- Employee happiness is necessary for a growing business.
- A happy employee works out of love and not out of obligation.
- There’s no simple answer on how to achieve happiness at work, but there are four key pillars that you can start with.
Do you know the meaning of the word Arbedjsglæde?
Arbedjsglæde is a Danish term that signifies the happiness we get from ‘doing’ something. It is a sense of well-being that comes when we feel good about the work we do and when we feel involved in a team.
Many employers may not realize that if they want to attain the success they want for their organization, they need to make sure that their employees are satisfied and happy with the work that they are doing. Thus, employee happiness is necessary for a growing business.
According to one of the studies conducted by the iOpener Institute about organizational success, employees who feel happy in the workplace are 65% more energetic than employees who are not. Happy employees are more likely to sustain their jobs over a long period of time, making them two times more productive.
With a wide range of complex tasks that every employee must deal with from day to day, it is only essential that we extract the happiness we get from the work we devote ourselves to.
Why workplace happiness matters
Happiness is a strong, positive emotion that everyone feels, and it is an essential human experience, according to Ed and Carol Diener’s research, “Most People Are Happy” (1996).
You would notice that a happy employee reaches the office on time and performs all daily tasks because he enjoys it – a happy employee works out of love and not out of obligation.
Here are some reasons why happiness is important in the workplace:
Employees who like doing their jobs can help motivate those who feel less for what they are doing at work. Being happy with what you do is directly correlational to increased productivity and better performance at work, may it be as an individual or with a group – happy people are more innovative and inspired.
Strong, positive emotions can spread like wildfire in the workplace – happy employees make an excellent role model for fellow employees and can encourage them to find joy in the work that they are doing.
Being able to find happiness in work helps build strong interpersonal relationships may it be with colleagues or clients. Happy employees can help create a pleasant environment at work that people find easy to cope with and interact with, encouraging people to work together for the greater good of the organization they are working for.
How to achieve happiness at work
There is no simple answer on how to achieve happiness at work, but there are four key pillars that you can start with: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness or what they commonly refer to as “PERK.”
Management Professor Morten Hansen from UC Berkley defined purpose as having “a sense of purpose when you make valuable contributions to others (individuals and organizations) or to society that you find personally meaningful and that don’t harm anyone,” in his 2018 book Great at Work.
One’s purpose reflects their core values and what they believe in. Connecting what someone does to what they care about rather than passively embracing the status quo can bring more passion and purpose to work as daily tasks get achieved.
For most leaders, financial incentives are a means to instill purpose in an employee. But according to behavioral economist Dan Ariely in his book Payoff, cash bonuses can only go so far as what people really crave are intrinsic incentives like appreciate and making meaningful progress.
There are ways to increase engagement at work, and one of them is to not forget about having fun. Give some time to instill playfulness, creativity, and levity, like what we do here at Curran Daly. Every now and then, we go on trips and conduct small activities in the office to not only bring the team closer to each other but also to actively promote work-life balance.
Also, make sure that people have more ownership over their daily schedule, tasks, and professional development where there are opportunities to learn and grow. Every Monday, one-on-ones with the Managing Director allows each employee at Curran Daly to effectively manage their time for the week. Weekly Learning Bites every Thursday, including annual learning summits, give our employees a sense of improvement, knowledge, and growth that they need.
It is critical to have the ability to handle and productively learn from setbacks, failures, and disappointments to achieve overall happiness at work. To be more resilient, it is essential to be mindful and to be able to revisit learned habits of self-criticizing or blaming others, or getting distracted about past or possible failures – these attributes make it hard to manage stressful situations at work.
Being authentic can also boost resilience – being true to one’s self at work eliminates the stress of pretending to feel emotions that are not there or pretending to be someone you are not.
Employees tend to become happier when they tap into their innate kindness; this involves treating others with dignity, respect, extending empathy and compassion, practicing gratitude, and constructively managing conflicts. According to Northeastern professor David DeSteno, compassion and gratitude do not only increase kindness, but they also help people succeed at their work-goals.
Civility also paves the way for kindness at work, according to Georgetown professor Christine Porath in her book Mastering Civility – building trust, sharing resources, feedback, giving credit, and being a good listener.
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Chowdhury, M. R. (2019). Happiness at Work: 10 Tips for How to be Happy at Work. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/happiness-at-work/
Simon-Thomas, E.R. (2018). The Four Keys to Happiness at Work. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_four_keys_to_happiness_at_work
Curran & Associates (2015). The Link Between Employee Happiness and Profitability. Retrieved from https://www.curranrecruit.com.au/single-post/2015/06/25/The-Link-Between-Employee-Happiness-and-Profitability