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11 Shocking Employee Happiness Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

By April 28, 2023 April 22nd, 2024 8 Comments

All businesses and organizations want happier employees.

The problem is that too many of these companies think that higher profits are more important. However, more and more evidence is showing that employee happiness is a huge reason why companies are able to earn more and be more successful.

1. Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%

happy companies outperform competition

Happy employees are typically the ones who care about the organization and have the desire to help your company achieve success.

Simply put, when your employees are happy they care more. Your team’s goals are more compelling. They feel invested in the company’s performance.

Otherwise, your employees wouldn’t be happy and they’d be putting in a minimum effort to avoid being fired.

Happy teams like what they do, so their work feels less like work and more like fun.

I can vouch for this wholeheartedly. I love helping companies make their offices better places to work, so my work makes me happy and I want to do more of it.


2. Happy employees are 12% more productive

happy employees are more productive

Get Your Free Guide to Boosting Employee Motivation

The last point is a perfect segue way into why happier teams are more productive. We’ve established that being happy at work means you like what you do and where you work.

But why does that lead to higher productivity?

At one of our recent weekly “Crush It Calls”, a member of our team mentioned how lucky he feels that he wakes up and gets excited to come into work.

That made me remember how rare that actually is. Most people wake up and dread going into work. So being excited and happy about what you do is one of the best feelings because let’s face it, we spend almost half of our waking lives at work or working.

Enjoying what you do typically makes you want to do more of it. Plus you’ll notice that you find fewer reasons to get distracted.

Happier team = more productive team Click To Tweet


3. 67% of full-time employees with access to free food at work are “extremely” or “very” happy at their current job

free food happy employee

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that free food is one of the top perks that employees desire. It’s one of the major reasons why companies like Google and facebook use it as a way to attract and keep top talent.

Still not convinced that people care about food as a perk? Consider this:

That same study found that 48% of jobseekers weigh company perks, including the availability of snacks, in their decision to work for a company.

If your company isn’t offering free food or snacks, it’s time to consider taking the leap. If you’re looking to get office snack delivery for your team each month, SnackNation can help you get started.

Free food is a perk that impacts your team's happiness Click To Tweet


4. Happy salespeople produce 37% greater sales

happy salespeople sell more

Maybe you’re a skeptic about all this “people stuff”. You might think that focusing on engagement and happiness is just a new-age fad that millennials like to trumpet, but that it doesn’t really affect your company.

This stat should really put things into perspective.

Still think all this employee happiness stuff isn’t important?

How much more could your salespeople be producing if you paid more attention to their happiness? Click To Tweet


5. 36% of employees would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work

I was recently watching an interview on YouTube with digital marketing entrepreneur Neil Patel. During the interview, the topic of employee retention comes up.

Neil is known around the digital marketing and tech community for having a very loyal and dedicated team. What’s his secret?

He says he takes care of them personally. He knows what’s going on in their personal lives and he offers help wherever he can.


This leads to his employees feeling appreciated and happy, even when they know they could be making more money working somewhere else.

For example, one of his lead designers turned down a job offer for almost 3 times the salary he was earning at the time, just because he was happy working with Neil.

Neil goes against the conventional wisdom that people should leave their personal problems at the door when they step into work.

Instead, he tries to understand their personal problems and goals, and tries to help them solve it.

So treat your employees like part of your tribe and take care of them.

Get Your Free Guide to Boosting Employee Motivation

6. Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%

friends at work

There have been countless studies done that prove having more friends improves happiness and overall employee satisfaction. So it makes perfect sense that having more friends at work makes us happier too.

If you think about it, you typically spend more time with the people at work than you do with your friends outside of work (and even your spouse, for that matter).

Here are some quick tips on how you and your team can develop better friendships at work:

Fostering friendships at work is a must Click To Tweet


7. People with a best friend at work are healthier and 7x more likely to engage fully in their work

having friends at work improves happiness

While employee happiness and engagement are not the same thing, they are generally correlated. It’s pretty rare to see someone who loves walking into the office each day, but finds no value or purpose in their work.

When you have friends at work, you get this feeling that you’re doing something together. You guys are out to accomplish the same goal, and it’s with people you genuinely enjoy being around. In addition, strong social connections help build mental resilience and decrease blood pressure, as outlined in this article by LifeDojo. It can also have a positive impact on employee morale at your organization.

Having close friends at work is very similar to being on a sports team. On a sports team, you’re not out there playing and competing for just yourself. You’re playing for the collective group and you want everyone to win the Championship.

Having a best friend at work boosts employee engagement by 700% Click To Tweet


8. The top 3 factors contributing to job satisfaction are job security, opportunities to use skills and abilities, organization’s financial stabilityfactors that contribute to job satisfaction

Everyone has that friend who is making a ton of money, but they’re absolutely miserable. They don’t enjoy what they do and going into the office becomes a soul-sucking daily practice for them.

And sometimes we look at them like they’re crazy. We think to ourselves “how can you be doing so well financially, but at the same time be so unhappy?”

