In recent years the idea of Happiness at Work has become of greater importance to business leaders. However, for many company’s this is still a pipe dream, falling to the wayside when deadlines, outcomes and year-end targets are looming.

The 2018 Global Happiness Report has stated that 83% of people rate work as “very important” to their overall well-being. While this may seem obvious due to the amount of time we spend in our workplaces, this high rating indicates the value that we place on work, to provide us with a sense of satisfaction and meaning.

In South Africa, 40% of full-time employees are dissatisfied with their work (Global Happiness Report, 2018) and this percentage is just too high to ignore if we want to create a thriving and inclusive economy.

When we think of employees, what we want is people who are present, performing and productive. However, happy employees are not just people who are present at work and do their job, they are:

  • More innovative
  • More productive
  • More intrinsically motivated to reach job expectations
  • More satisfied with their work
  • Healthier and live longer
  • Able to form stronger relationships with their colleagues
  • More likely to remain in their jobs
  • And they are more committed to company goals

When we look at these results of having happy employees in the workplace, it is difficult to continue driving the bottom line without investing our efforts in creating happier employees. After all, that we put in we will get out 10 fold, once we have committed individuals working within thriving teams.

So How Does Happiness At Work… Work?

Approaching the topic of happiness at work, can often be daunting. This is due to the perception that happiness within the work environment is an extra, elusive, intangible “nice to have”. However, we all know that culture eats strategy for breakfast and thus regardless of how valuable a clear corporate vision is to achieving success, it needs to be underpinned by a commitment to creating a positive working environment for our staff. One which supports individual and team performance whilst building trust, pride and recognition.

The Happiness At Work Model, developed by the iOpener Institute (UK) is one of 4Seed’s powerful offerings, backed up by science this model offers a clear path to a happy workforce.

The 5 Core Ingredients to Happiness At Work

The Model of Happiness at Work consists of 5 core drivers, otherwise known as the 5 C’s. Let’s unpack these further to get you on your way to enhancing happier employees in your company.

1) Confidence

Confidence is the precursor to the other four drivers. Fundamental to maintaining intrinsic motivation, confidence comes from each individual feeling competent in their skill to task ratio. When we have a lack of confidence we tend to avoid certain tasks, be too cautious of making mistakes and risk coming across to clients as insecure. To become a strong contender in the current economy it is essential to put your best foot forward and the surest way to ensure you reach your targets is by building your employees confidence. Here are 3 simple ideas to boost confidence in your team:

  • Notice their individual strengths and look at moulding their tasks towards their skill level.
  • Provide support for new unknown tasks, or ensure someone is available to do so.
  • Ensure that your employees receive the proper training to excel in their role, whether this is internal information sharing or external courses.

2) Contribution

Once confidence is being built we can begin to look at how employees contribute in the workplace. Companies are organisms consisting of individuals working together to create a cohesive goal. Contribution is essential to the “doing” of the company and without shared, collaborative effort, the “doing” can become more like being dragging the team through the mud. When reviewing contribution, there are 3 questions you can begin asking:

  • How are your employees contributing to the bigger whole?
  • What relationships do they have which encourage innovation, support and accountability?
  • What formal or information structures can be put into place which will encourage the sharing of information, responsibility and achievements?

3) Culture

Culture is perhaps the most elusive concept behind building happiness at work, however when we begin to create collective beliefs and behaviours, which are healthy and robust, a culture develops which can independently ensure motivation and engagement without much input. You can begin creating a happy culture by:

  • Revisiting company values
  • Evaluate individual employees’ values and look at the overlap between the two
  • Review the current behaviours in the organisation, and reflect on how operations could be more aligned towards the vision and values of the company and its employees.

Culture is a massive topic, all of its own, however, by taking the steps mentioned above you will begin to create an integrated value to action relationship, which is a healthy start!

4) Conviction

Conviction is made up of the motivation and resilience to continue striving towards the goal, even when times are bad. We all know how variable business can be and having the necessary resilience to continue moving forward when things are at their worst is something every company needs. Conviction is bred from finding meaning in our work. You can begin building conviction through:

  • Having your team review their “wins of the week”, can help boost morale and remind people of the value of their actions.
  • Encourage supportive relationships within teams, when we contribute we find strength in others.
  • Problem solve as a united front

5) Commitment

Commitment is perhaps the most challenging of the 5 drivers. Commitment is something that is becoming rarer in the modern working world. Commitment is about finding value in the work that is done and is fully aligned to the company’s vision. With the world as it is, people move jobs often which creates a barrier to long term commitment. However, fear not, all 5 of the core drivers work together, and thus if the other 4 factors are carefully commitment can become a spin-off.

What’s Next?

In honour of International Happiness Month, 4Seeds is offering a 30% discount on all Happiness at Work Assessments booked before the end of March.

This offer includes individual assessments, collation of the results, a personalised team feedback session, and a report which will highlight the areas most needing focus within your specific organisation. Contact us now to book your slot for this limited and powerful offer.

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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