Workplace happiness: the secret ingredient

Sexual harassment war: a ravenous canker

By its bare definition, ‘work’ does not embody something exciting or enjoyable, or something that people look forward to doing. How frequently do you deliberate on resigning from your job or perhaps feel that you are not getting paid or appreciated enough for the over-the-top efforts, the late nights, the sacrifices, emotionally-draining encounters that you put in for an organisation??

Workplaces that strive to balance the everyday stresses of a job to encourage workplace happiness can enjoy strong competitive advantages. Employees who feel happy and content at their job are more likely to enjoy the work they do. Contentment and gratification are very peculiar concepts that tend to mean a variety of things to different people.

For some, being happy at work can mean getting excellent pay and other incentives and benefits. For others, it’s about having a good time at work and getting the opportunity to socialise in an office environment. Others may see happiness in the workplace as something directly tied to the company culture. For instance, having a welcoming work setting, a fulfilling responsibility, and a collaborative work environment – and having the opportunity to give back. I for one would love an environment that fosters career growth, which has a promotional structure and accommodating bosses.

Being happy at and with your work is not about playing games, partying and/or practicing sports during business hours. It’s also not about having your boss as your best friend. Happiness in the workplace is about people enjoying their everyday tasks, openly collaborating with their team members, feeling acknowledged and respected at work, having a healthy work-life balance and going home fulfilled at the end of each day.

It’s not just employees that benefit from being happy at work, it’s also the companies themselves. There’s substantial research that proves productivity is directly impacted by how happy people are in performing tasks. At the same time, happy employees also means that the employee turnover rate will diminish.

Ask yourself how likely would you be to leave your job if you enjoyed your everyday work-life? I believe you would have more energy and optimism at work. You would feel more driven to perform your daily tasks and more open to receiving feedback. Such employees are more likely to see feedback as an opportunity for growth and development rather than punishment or criticism.

How Leaders Can Create a Happy Workplace

Even though measuring levels of happiness can be highly subjective and impossible to make accurate, the benefits make it worth pursuing. There are specific tips that can be followed to create a happy workplace and motivate each and every team member to work even more efficiently.

  1. Host Engaging and Interactive Team-Building Events – Team-building activities are known for their ability to empower teams to collaborate, boost morale and communication. Hosting team-building events wherein employees can play/laugh and resolve issues together is a great way to promote contentment and fulfillment. This brings employees together and allows for them to get to know each other in aspects other than as colleagues – building trust and connections.
  1. Focus on the Positive Aspects – Happiness leads to positivity. Simple things such as starting the day well, greeting everyone, praising co-workers for their efforts, asking them about their day and making them feel valued can all have a significant impact on their wellbeing. Don’t permit negativity to aggravate in the office. It will take blowouts like germs. Whether that’s a mistake made, goals not being achieved or just a poor-performing month, it’s important to keep energy levels high. Particularly during uneasy times, it’s essential for management to emphasise the good. By celebrating even the smallest of either individual or team accomplishments, leaders can help foster a happy workplace.
  2. Build a Sense of Fulfillment through a Higher Purpose – A clear purpose is essential to keep a team focused. It can also build a sense of fulfillment within colleagues. A purpose, however, cannot be something selfish such as maximising profits. Purpose represents something way more meaningful.

As Simon Sinek would argue, purpose refers to something more profound. It’s what gives meaning to your life; reminding your team of the purpose behind their responsibilities will help keep everyone’s motivation high. Leaders should have team-members visualise how their individual contribution is part of a bigger mission. With everyone being on the same page, leaders can capitalise on people’s innate need to serve.

Leaders, let’s make time to bring some fun to the office!  For all you know, happiness in the workplace might just be the secret ingredient missing in some organisations. Leaders that want to boost their company’s productivity, psychological safety, employee turnover rate and their workforce’s creative capacity should make workplace happiness a priority.

Life is too short not to be Happy.

If you think about it, we spend most of our awake-time in the office. Do you really want to spend most of your day feeling miserable? Do you really want to take all the stress of your job home to your family members and loved ones? Why not make the most of it instead? Finding happiness in the workplace, and in anything you do, really, is the key to being successful.

The author is a risk assessment and cost reduction consultant, relationship coach and writer


Leave a Reply