By the Hapkey team

Unlocking Happiness at Work in Just 4 Steps

Post by
Elia Mihuta
Unlocking Happiness at Work in Just 4 Steps

Ask any marketing specialist about the pillars of their domain, and they will tell you about the 4Ps of marketing. Unfortunately, not the same thing applies to HR specialists when asked about the employees’ well-being.

Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas teaches the Science of Happiness at the University of Berkeley, California. Also, she writes for The Greater Good Science Center. And we can’t agree more with what she has to say.

In one of their articles, she raises the alarm about work-related happiness. She presents research that shows how up to 80% of employees see their work as something that needs to be endured and not as an enjoyable part of their lives.

So we have to ask ourselves the following question:
Does happiness have to end when the workday begins?

The short answer to that is no - real happiness at work is possible. And this is wonderful news since happy employees are more productive.

For unlocking happiness at work, Professor Simon-Thomas suggests that organizations start using the PERK framework. 

As appropriate as the name might sound, PERK is actually an acronym for the four pillars of happiness at work - purpose, engagement, resilience, and kindness. Let’s talk about them one by one and understand the meaning behind each word.


1. Purpose

People feel purposeful when they are doing something that they believe in. This is a general truth regardless if we are talking about day-to-day lives or about work. 

Therefore, if you are a team leader, you must improve how you communicate the company’s mission and vision. Each member needs to recognize the organization’s direction and strategy. This way, they can understand the true purpose of their work.

Furthermore, as a leader, you should continuously ask your peers questions. Learn what drives them and coach them accordingly. Work together to find those exact tasks that have meaning to them.

This way, the employees will feel connected to their core values and will love what they do.


2. Engagement

Studies have shown that people tend to be very disengaged regarding their jobs. They don’t enjoy what they work, don’t take part in any decision-making, and don’t really care about the final result.

The truth is that to find happiness at work, employees need to be engaged. But try to see beyond the whole employee engagement hype. Because focusing only on engagement is the wrong approach.

As a leader, you need to find ways to enhance your team members’ creativity. The easiest way to do so is by designing engaging and reasonable tasks for them to fulfill.


3. Resilience

The dictionary defines resilience as the ability to recover quickly from difficulties. Yet, in this context, resilience is about getting better at what you do. It is about overcoming challenges without self-criticizing or blaming others.

As a leader, you will need to find a way to promote awareness and mindfulness among your people. Moreover, you will need to be an example of resilience for them to follow. 

Teach your team members how to handle setbacks at work and to instead focus their energy on learning from these situations. Also, foster a culture where your peers can easily detach themselves from work and take time to recharge.


4. Kindness

The final point should be natural and, therefore, an easy one to achieve. Being kind at work is not about charity. It is about treating your colleagues with dignity and respect.

From the management’s perspective, it is about offering feedback, sharing resources, and giving credit. Furthermore, it is about avoiding the use of influence to gain power.

Educate your employees on how to improve cooperation and how to more effectively work as a team. By doing so, they will be able to work in a climate that makes them happy and productive.


Our advice

Everything you’ve just read probably sounds very logical. Even so, you might be surprised to find out that your employees have very opposed thoughts about their status quo than you. 

This is why it is so important to take time and understand your team members. Ask their opinion on the matter and find solutions for each individual.

Use this framework to increase the well-being of your team members. And just as the framework’s motto says: “PERK up your happiness at work.”

Further reading

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