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Why Happiness at Work is Serious Business

Are you happy in your work?

If you are, bravo, because how good does it feel to get up in the morning looking forward to what the day may bring and the great work you’ll get done?

Many business owners and senior leaders now “get” that having staff who enjoy what they do, feel inspired, motivated and want to contribute to the business goals, enjoy greater business success.

Everyone benefits.

Which is why it irks and saddens me when I hear some leaders still stuck in the Stone Age who believe that having a job and being satisfied with their pay should be enough.

It’s not, and never has been.

Because if you’ve ever been in a role where you don’t enjoy the work, don’t feel appreciated and don’t get on well with your colleagues, what do you do?

  • You might look for the nearest exit.
  • You might do the “quiet quitting” thing where you turn up to work, but you’re not engaged, interested, or contributing more than the minimum required to not get fired.
  • You might join the BMW club at work where everyone bitches, moans, and whines about how bad everything is.

What a waste of potential.

Being happy at work isn’t about toxic positivity where everything’s marvellous, and what’s not working well is ignored.

Nor is it about having to turn up with a smile on your face which stays glued on all day even though you’re feeling sad, bad, or mad – every emotion is valid.

The evidence is clear

Happy workers are 13% more productive than their less happy counterparts – University of Oxford.

Happy people demonstrate better decision-making skills and job performance – University of Kansas.

Happy people are healthier – both physically and mentally. The University of Columbia showed happiness lowers mortality, depression, and chronic pain while raising purpose and mastery. While the University of Illinois discovered the happiest people live longer, healthier lives.

Happy people are more successful in life and their work. You’re more goal-oriented, focused, more confident, more satisfied with what you have, and enjoy greater wellbeing in every aspect of your life.

 

Defining happiness at work

While happiness as a word will mean different things to different people, enjoying happiness at work is about enjoying a meaningful and positive experience while doing your job.

Sure, there will be some great days and other days that don’t go so well.
This is about recognising and expecting the rough with the smooth and adopting realistic optimism.

 

In other words, it’s about feeling good and doing great!

   

What does happiness at work look like?

  1. A human-centric approach.
    Being treated with fairness and respect – like a grown-up.
    Being appreciated for what you do and contribute to. A genuine note of thanks means a lot.
    Being given a voice to speak up and ask questions, seek clarification, or voice a concern shows you’re safe and being heard.
  2. A sense of accomplishment.
    Being able to see the progress you’ve made, and knowing it’s valued and useful helps you grow personally and professionally.
  3. A sense of community.
    Enjoying a sense of relatedness, and feeling aligned in your values helps you to feel you’re in the right place.
  4. The right vibe.
    Setting the intention towards a thriver’s mindset includes enthusiasm, encouragement, challenge, and play.
  5. A shared responsibility.
    The invitation is for all to participate in making work, work better at the individual, team, and organisational level.

It’s always a work in progress and there is no one-size fits all solution, but working together towards a shared goal, builds trust, loyalty, resilience, and wellbeing.

How do you create greater happiness at work?

 

Dr Jenny Brockis is a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life (Wiley) is now available for purchase.

If psychological safety, resilience, and mental wellbeing is something you’d like to find out more about for your organisation, please contact me to set up a time for a chat.

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