How can happy workers improve the bottom line for Singapore’s businesses?

As organisations discover the effect a motivated and happy workforce has on productivity, Robert Half reveals the drivers behind employee happiness. 

Employee happiness goes beyond financial rewards

In a hyper competitive market such as Singapore, it can be common for companies to focus all their attention on sales and business development to gain a competitive edge. However, many of them could be overlooking a key factor to improving the bottom line – happy employees. 

As many organisations discover the effect a motivated and happy workforce has on productivity, a new report It’s time we all work happy™: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees, commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half, reveals the drivers behind employee happiness and how businesses can nurture a positive work culture. 

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: “So why do Singaporean companies need happy employees? While ‘happy’ is not one of the most commonly used words in the Singaporean workplace, it should be an integral part of businesses’ vocabulary as happy employees are not only more engaged and motivated, they are also more productive and innovative which directly impacts the company’s bottom line.” 

“Happy employees also generally stay longer with the business, which prevents companies from the extra costs of recruiting and onboarding new staff. Investing in employee happiness is therefore a good business decision.” 

The report reveals six key factors that contribute to workplace happiness – including:
1.    Right fit for the job and company: When companies hire people who fit well with their workplace culture, they acclimatise with greater ease and begin making substantive contributions quickly.
2.    A sense of empowerment: Empowering staff to make decisions on their own, or with minimal direction from superiors, improves employee happiness.
3.    Feeling appreciated: Establishing a positive working environment where employees feel appreciated for the work they do will make employees happier.
4.    Interesting and meaningful work: Gaining a sense of meaningful progress and achievement and being proud of the organisation are crucial elements for employee happiness.
5.    A sense of fairness: Being treated with fairness and respect – whether it’s about remuneration, decision-making or workplace behaviour - is one of the key drivers of workplace happiness.
6.    Positive workplace relationships: Maintaining healthy, supportive workplace relationships is an important source of happiness for employees.

“Singapore is globally recognised as a highly competitive market, with companies using all means to gain an edge over their competitors. With Singaporean employees being confronted with a high cost of living and long working hours, it is all the more important for companies to invest in their workforce’s happiness given the tangible impact on a company’s bottom line. The ones who do will reap the advantages and be amongst the most successful businesses in Singapore.” 

“While Singaporean employers might think that salary contributes the most towards their staff’s happiness levels, our report reveals there are multiple factors contributing to workplace happiness that go beyond financial rewards.” 

“Singaporean businesses should take a proactive approach towards ensuring workplace happiness by not only promoting staff empowerment and a positive company culture, but also by creating a culture of staff appreciation and fairness and respect for the entire workforce. Also finding candidates who are the right fit for the role and the company is a key ingredient for employee happiness. These are all non-monetary ingredients of workplace happiness, which - when combined - can have a tangible impact on a company’s productivity and profitability,” Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard concluded.


About the research 
This study was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. The study is based on the results of an online survey of 24,000 working professionals from companies across Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, UK and US with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location. Robert Half partnered with Happiness Works to conduct the research study.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]