Supporting Happiness at Work

Technology gave us speed and an easier life. However, it also brought more clutter, higher customer expectations and demands. It’s impact on our happiness at work and home often go unspoken about. The statistics on the impact of stress on the mental, physical and financial wellness of people are alarming and should not be underestimated.

People are asking more frequently: Am I happy?

Media enables an increasingly faster lifestyle with a never-ending pursuit of material desires in search of our ultimate happiness. In addition, Consumerism adds to the speed of our lifestyles. We think the more we have, the happier we will be. However this comes at a price.

The effects of being unhappy

The price is an increase in brain disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression and anxiety to name but a few. Recent research shows that medical aid claims for stress-related conditions are 4 times higher than non-stress related claims. In addition, more frequent medical claims reduce your resources, and debt spirals, causing more stress. High-level stress directly influences our mood and happiness at work and at home.

What is happiness?

Happiness is defined in psychology as a mental or emotional state of well-being. It can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to joy.  According to Seligman, the following factors correlate strongly with well-being:

  1. Pleasure (tasty food, warm baths, etc.)
  2. Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity)
  3. Relationships (social ties have turned out to be an extremely reliable indicator of happiness)
  4. Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger), and
  5. Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals)

9 actions employers can take to keep people happy at work

There are actions that employers can take in the workplace to support employees to deal more effectively with life stresses, and in turn be happy at work. These include:

  1. Recognize the importance of work-life balance and engage employees in understanding the factors that drive happiness.
  2. Allow employees to focus on their strengths so that they experience their work as stimulating and have a feeling of autonomy.
  3. Develop a culture of recognition, transparency and open communication.
  4. Find the right balance between showing care and applying discipline.
  5. Take care of burning issues in such a way as to keep nurturing positive relationships.
  6. Keep the company vision alive so that employees work mindfully in achieving targets.
  7. Planned mentorship to support a culture of collaboration.
  8. Allow constant opportunities for learning and being creative.
  9. Use coaching to support senior people and talent in teams.

To sum up, there is a direct relationship between happiness at work and absenteeism. It makes business sense to care for the well-being of employees so that they feel supported by employers, connected to their work and their colleagues.

 

Author

Willie Snyman
Life & Business Coach

I have a passion for people and help them getting from survival mode to significance. Real turn-around happens when people really listen, really engage to understand. I believe financial wellness is intertwined with physical and mental health. I help you to be the best you can be, and to get rid of the fears keeping you back to experience more happiness.  

My favorite author is Stephen Covey saying: “I am not a product of my circumstances; I'm a product of my decisions."