Happiness equates to productivity. This is the conclusion derived from hundreds of existing scientific studies that prove just how important happiness is in the workplace.
This is also why companies are increasingly focused on employee motivation, satisfaction and happiness. But why is that exactly?
What Does Happiness In The Workplace Mean?
First, let’s define what it exactly means when one is happy in the workplace.
According to Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Truth About Employee Engagement, happiness in the workplace is all about feeling like you matter. Whether it’s the fact that everyone in the office knows your name, you know that your work has an impact, you’re progressing career-wise, or all, these are signs of happiness in the workplace. Sounds easy enough, right? Then why is it that many employees still don’t feel like they’re valued?
More often than not, companies are too focused on getting the work done while reducing the number of people who are needed to do the work. But financial and job stability are crucial to job satisfaction, so is the employee’s ability to use their skills. In other words, employees need to be given opportunities to grow, and stay engaged in order to be happy at their place of work.
Additionally, as humans, we’re wired to be productive as a result of feeling good. The Happiness Advantage author Shawn Anchor has found out that the brain is more effective when the individual feels good. When we feel good, we’re more creative and efficient when it comes to problem solving. Anchor says that the reward for businesses is clear: when businesses take the necessary steps to ensure employee satisfaction, “happiness leads to greater levels of profits.”
It Takes A Village
Employee happiness isn’t a one-man job. The work shouldn’t all fall on the shoulders of companies, provided they are already implementing initiatives to boost employee happiness. In short, there is a balance between employee and employer needs and work is required from both ends.
Employees themselves should also pull their weight. Whether it’s meditating daily for stress relief or creativity, lending a hand to coworkers, and focusing on things to be grateful for. This is where mindfulness and relationships also play a role. Employees who engage and spend more time with happy people can boost happiness. It’s a fact that some people are simply happier than others, but it’s your job to seek them out. When you do find them, cultivate meaningful relationships. Harvard Business Review says that “close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.”
When employees have teams or departments that foster meaningful relationships, it also helps businesses discover new talents. If someone on your team has a good working relationship with an ex-colleague, management can take advantage of that by bringing them onto the team.
It’s also important for people to realize we are all responsible for our own happiness. Even if life or work doesn’t always turn in our favor, there are still many things we can control. Investing in wellness programs is the best thing that companies and employees can do. When you have a positive outlook, this helps cultivate entrepreneurial success since the brain is “primed” to imagine the possibilities. And if you think that your ability to be positive or handle stress has been impacted by your childhood or your genes, remember that it is a myth that people can’t change their happiness.
Changing one’s mindset is easier than you think. Things as simple as writing down things that you’re grateful for every day can change how your brain works, and significantly improve optimism levels for the next few months. At the end of the day, optimism is a choice that we all make. Focusing on the positive allows us to efficiently find solutions to the challenges that we face, in and out of the workplace.
The greatest success anyone could ever have is happiness, not money. Once we learn to be masters of our own happiness, we will naturally have a positive impact on the people we interact with, and this is a powerful tool in the workplace. When it comes to business, morale is everything, which means we should always strive for personal success and a productive, happy attitude in the workplace as well as a commitment and dedication to produce good output will naturally follow.