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As personal coaching consultants, we know that people work to earn a living, to support their families, to grow and develop, and to fulfill their passions. Work is what adults do in the world and there is little room to avoid working as a grown up. More than half of workers are unhappy at work and don’t enjoy what they do, the people they work with, or the company they work for. Think about it… that means that every second person you walk past in the morning is unhappy. Sometimes it’s noticeable, but not always. Are you part of the 50% of unhappy employees?

What it costs if your employees don’t have happiness at the workplace

Annually, unhappy employees cost companies millions of Rands in productivity and likewise it costs employees in the form of stress, burnout, poor health and relationships. The downside is felt by both the company and the employee; it is an overarching lose-lose situation.

What really makes people unhappy at work? The natural reaction is usually money, but you’ll be surprised when you hear that it’s not correct. We have established three causes of misery and will address each one in the following series of blogs. The three causes are:
1. Co-workers
2. Managers
3. Tools and Systems

In this week’s blog we analyse the first misery – Co-workers.

Co-workers are other employees that you work with. They are people with whom you share responsibilities, perform tasks with or are needed to complete an outcome. Working with them cannot be avoided. Our co-workers cause us misery when:
• They are negative about anything and everything at work.
• Conflict arises which is not addressed. Conflict makes us miserable and at a super-fast pace. It preoccupies our mind, our mood and our performance and consumes all of our thinking which leaves no space for anything else. It makes us feel uncomfortable and uncertain how to behave. It is a dilemma!
• We appoint other managers or leaders to resolve the people challenges who do not have the team’s / co-worker’s best interests at heart. They worsen the misery!

To improve happiness in the workplace, we need to focus on:

To resolve the misery among co-workers we need to focus on:
• Communicating with each other frequently, sincerely and honestly.
• Resolving conflict, which includes the verbal conflict and less noticeable silent conflict.
• Collaborating and working with one another; and not against each other.
• Rewarding team success, not individuals. Competition amongst co-workers is beneficial and necessary, however it is important to find the ideal balance of collaboration and positive competition.
How much do your co-workers make your work life miserable? Are you prepared to continue paying for the cost of this misery? It is very likely that other co-workers are just as miserable as you are. Take the first positive step to end the misery by talking to each other and establishing what is in the way!

For more information about personal coaching and happiness at the workplace, visit the 4Seeds website.