Why Happiness Matters at Work
When you were little, and the teacher asked you what did you want to be when you grew up, bet you didn't say MISERABE!
At every stage in life, unhappiness is not a state to which we aspire. The economy, our jobs, drama in the family or at work can seem like we are on tiny little inflatable rafts in a big scary ocean of fear. So we hold on, not really knowing how to move beyond the unhappiness that has set in. Medical evidence suggests being unhappy at work affects our memory and our capacity to learn while increasing the risk of illness.
So happiness does matter. We all have the capacity to derive pleasure and satisfaction from hard work. Here are a few tips for training your brain for happiness at work.
1. Celebrate Success. Whether it's the achievement of a major goal, or another week that the printer didn't act up, give yourself and your colleagues (and your printer) a pat on the back. This little gesture can make a huge impact in a tense office.
2. Seek Meaning. Happiness at work comes from doing something that gives us pleasure and meaning. If your job currently provides neither, make sure your day or week includes some engagement in activities that do. It could be volunteering, reading something fun and not work related, doing a hobby, taking a course, doing some exercise. Appreciate yourself.
3. Think it. Happiness depends mostly on your OWN state of mind. It's not related to status or income. Find ways to be happy, and work on being happy for others.
4. Express Gratitude and Be Generous. Be grateful for everything that makes your day better, from a colleague's good news, someone's positive nature to sharing your appreciation for the littlest of things someone does.
5. Practice Being Thoughtful. Happiness occurs in the smallest of ways and sometimes when you're not even looking for it. Make it a HABIT to be thoughtful towards others. Give out 3 free compliments a day. If you are the boss, make it a daily habit to give a compliment to everyone you interact with during the day and watch your employees spirits and production rise.
HAPPIER PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO . . .
* make better team players/employees
* be more creative, confident and productive
* have a strong network of support & allies
* require fewer days off
If you're a boss and you have an employee who is always sick, down in the dumps, leaves work early, calls in sick, comes in tired . . . they're not happy. Don't ignore the signs or them.
The #1 thing management can do is set a tone for happiness and appreciation at the office. It can change your entire culture.
Excerpts from Top Coach International 2009