Happiness in the workplace is a delicate balancing act of personal happiness, professional happiness and productivity. Though work can be at times stressful and challenging, it is important that you feel encouraged and valued in your position. When you are unhappy with your job, you are much more likely to be absent, less productive and contribute to an unpleasant work environment.
So how can you cut through the challenges and be happier at work?
Find Your “Why”
Motivation in the workplace is a key factor contributing to your happiness as an employee. The less motivated you are to complete tasks effectively, the less likely you are to finish these tasks at all. By simply finding out why your job is important and meaningful, motivation can be found even during the most stressful days.
Adam Grant, a management professor at Wharton University of Pennsylvania, conducted a series of studies in an effort to find out exactly what motivates employees in work environments where morale is often low.
In one such study at a university call center for scholarship donations, Grant facilitated meetings between paid employees and the students benefiting from their efforts. While each meeting lasted only five minutes, the employees had an opportunity to ask the students about their studies. The outcomes were remarkable. Following these meetings, employees started spending more time on the phone with each caller and brought in 40 per cent more sponsorships on a weekly basis.
Work with Purpose and Meaning
Though the work day can be draining and difficult, it is important to find purpose and meaning to your work.
In a study done by Val Kinjerski from the University of Alberta, it was found encouraging employees to explore the deeper purpose of their work increased morale and decreased absenteeism by 60 per cent and turnover by 75 per cent.
Kinjerski and his research partners created a program comprised of a one-day “Spirit at Work” workshop and eight weekly boost sessions to engage a group of employees in long-term healthcare positions to rethink their purpose at work and to appreciate themselves and their colleagues.
Throughout the workshops, workers participated in exercises to find the deeper purpose of their work, sense of community, what it meant to be of service and to do self-care. Compared to their colleagues who weren’t in the program, participants showed a boost in job satisfaction, higher morale and an increase in teamwork activities. In addition, they showed more interest in their patients, having found a renewed sense of being of service to them.
Next time you’re finding it hard to be motivated at work, take a step back and examine the impact your efforts are having on your co-workers, clients or your company as a whole – it can do wonders for your well-being. After all, being happier at work, where you spend a significant portion of your time each week, will inevitably make you happier in other areas of your life as well.