There is obviously a correlation between how much you earn and your happiness. Being broke and not being able to pay the bills is almost always a guaranteed recipe for unhappiness.

A study done by Princeton found that once a person makes about $75,000 a year, income no longer has an effect on happiness.

So it seems like money should serve as a threshold, not an indicator of how happy your team members are.

Pay is less important to job satisfaction than you think Click To Tweet


9. Employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days than unhappy employees

In addition to taking  fewer sick days, the iOpener Institute for People and Performance found that happy employees report:

  • Staying twice as long in their jobs as their least happy colleagues
  • Spending double their time at work focused on what they are paid to do
  • Believing they are achieving their potential twice as much

Those are some pretty shocking stats.

So what might explain why happier employees take fewer sick days?

Studies have shown that being happy boosts your immune system. Unhappiness leads to stress, which can negatively impact your cardiovascular and immune systems.

In addition, laughter and humor (typically seen more among happy employees) strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, and protects you from stress.

Sick Employee

Employees who are happy at work take 10% of sick days vs unhappier counterparts Click To Tweet


10. Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” enjoyed a raise in stock prices of 14% per year from 1998-2005, compared to 6% for the overall market

fortune 100 best companies to work for

In the book “Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy,” Dr. Noelle Nelson explains how employee happiness is directly correlated to how much money a company earns.

What she has found is that when employees feel their company cares about their interests and makes them feel appreciated, then employees are more invested in the interests of the company.

Dr. Nelson backs up this claim with facts from multiple studies, like the one we mention here. [/one_half] Happy employees have a positive impact on the bottom-line Click To Tweet

11. Only 42% of employees are happy with the rewards and recognition their company offers

rcognize and reward your employees

It’s no secret that recognizing employees leads to them being happier. People have an intrinsic desire to be recognized for their efforts and accomplishments.

A report from McKinsey found that a $1000 payment was 10 times more effective at motivating and engaging employees when it was given through a recognition program than when added to base pay.

Considering that the minority of employees are happy with the rewards and recognition their organization offers, it might be time for you to reconsider what you’re providing.

Looking for some unique ways to recognize your employees? Check out our complete list of employee recognition ideas.

Less than half of employees are happy with the rewards and recognition they're offered Click To Tweet


Having happy employees is insanely important for the health of your organization. Happier teams work harder, are more productive, and work better together. For some practical ideas on how to make your workday more enjoyable, check out this list of 25 creative ways to help you feel happier at work.

How does your company keep employees happy? Leave us a comment below.

Why is employee happiness important?

Employee happiness plays a prominent role in a functioning team. Happier employees are not only more engaged and likely to go above and beyond, but they are also more likely to produce a higher quality of work at a faster rate. This can create a scenario where your company is making more money simply by having a workforce that is valued and feels happy to be a part of your organization.

This can also impact your business’s reputation since employees may be encouraged to praise your workplace.

What factors impact employee happiness?

There is a long list of factors that contribute to an employee’s overall happiness with their role and their company. It can be difficult to score an “A” grade when it comes to all of these factors, but trying to focus on main aspects of your company workplace can help to promote employee happiness.

This includes fostering a work environment where employees are working in meaningful roles where they are appreciated and recognized for their work. They also should achieve a healthy work-life balance while still finding opportunities to grow at your company.

This infographic will help you understand how important this correlation really is.

Check it out:

Employee happiness infographic


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People Also Ask These Questions:


  • Tiffany says:

    I definitely believe that unhappy employees use more “sick” days! Provide them with free, healthy snack options and you are less likely to have that problem!

  • John Smith says:

    I was hoping for a bit more from this article. Employee recognition is huge. Extra days off sometimes mean more than money. I think free snacks is self serving from whom posted this article.

    • Emil Shour says:

      Hi John, I appreciate your honest feedback. I felt the free food stat was a really interesting one and it got a lot of attention in the original USA Today article. Does your office currently provide food or snacks for the team?

  • Sean says:

    Great read! Having a strong connection not only with your employers but your team can make all the difference!

  • Duffy Moss says:

    Great article.
    Should be a must read for all employers. Happy team is noticed by everyone from the janitors to the CEO. It then flows into the population and consumers.
    It’s called growth and the investors want to be associated with that too.

    • Emil Shour says:

      Hey Duffy, glad you enjoyed the article.

      I agree, a happy company should flow from the top to the bottom of an organization. The stats I mentioned here really do prove how much happiness affects a company’s ability to be successful.

  • Reality HR says:

    Employee happiness is key to getting the best out of people! A happy employee is a productive employee and the facts shown here display that for us all to see. Make employee happiness a workplace goal and the rest — engagement, productivity, success — will follow shortly behind. I recently read that of the employees who thought about searching for a new job in the past year, 59 percent don’t feel adequately appreciated at work. A simple “thank you” can therefore go a long way. We spend more than half of our waking hours at work, so establishing a workplace culture that aims to motivate, support, and inspire employees is essential to creating a happy workforce.

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