The point that “happier employees are more productive and creative and perform better”, as stated in the letter “Happiness, the missing link in workplace productivity” (Jan 22), is indeed supported by research.
A 2006 study of the relationship between kindness and subjective happiness found that happy people became happier through kindness. They scored higher on their motivation to perform and on their recognition and enactment of kind behaviour.
Researchers also found a close link between kindness and happiness in everyday life.
There is also some consensus among research psychologists that kindness influences subjective well-being. There is a reciprocal relationship: Be kind and you will be happy; be happy and you will become kinder.
If productivity is a function not only of knowledge but of feeling good about oneself, one’s colleagues and one’s working environment, then employers should consider subjective happiness as a factor in their productivity drive.
Since kindness leads to happiness, what better way to increase productivity than to exercise kindness to self (work-life balance), to employees (appreciation and affirmation from employers), to employers (integrity and pride in producing excellent work) and to colleagues (respecting and setting one another up for success)?
That is also why the Singapore Kindness Movement seeks to bring kindness to the workplace.
Dr William Wan
Singapore Kindness Movement
First published in TODAY – January 24, 2013