Work is more like a life than an occupation. Being “productive” isn’t about quantity or quantity; it’s about quality.
Quality means fulfillment and happiness.
Let’s get one thing straight: Nothing else can sustain us like work. We need to feel loved, taken care of, and appreciated for the many hours we spend at work.
Once you create this environment, everything changes.
Your happiness and sense of fulfillment are raised. You start to think positively about work, and that will affect how you behave.
You’ll be more pleasant to be around, more productive, and more likely to do your best.
The benefits of being “happy” at work are no secret. According to a Harvard Business Review, people who are genuinely happy at work tend to be more engaged, achieve more, and have more positive results.
They have less turnover and higher performance standards.
What happier workers don’t do
Unhappy employees and managers are everywhere. Happy employees are hard to find.
According to several studies, happy employees get more done, are less error-prone, and perform better in every aspect of work.
The researchers did not find a negative correlation between happiness and employee turnover.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to happiness. Some people are naturally happy.
In some jobs, there may be a legitimate reason for someone’s unhappiness.
One study found that unhappy doctors work more slowly and take more sick leave, resulting in less efficient care and higher costs.
In other instances, the unhappiness is coming from within, the result of early childhood experiences, or other people.
These are the “workplace warriors” who have dedicated their lives to their professions and enjoy being at work.
Because happy employees are happier workers, there is a relationship between happiness and performance.
The happier your people are, the better they are at work.
Building a happy workplace
If you can do your job and be happy while doing it, your office and your team will benefit.
It may be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to help your team become happy, fulfilled, and productive:
1. Find happy employees
People are attracted to others who are happy. “Happiness attracts happiness,” said Bill Cosby in a speech to a group of engineering students at Carnegie-Mellon University.
He went on to explain that happy people attract happy people.
Other studies confirm this correlation.
A 2013 study found that happy employees are more collaborative and creative than unhappy employees.
2. Don’t blame everyone else
The best way to motivate an unhappy employee is to find a reason to be miserable.
One of the easiest things that can be done is to blame someone else. Nobody likes to be the scapegoat.
The following examples are just a few of the many ways employees are blamed for their problems:
“I didn’t get enough sleep last night.”
“If my team were more organized, we would get more done.”
“He’s always late.”
“My manager won’t give me the resources I need to do my job.”
Instead of taking responsibility, try saying, “I’m sorry. If I were better at managing my time, then I would have time to organize your stuff.”
3. Praise the people you work with
“Do you think my boss is happy?” I heard one man say to his employee after she was fired.
“Did he ever say anything positive to you?” I asked.
“No,” the man replied. “All he ever says to me is, ‘I want you to be better at your job.
I expect you to be more productive. This isn’t personal.
You’re not a bad employee. I just want to make sure you’re doing all you can to excel at what you do.'”
Another man told me about a boss who was initially the most brutal, but over time, grew to be one of his closest friends and biggest supporters.
“She told me it didn’t matter how much I did, how hard I worked, or how good I did it. She told me that I didn’t need to work as hard as everyone else because she loved me.”
The people you work with are the people who make your job worth doing.
Praising the ones you work with more, not less, will increase their commitment to their jobs.
4. Spend more time with your employees
Research shows that happy workers make more money than unhappy workers. Although a happy employee can bring in more revenue to a company, there are many ways to increase revenue without having to spend more money.
My top suggestions:
Great relationships are more important to your business than your employee’s yearly salary.
Being more present with your employees creates loyalty, increases trust, and boosts morale.
The connection between employee and customer leads to increased revenue, higher loyalty, and more customer support.
5. Treat your employees well
Employee health insurance is not enough to make people happy.
In his book Managers, the author Robert H. Langer says that the majority of what causes unhappiness at work is the employee’s feeling of inequality in terms of job satisfaction, salary, and promotion.
It’s easier to solve problems than to maintain great relationships.
If you can figure out how to develop the skills necessary for happy relationships, your employees will come to expect you to do the same.
More importantly, they’ll work hard to maintain them.
This is the true secret to great work environments.