Are you happy at work? Happiness in the workplace has been a topic of interest for several years, and with good reason. With reports of low levels of engaged employees and employee turnover at the highest rate in years, employers need to keep employee happiness on the radar. Happiness in the workplace links not only to engagement and retention, but also to attracting the right talent to the organization.
Happiness at work has evolved from the science of positive psychology. Positive psychology studies positive traits, values, interests, talents and abilities, as well as social institutions that enable a good life. It is also defined as ‘what makes life worth living.”
Early work in the field of positive psychology was focused on measuring happiness in terms of life satisfaction. Later work by Martin Seligman, considered by many to be the founder of the positive psychology movement, on authentic happiness targets three different elements as a way of measuring happiness: positive emotion, engagement, and meaning.
Given how much time we spend at work, it only makes sense that we want to be happy at work. So what are the secrets to happiness at work? Let’s explore a few influencing factors:
- Managers Matter. We often hear that employees don’t quit a company they quit their manager. Who you work for matters. In The Truth About Employee Engagement, Patrick Lencioni states, “77% of workers are dissatisfied with their work, and that the primary driver of job dissatisfaction is not pay or benefits, but rather the relationship that an employee has with his or her supervisor.” Recognizing the importance of this relationship and working to manage the relationship is critical for both managers and employees.
- Connections Matter. The value of trusted and meaningful relationships at work cannot be under estimated when we talk about happiness at work. Gallup research has shown that employees that have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged. Friendships at work lead to greater well-being, engagement and performance.
- Purpose Matters. Seligman defines meaning as belonging to and serving something that you believe is bigger than the self. Research has shown that having purpose in life has been cited consistently as an indicator of healthy aging for several reasons, including its potential for reducing mortality risk. Having alignment of your personal purpose and your professional purpose will lead to much happier work days.
Life is short. Let’s be happy not just at work, but in each and everything you do every day.