Do Happy Employees Increase Shareholder Value?

Working Mother Magazine unveiled today its list of the 100 Best Companies that support working families, and as more companies realize the benefits of employees' satisfaction, do shareholders gain from it?

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Based on a 550-question survey, Working Mother Magazinerated a pool of companies on a wide range of benefits offered to employees. This year, the magazine focused on measuring the impact of the economic slowdown on health-care spending, childcare and work-life arrangements.

Among some of this year's findings, the survey revealed that despite the recession, about 93% of the companies included on the list managed to maintain or even increase budgets for employee assistance programs and flextime schedules.

But we wanted to know, do happy employees benefit the shareholder? Do those additional costs taken by companies to keep their employees happy translate into higher consumer value in the long-term?

"Companies that treat women and employees as irreplaceable assets (i.e., invest in them) understand a very simple and critical truth - an organization is a sum total of their people not their processes. As a result, these companies get a higher return on investment and overall shareholder value," explains Lior Arussy, CEO of Strativity, a customer experience and employee engagement consulting firm.

And while employee satisfaction is not the only factor affecting the performance of a company's stock value, many investors look at this metric for clues related to productivity, customer service, and other variables that directly impact a company's performance, brand loyalty, and ultimately consumer value.

The table below provides a sample of this year's Working Mother 100 Best Companies, and how their shares performed since the end of the survey and year-to-date.