The power of being nice in the workplace

Being nice in the workplace can be an undervalued quality, however a recent study from Monarch reveals that employing nice staff makes for both a happier and more productive workforce.

The survey of 2,000 working adults in the UK finds that nice people are twice as happy at work when compared to those who describe themselves as being rarely or never nice.

The survey was carried out as a follow up to Monarch’s previous research led by Jonathan Freeman, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmith’s University’s i2 Media Research Lab. That study saw 100 participants complete a series of psychological research measures before taking part in two lab-based behavioural demonstrations, to find that nice people are more likely to be happier, healthier and earn more than others.

Benefits to workers

The latest survey results look a little deeper into how being nice translates in the workplace showing that being nice encourages others to be nice back to you. Nice people experience 15 kind acts per day whereas rarely/never nice people only experience six on average per day. Nice people say that their colleagues are more willing to help them if they are nice to them (73 per cent) however only one in ten rarely/never nice people would agree.

Benefits to managers and business owners

It is not only individuals who benefit from being nice, nice staff rate themselves as being twice as productive as those who are not, showing that it pays for businesses to hire nice employees. In fact, when hiring, 93 per cent of business owners look for this quality in candidates alongside being qualified. If nice employees are happier this also indicates a lower staff turnover which is a huge benefit to businesses.

It can also be good for your brand; nice people work for nice companies. The nicest people in the survey rated their company as seven/ten (for niceness) where as those who are rarely/never nice only rated their company a four/ten.

How a business is perceived by staff and customers can have a huge impact on their clients, customers and ultimately, profits. Over one in three find that clients and customers spend more money if they are nice to them.

Rob Foulkes, head of digital and marketing at Monarch said, ‘Our original study showed that nice people have higher levels of emotional intelligence, helping them to deal with stressful situations that arise. This can be a really useful skill for employees and managers, and our survey results prove that niceness is an important quality that shouldn’t be overlooked or undervalued in the workplace.’

Don’t lose your “nice”

Monarch’s survey also asked participants to give tips and advice on how to best deal with these stressful situations. The most popular responses around keeping your cool in the workplace included:

  • Staying positive, calm and happy – smile!
  • Being honest and professional
  • Counting to ten
  • Breathing techniques and mindfulness
  • Making a cup of tea/take a break
  • Looking at the bigger picture

The Power Of Nice campaign really goes to show the impact that hiring nice staff can have on a business to create a happier environment and increase productivity.

Professor Freeman explains more about the study

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Workplace Culture

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