Being happy at work matters
Sometimes we feel that being happy at work doesn't matter, just do your job and wait for weekend (if you are to believe radio DJs) and everything will be fine.
but it won't
and you know it, so here is a great article written by Annie McKee, that explains why this is important and what you can do about it.
have a great week!!
People used to believe that you didn’t have to be happy at work to succeed. And you didn’t need to like the people you work with, or even share their values. “Work is not personal,” the thinking went. This is bunk.
My research with dozens of companies and hundreds of people — as well as the research conducted by the likes of neuroscientists Richard Davidson and V.S. Ramachandran and scholars such as Shawn Achor — increasingly points to a simple fact: Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their jobs and colleagues work harder — and smarter.
And yet, there is an alarmingly high number of people who aren’t engaged. According to a sobering 2013 Gallup report, only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged. This echoes what I’ve seen in my work. Not very many people are truly“emotionally and intellectually committed” to their organizations. Far too many couldn’t care less about what’s happening around them. For them, Wednesday is “hump day” and they’re just working to get to Friday. And then there’s the other end of the bell curve — the nearly one out of five employees is actively disengaged, according to the same Gallup report. These people are sabotaging projects, backstabbing colleagues, and generally wreaking havoc in their workplaces.
The Gallup report also noted that employee engagement has remained largely constant over the years despite economic ups and downs. Scary: we’re not engaged with work and we haven’t been for a long time.
Disengaged, unhappy people aren’t any fun to work with, don’t add much value, and impact our organizations (and our economy) in profoundly negative ways. It’s even worse when leaders are disengaged because they infect others with their attitude. Their emotions and mindset impact others’ moods and performance tremendously. After all, how we feel is linked to what and how we think. In other words, thought influences emotion, and emotion influences thinking.
It’s time to finally blow up the myth that feelings don’t matter at work. Science is on our side: there are clear neurological links between feelings, thoughts, and actions. When we are in the grip of strong negative emotions, it’s like having blinders on. We focus mostly — sometimes only — on the source of the pain. We don’t process information as well, think creatively, or make good decisions. Frustration, anger, and stress cause an important part of us to shut down --the thinking, engaged part. Disengagement is a natural neurological and psychological response to pervasive negative emotions.
But it’s not just negative emotions we need to watch out for.Extremely strong positive emotions have the same effect. Some studies shows that too much happiness can make you less creative and prone to engage in riskier behaviors (think about how we act like fools when we fall in love!). On the work front: I’ve seen groups of people worked up into a frenzy at sales conferences and corporate pep rallies. Little learning or innovation comes out of these meetings. Throw in a lot of alcohol and you’ve got a whole host of other problems.
If we can agree that our emotional states at work matter, what do we do to increase engagement and improve performance?
Over the past few years, my team at the Teleos Leadership Institute and I have studied dozens of organizations and interviewed thousands of people. The early findings about the links between people’s feelings and engagement are fascinating. There are clear similarities in what people say they want and need, no matter where they are from, whom they work for, or what they do. We often assume that there are huge differences across industries and around the world but the research challenges that assumption.
To be fully engaged and happy, virtually everyone tells us they want three things:
"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Option 1: Alarm rings – hit snooze. Alarm rings – groan. Get up, throw on some clothes. Fight traffic, complain, get to work, hate the day – watch the clock and count the minutes. Go home, eat, watch TV, go to bed. Alarm rings – hit snooze. It's only Wednesday - two more days to go. Oh will this week ever end? I just want to sleep until Saturday. Please let me win the lottery. I hate this job. Did I do something bad? Every day feels like I'm in prison.
Option 2: Alarm rings but the shower drowns out the noise. Pick out sharp clothes for the day. Music on the way to work – smiling while stuck in traffic; looks great – oh my, time to go already… Where did the day go? Have a great dinner, talk about the day, asleep almost instantly. Alarm rings but the shower drowns out the noise. I love what I do!
Which would you rather feel? The question isn’t what do you feel, but what do you want? Honestly, don’t you envy, just a little, the people that actually love what they do and look forward to each day? For them, work isn’t drudgery – it’s fun! Why? Because they decide it’s going to be that way. Before you can enjoy your job, you have to figure out what "enjoyment" means to you. Doing that will not only help you enjoy your job, but it will help you more fully enjoy life in general. Here are some ways you can improve your satisfaction – job related and otherwise. This is not a quick fix; it will take some time, but the effort will be incredibly rewarding.
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