From: Wright, T., & Bonett, D. (2007). Job satisfaction and psychological well-being as nonadditive predictors of workplace turnover. Journal of Management, 33, 141-160. dio: 10.1177/0149206306297582
See the abstract here.
Wright and Bonett conducted a two-year quantitative study of 112 managers who worked for one organization. They examine the relationships between employee well-being, job satisfaction, job performance, and turnover.
Psychological well-being = happiness.
Their results showed a significant connection between happiness and performance and retention. Here is a quote from the conclusion section of the report:
"As a consequence, a major strength of this research is that PWB has now been shown to be associated with a variety of organizationally relevant variables, each measured from a different source. These included job satisfaction (self-report), performance (supervisory ratings), and voluntary turnover (company records and independent confirmation by one of the authors). The convergence in results from these four sources provides telling evidence for the potentially significant role of PWB in an organization’s quest to develop a competitive human resource advantage."
Interesting results, although not surprising. This got me thinking, should we be measuring the happiness levels of our employees? Should we be doing anything to help create a happier collection of team members?
I don't mean job satisfaction. Happiness. General happiness.
Most organizations do not attempt to understand or measure well-being, and this study suggests that there might be value in doing so. As the authors of this paper indicate, linking job satisfaction to turnover intentions is a common practice and has merits. Employee engagement surveys are often designed and conducted based on the belief that satisfaction and retention are positively related. Job satisfaction expresses a narrower view of the overall contentment of employees and may not give employers the most useful view of their risks for turnover OR (big "or") the opportunities they might have to tap into, or somehow utilize the energy and engagement that happiness produces to build the business.