Nunn Media’s Giorgia Butler: Why Building A Happy Team Makes Good Business Sense

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In this guest post, Giorgia Butler (main photo), head of strategy an innovation at Nunn Media, takes a look at what makes a happy employee and why it’s vital to any business…

Not only does being happy make you feel good, it turns out it’s also good for business. While happiness is of course relative, and certainly over the past 18 months, even the most joyful of us has been tested, it remains a priority to invest in your team’s happiness.

An extensive study into happiness and productivity by Oxford University, in conjunction with multinational telecoms business BT, found that workers are 13 per cent more productive when happy.

What’s more, the researchers found that happy workers do not work more hours than their discontented colleagues – they are simply more productive within their time at work.

One of the report authors, Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, said: “While this is clearly in the interest of workers themselves, our analysis suggests it is also in the interests of their employers.”

Knowing a thing or two about happiness at work – Nunn Media was recently named the happiest media agency in Australia for the seventh time in Mediai’s agency survey – how do you make those working for you happy? And are businesses successful when they are happy, or happy because they’re successful?

Fast Company recently referenced a study into The Implications of Positive Psychological Capital on Employee Absenteeism (originally published by the Journal of Leadership and Organizational studies), which said people who frequently experience positive emotions tend to go above and beyond for their organisations; and are also less likely to be absent from work or quit their jobs. And that must contribute to a business’ overall success in a world where COVID lockdowns appear to be par for the course for the foreseeable future.

Surely then, it pays (and pays) to know your workforce is happy and engaged, even while working from home. But what should agency executives be doing to drive employee happiness?

What makes agency people happy?

·       Know their value and show their value. An empowered team is a productive one, so appreciating the skills they bring to the business and the value they deliver for clients is vital to maintaining a strong culture of happiness. Let them know that their work matters.

·       Be resilient, and don’t sweat a loss. Winning and losing is part of agency life, whether that’s during a pitch process, or saying goodbye to a client that’s moving on to pastures new. Engendering a culture of accepting business losses, no matter how hard that may be, will ultimately be to the benefit of the entire organisation. When you lose you learn, but similarly don’t hold on to the high of a win. For both, learn and move on.

·       Be transparent. Building a successful work culture is difficult and takes time, but by being open and communicative with your team and letting them know where the business and they personally stand drives loyalty, security and happiness.

·       Keep it fresh and don’t be afraid to fail. Remain open to new ideas and optimistic that there are continually better solutions coming into the market. This gives employees licence to do old things differently, try new ones and strive to be innovative, which ultimately will lead to business success.

·       Make the effort to connect amicably with colleagues, clients and partners. Greet them, thank them, and show genuine curiosity toward them.

·       Have fun. Work is not always a bed of roses, but if you’re not having some fun along the way, what’s the point?

Far from a momentary emotional state, happiness is an overarching quality of life that requires conscious and continuous investment

So whether happiness breeds success, or success breeds happiness may just be moot. But either way, have a happy day.

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