Why is happiness at work important to you and me? I just finished the chapter on that in the happy at work book, and in that chapter I reference a study that shows that happy people are more likely to be successful. Here’s some more info on that study:
a lot of research has pointed in another direction, contending that happiness is the result of a lot of things ó success at work, a good marriage, a fit body, a fat bank account.
But according to psychologists at three universities, that’s backward. People aren’t happy because they are successful, they conclude. They’re successful because they are happy.
The researchers combed through 225 studies involving 275,000 people and found that most researchers put the proverbial cart before the horse. Most investigators, they concluded, “assume that success makes people happy.”
They conclude that happy people are easier to work with, more highly motivated and more willing to tackle a difficult project. Thus, they are more likely to be successful. That fits neatly with a study done several years ago that concluded the main reason people get fired isn’t incompetence or unreliability or tardiness or any of the other things that distinguish some of our co-workers from ourselves. It’s that they can’t get along with their colleagues.
So not only is being happy at work more fun, it will also make you more successful.
I think Southwest Airlines realized this a long time ago, and that it’s the reason why they mostly hire people based on personality, citing the motto “Hire for attitude, train for skill”.