Creating a happy space to work in

To be healthy and productive, we also need to be happy.

The 5 Cs for happiness in your work

In her research for her book Raise your Leaders, Jenny Handley interviewed a number of established leaders and their followers to find out what they believe constitutes a healthy working environment.

(Health Intelligence 2014, Jenny Handley)

Empowerment and Expression

Are you allowed self-expression in your work?  Do you and your colleagues accept your mistakes as a development mechanism? Is your creativity and innovation encouraged?

Verbal and written affirmation and appreciation – expressed financially, and in other currencies such as flexibility and time off – also make a difference on the happiness barometer.

Particularly the younger generation workers want their work to link to their sense of purpose, and to know what the ultimate outcome of their contribution to the company is.  Personal development, plus a sense of belonging is important for them, as is being respected, and respecting those who work for and with.

Stress needs to be avoided or managed if you want to work on your happiness. With technology increasing our connectivity, expectations have been elevated.  Employees may expect their team to be available and on call at all times, and unclear divisions between work time and home time can cause stress.

Happiness and high performance

Those who prioritise happiness are those who see a difference in their work and in their results.  Happy people, according to research, are more productive, as a result of being more energised.  Unhappy people can bring down the morale of happy people.  A happy workforce is more engaged, motivated and has a higher sense of self-belief.  When an individual feels a connection to an organisation, then he or she is more likely to be happy.

So, the five factors for happiness at work:

Contribution: the effort you make

Conviction: about your short-term motivation

Culture: fitting into the organisation

Commitment: engagement with your role

Confidence: self-belief

(Research by Jessica Pryce-Jones, iOpener Institute)

Three elements: Trust, Recognition, Pride, form the foundation of this model.

Well-being in your work

Better physical health translates into more energy and a positive mindset.  What also provides a sense of well-being is when people are working with their strengths and feel confident, when they’re “in the zone”. In addition, if their competence equates to their challenges, there is a sense of homeostasis.

Harmony is enjoyed when there is cohesion in a team, when everyone makes an effort to get along with their teammates.  Whilst there may be dissension and disagreements, if they are tackled in a professional manner, harmony can remain constant.  When a company allows their people to use and feed off one another’s strengths, everyone is happier. Doing a task that weakens your confidence (something you know you’ll never succeed at) causes unhappiness.

Ultimately, happiness is a choice; it can be measured and is contagious. Make your choice.

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