Revisit old lessons to make happy workplace
Team bonding does contribute to productivity, but it does not correlate to happiness
By Rama Moondra
Naukri.com released an interesting advertisement where many individuals seem to be dragging themselves to work. Presumably, many people are not happy with their current job.
Our most active hours of the day are spent working. Work indeed plays a significant role beyond putting food to the table or to make one able to adorn Rolex on the wrist. It is about the level of happiness our work brings to our lives.
Gallup World Poll surveyed millions of people over 150 countries to gather data on the elements of work-life happiness. Austria has reportedly 95% people happy with their jobs.
It may sound disheartening that in India the percentage is dismal at 37%. Given the high-stress level of an average Indian corporate executive, need to create or be part of a happy workplace is something that Indian corporate is now warming up to.
But still, there is a long way to go beyond team building exercises. Team bonding does contribute to productivity, but it does not correlate to happiness. Which means, it would keep you more focused and less stressed at work if you have a good team.
To create a happy workplace, let us revisit old lessons.
“Hawthorne Effect” is a famous series of experiments that talks about workplace hygiene. It made two groups of people.
One worked in a comparatively much well-lit area and the other group had no notable change in lights. The group that worked in the well-illuminated space was ranked happier than others. A small yet significant aspect of being happy at work is physical condition of the workplace.
Being happy does not necessarily mean having a constant, overloaded cheerful expression. Remaining calm and positive when you could otherwise have blasted would be the first key to workplace happiness. It does not mean letting go of those monthly targets; just reinforcing in calm, yet strong and undeterred manner, is better than yelling.
Find some aspect that you love about your work. It may have turned routine and mundane, yet it continues to be your favourite part. A surgeon may find his job monotonous but saving a life every time gives a happy high.
Figure out a way to connect with peers without specific agenda. Arranging a book reading club or quilling with peers as a fun game can be an engaging and could heighten happiness quotient. Caution: Do not make it an objective-oriented team exercise. Free flow is the norm of being happy.
Celebrate small achievements.
The University of Sydney has a research stating that 67% people change jobs because happiness at work is missing.
Once I asked vice president (operations) of a multinational company to appreciate his team and order ice-creams. It had done a remarkable work executing a big international order. Very nonchalantly, he stated, “It’s their job. What is there to appreciate? But sure, let us order ice-creams.” The team quietly left the room without even looking at ice creams. That’s the impact one line could make.
A happy workforce is not only high on productivity but also takes care of overall organisational performance. It eventually also shapes the talent retention process. With designations like funsultant and happiness executive, we can look forward to more happy workplaces.
The writer is a strategic advisor and premium educator with Harvard business publishing.
Source: DNA Money
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