It's easy to assume that people working for your company are happy. You see their smiling social media pictures and don't hear them complain. That means they're satisfied, right?
But do you ever consider the possibility of them being happier at home than when they are at the office? Better yet, if you dig deep enough, could you say that you are more engaged when having a leisure day than when working on something that you really love?
Truth be told, the answer to all these questions is just one. There is no such thing as private and professional happiness. There is just one universal happiness formed by multiple parts.
Even though it appears to be more of a philosophical matter, scientists formulated an equation for determining how happy a person is.
Martin Seligman is an American psychologist. He is also one of the founders of the Positive Psychology Center. He described in just a simple formula the notion of our happiness level:
Happiness level = genetic happiness baseline (50%) + daily activities (40%) + life circumstances (10%).
So, let's explain this a bit. 50% of the happiness level is a matter of personality and genetics. Thus, it cannot be modified. Moreover, unexpected events such as winning a prize or getting into a car accident don't really affect one's state of well-being in the long run.
Yet, the rest of 40% is dictated by how individuals spend their day, regardless of work or leisure activities. And that is the key that needs to be turned to reach a positive happiness level.
Michal Šrajer is the co-founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness@Work. Furthermore, he is one of the first pioneers of the 'happiness at work' concept. In a podcast moderated by Management 3.0, he said:
"Happiness is when you are doing something meaningful for you along with people you have a deep connection with."
And we couldn't agree more. It doesn't matter if a person plans a fishing trip with their friends or implements an AI solution with their co-workers. All that matters is the journey through the daily activities and the returned satisfaction. An employee who sits in their chair doing nothing all day will only become frustrated in their personal lives. Similarly, a person who is miserably at the individual level will not be a conscientious one.
This being said, it's your job as a leader to ensure that your employees work with the people they trust and on projects that matter to them. Knowing what triggers each person in your company might seem harder to comprehend than it actually is.
Therefore, our advice to you is this: don't wait for your employees to take the initiative and express their viewpoints. More than ever before, it is time for you to step up and ask the correct questions, as it only takes a few seconds to do so. By using the data you'll collect, you'll be working in your self-interest as well as in theirs. Because for an organization to be successful, all people involved need to be happy.
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