Happiness at work leads to success

Happiness leads to success

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.

Read more about the study here, or read the chapter about why happiness at work matters for people.

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”.

13 thoughts on “Happiness at work leads to success”

  1. My brother runs a small business and has been at it for about 14 years. He has not grown the business but is content to mainatin his market share. Yes, he makes changes and improvements to make sure that happens. He has little turnover. Hi moto – to be happy every day. He tells his staff that his objective is to be happy. When dealing with staff issues he takes exactly the same approach.
    PS There is an important caveat to this happiness business – happiness is also an function of expectations

  2. Frank: Thanks for the example. More and more businesses these days are rethinking the notion that success only comes from growth and gaining market share.

    It sounds like your brother is one, and as long as he and his employees are happy I’m guessing it works for them..?

    And you’re right, expectations are crucial. No matter how good you have it, if your expectations are even higher, you risk being unhappy.

  3. Alexander: I work for a bank in L.America. Since I’ve been working I had never being absent or late without notifying my boss. One of these days I was absent, I received I called from my Boss telling me I was a very unresponsible person, she didn’t let me explain her the reasons. I felt that day very unhappy with my job that I am decided to work by myself as a lwayer. What can I do to not to feel unhappy?

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