Come On, Get Happy Now!

A happy company is a profitable company. How happy is your organization? According to a new article from Fast‘s Mark C. Crowley, it isn’t just the sentiment of being happy that yields higher profits. This theory is backed by research from the Parnassus Workplace Fund.

The 100 Best Companies to Work For for 2013 have been posted.’s release of these top organizations brings in a lot of media attention. It also gets a lot of attention from employers and employees nationwide. Maintaining employee morale and retention rates isn’t exactly a piece of cake. How do these thriving companies keep employees satisfied and productive?

Let’s have a look at leadership effectiveness. What kind of relationships do you encourage with your employees? Effective leaders are the key to having happy employees. There’s also a common belief that keeping a little tension at work keeps employees anchored, but that being too nice makes them unmotivated. What’s the safe in-between?

Jerome Dodson, founder of Parnassus Mutual Funds, weighs in on the subject with a new perspective.

“The idea of creating a fund that only invested in organizations where employees were really happy,” Dodson told me recently, “was brought to me a decade or so ago by a journalist named Milton Moskowitz.”

Dodson knew that happy companies were more successful than their counterparts, and that bank rolling in happy businesses would be a more sound investment. But he had to find a way to prove it. There was a theoretical study backing the idea, so Dodson took the plunge and invested $600,000 in the Parnassus Workplace Fund.

To prove that his premise was legitimate, Dodson traveled around the country searching for companies that exhibited the traits he was looking to strengthen. He had his eye out for businesses that offered significant perks, like health care, retirement benefits and supportive measures for working mothers.

“Our fund has had returns over 4% better than the S&P Index every year,” Dodson noted. “Eight years later, the performance of the fund confirms what I’ve always believed. Treating people well and authentically respecting them does lead to far better business performance. We proved it works.”

Even during down-times, these top-performing organizations stay ahead because everyone bands together. An invested workforce cares about what happens to the company through good times and bad times. Engaged employees will go that extra mile, and you’ll see the difference in the bottom line.

Some folks still don’t see the merit in “Best Places To Work” and related listings. However, there is evidence that proves that organizations where employees feel rewarded and valued are stronger and more profitable. To read more about the perks of being nice, click here to read the full article.

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