by Sure Köse
In my personal experience, happiness helps to motivate people and it also creates a working environment marked by high concentration in carrying out our tasks. Even more important is the employees’ engagement that results from a happy workplace, no matter the fatigue. From my point of view the previous generation of employees were more involved in company life and objectives, having a very different approach compared to the so called “digital generation”. Companies now need to reshape their mind and their way of working and relationships between them. Having positive and happy relationships at work is a key element and not an optional one. To get it, employees should follow good practice, while team managers should pay attention to training programs. As for HR, we have a very important role, which is to spread the culture of respect to team managers and help them recognize employees’ value. When they feel they are not rewarded they become unhappy and consequently demotivated, they lose trust and they can’t do their job well.
by Mary Ellen Slayter
Hard work isn’t what makes people unhappy. In fact, there are few things that feel better than that sense of exhaustion that comes when you know you’ve given your all to something. What makes people unhappy at work is feeling like there’s no purpose to the work they are doing. It’s feeling like they have no control over their lives. It’s feeling like no one appreciates the time and energy they’re putting into their work. That appreciation can come in the form of money, promotions or even simple thankyous. If you want people to feel good about their work− and I prefer the term “satisfaction” over “happiness” when we’re talking about work− you have to communicate clearly about the overall mission of your team, the value of the role each person plays in fulfilling that mission, and how much you appreciate their contributions. As a manager, your primary job is to match people to the right jobs and clear the obstacles that keep them from doing excellent work. And build in regular breaks (real lunch breaks, proper vacations, etc.). We’re not machines. Time away makes people more creative, productive and engaged in the long run.
by Helle Bro Krogen
Happiness is in no way the only significant factor creating motivated and high-performing employees, but it is essential. Unhappy and stressed employees can momentarily be high performers but if employees are unhappy for longer periods their performance will suffer. How do you keep a team motivated when they cannot get an immediate answer from their leader to a question that keeps them from performing at their best? And how do you as a leader create the necessary trust and openness to make sure that the team will tell you as soon as a problem arises? These are some of the other subjects we focus on in our leadership training and it relates easily to work happiness, as we know that the teams where there is trust and openness towards the leader are the best performers and the ones most satisfied with their jobs.
by Devrim Bahadinli
New generations are projecting the same expectations both on their personal lives and on their work lives. This is how happiness at work became a topic of interest for many companies. Signing an employment agreement with an employer doesn’t mean you ignore your brain and your heart. Stress and fatigue don’t necessarily come from working too much but from feeling bad while you work. Happiness at work doesn’t come from the organization’s policies, strategies, plans or values. It comes from the things that you do. It comes from results and relationships. It’s about giving people plenty of responsibility, despite difficulties and fatigue, and realizing that nothing makes people happier than delivering on that trust. Nothing will matter if you don’t have great people doing something they believe in and care about. Giving freedom to people, asking people and the team to be accountable for their choices, trusting people and being a person that people around you can trust.
Published in the hard-copy of Work Style Magazine, Spring 2014