Happiness at Work. Desire or Reality?
Can people be happy at work? If so, what are the necessary conditions that must be met in an organization so that this goal is achieved? And if it is fulfilled, what are the long-term benefits?
First of all, the contentment and enthusiasm of employees regarding the organization begin even before employment. Here, a very important role is played by the employer brand, as well as the company’s investment in creating a pleasant experience for candidates. More specifically, appreciation for the organization by both candidates and employees, reputation on the market, and desire among as many people as possible to work in that organization.
Enthusiasm is either intensified or lessened by the candidates’ experience of the first contacts with the organization: contact with HR and with managers with decision-making power in terms of hiring. The latter has a key role in candidates’ perception of the organization, as well as in the future degree of retention within the company. The better they do their “homework” regarding the recruitment process and refine their approach in job interviews, the more staff fluctuation will decrease.
From here, we can also draw the first conclusion: a company must invest time, energy, and resources in the recruitment and selection of the people most talented in human resources and more.
Then, the contentment is formalized at the signing of an employment contract and is materialized as well, through the compensations and benefits granted to future employees, that must address their particular needs.
At this stage, happiness and enthusiasm are maintained through everyday activities: job responsibilities, future perspective (the possibility of creating a career within the company, access to courses, etc.), trust in the organization, the work environment (promoted values, the team, the atmosphere within the team, the relationship with the direct manager), encouraging creativity and decision-making power, progress made and results achieved.
One very important thing and that we often overlook is the fact that most of the time, both employees and employers focus solely on “doing”. How many times do we hear managers say “we have to do”, “to achieve our goals, we still have to do”, “by next year we have to get to”, or see employees busy with endless “to-do lists”?
But how many times do we stop to reflect? How much time do we devote to this at work in a week? In a month or a year?
Most likely you will think, what does reflection have to do with happiness at work?
Why would it be necessary? What improvements can mere reflection bring?
Well, experience shows that people who devote time to reflection are happier both at work and in their personal lives. What’s more, leaders who encourage this habit and periodically organize “active listening” sessions for team members manage to increase the performance of the team in a much shorter time, people feeling that the manager cares, as well as the fact that he respects their time and encourages their creativity and initiative.
Therefore, we can conclude that in the long run, a simple “pause” for thought can bring multiple benefits to an organization.
In addition to this, the following are very important as well: regular satisfaction questionnaires, feedback “on the spot”, 1 on 1 sessions between the manager and team members, and of course the recognition and encouragement of people every time they make progress. These actions do not require a material investment, but only a time one.
If they are implemented and performed correctly, they can generate increased productivity among employees, fast and healthy development of the business, but also a lower recruitment effort due to the recommendations coming from among colleagues, as well as from the candidates’ desire to join the team.