Advertising
Advertising

7 Simple Ways To Boost Happiness At Work

7 Simple Ways To Boost Happiness At Work

How happy are your employees? Does it really matter? The answer is contained in the UN’s World Happiness report 2013, which states very clearly that happy people at work are more productive. Happiness sounds not only like a good idea, but is also a wise investment.

We all know that when workers are unhappy, short cuts are taken and there is a very casual attitude towards customer service. Add to that poor motivation and distraction and you have a recipe for disaster.

Follow these seven simple hacks to make sure that happiness is not some touchy-feely warmth in your workplace but something much more tangible and worthwhile.

Advertising

1. Concentrate on the strengths

Every worker needs to be reminded of his or her strengths and how these are contributing positively to a project. This should happen at regular intervals and especially during feedback sessions. Expand their responsibilities and duties to match these strengths on an ongoing basis so that there is a sense of progress and achievement. Weaknesses need to be addressed, but they should be seen as opportunities for acquisition of future skills through training.

2. Help workers to be more creative

Did you know that creativity is strongly connected with happiness? They both work in tandem, so creating the right creative environment will pay handsome dividends. This is what Teresa Amabile, a Harvard researcher found. How can you create an atmosphere where creativity will flourish? Here are some pointers:

  • Encourage participation in problem solving and decision making.
  • Reduce meetings to a minimum.
  • Try not to dominate with your own ideas.
  • Ensure that your workers’ goals match the company mission.

3. Keep workers fully informed

One very negative aspect of some companies is how rumors about pending cutbacks, a fall in production or other gloomy news can spread like wildfire and destroy morale. Keeping your staff informed on every aspect of the company – the good, the bad and the ugly – is the best way to avoid all these Chinese whispers. In addition, it adds to the happiness of the workers in that they will come to trust you more because you are being open with them.

Advertising

4. Praise and reward

You may want to consider offering raises for employees who have achieved outstanding results. Employees sometimes rewrite their job descriptions to illustrate just how much more they are doing now in comparison with when they were first employed. Taking this into consideration as well as the costs of replacing that person with somebody who has the same skills and experience should be guiding principles in deciding what is fair. Try to avoid a gender bias when applying pay raises to your staff, and err on the side of generosity.

What really counts in the long run is the happiness of your employees, who are going to find fulfillment, job satisfaction and inspiration in the job itself.

5. Be supportive

Taking an interest in the personal lives of your employees is another wise investment. I have worked in offices where just saying good morning was forgotten! Being flexible about staff needs and being generally supportive when death and illness strike will make the workplace a much more caring and happier environment.

Advertising

6. Offer flexible working hours

Take advantage of modern technology and ask your staff if they would like to work flexi hours and/or if they would consider working from home. The Workplace Flexibility 2010 Project showed very clearly that 80 percent of staff would be happier with more flexible timetabling.

Think about how the Best Buy Corporation achieved a 35 percent increase in their productivity. They introduced the ROWE (result only work plan), where employees had maximum flexibility provided their deadlines and work were delivered on schedule.

7. Help them get the work-life balance right

This balance is probably one of the best ways of all of guaranteeing that employees are happy in their work and will not seek greener pastures. Fair pay raises can help too, but the top four things are:

Advertising

  • Incentives.
  • Benefits and perks.
  • Training and career advancement initiatives.
  • Work-life balance.

Read here how you could achieve a Leap Award for your company! All the big names are there. Now is the best time to make a start.

 

Featured photo credit: Young Happy Hour / AFGE via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated) 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Smart Ways to Be More Productive What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It 10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

Trending in Work

1 7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics 2 10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them 3 10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers 4 How to Become Smarter: 21 Things You Can Do Every Day 5 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

Advertising

2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

Advertising

Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

Advertising

5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

Advertising

Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next