Music: The Secret to Keeping Employees Happy and Productive

What’s the secret to keeping employees happy and productive while at work? The answer may surprise you. A study from the University of Windsor found that listening to music improves employees’ moods and enhances perception while working. Additionally, research from the Journal of Music Therapy shows that listening to music can lower tension, even if it’s loud, rapid or energetic, like the type of music that’s played in Abercrombie and Fitch.

Productivity Studies

Beyond improving your employees’ moods and lowering tension at work, research published in the journal Applied Ergonomics shows that people who listen to music while conducting repetitive work tasks are more efficient. In addition, an article published by the Institute of Leadership and Management states that managers can cut the number of sick days by seven million and increase worker productivity just by playing music in the background at work.

Playlist Services

Professional playlist makers like Spencer Manio are behind what you hear coming from the speakers at the mall. Manio has worked for retailers including Nordstrom, Converse, Under Armour and BlackBerry via PlayNetwork, an agency that reaches 75 million people per day. Additional music services such as Custom Channels, Mood Mixes and Sound Reef provide background music for a wide range of retail stores. From art galleries to clothing retailers, these providers help reinforce brand identity by creating a specific mood suitable for both customers and employees. And in many cases, it’s affordable. Mood Mixes, for example, charges just $15 each month for services.

From brand to brand, retailers’ music choices reflect their values and may be based on location. For grocers, the most popular type of music is radio-style. By playing this type of transmission throughout the store, grocery stores can broadcast promotions and special offers. Whatever approach you take, you or a music expert must test, review and refresh the music selection every so often.

Sound Systems

Before outfitting your retail establishment with a music-playing system, consider the pros and cons of using surround sound versus sound bars. According to The Dig, retail spaces that are larger than 15 by 20 are best suited for surround sound systems. But for smaller spaces, like boutiques, a sound bar is a good option.

The Bottom Line

Mark Faithfull, writing for Retail Week, states that music played in a retail space reflects the brand message and enhances the customer experience. And if this is done correctly, it results in a higher volume of sales. So, which music is right for retail? Music experts like Vanessa Walmsley of Mood Media say a mix of ambient playlists and recognizable artists is best for drawing in customers and keeping employees engaged.

Music is everywhere, from cafes on the corner to giant department stores, so make sure your business is included. Not only does it impact your sales team and customers, it impacts your bottom line. And that should be music to your ears.

Photo Credit: Provided by Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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