultivate a happier and more motivated workforce, which improves productivity and benefits your entire organization. Investing in employee happiness is not just a moral imperative – it’s also a strategic one.


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.

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