Happy employees mean better business performance, right? If you search for "happy employees," you can find lots of articles that will make that claim. It makes sense. If you look at highly successful companies, the employees are all happy. That proves it, right?
Hmmm…. wait a second. What if the employees are happy because the company is successful instead of vice versa? How can we know?
According to one of the few longitudinal studies done on the issue, it's financial performance that comes first. Do you want happy employees? Then make sure your company does well. Which raises the question… will Google still be a great place to work the first time they lose money in a quarter?