Happiness at work vs. job satisfaction

Happiness at work vs. job satisfaction

People are constantly asking me why I use the peculiar term Happiness At Work rather than the more traditional job satisfaction or employee satisfaction.

And by constantly, I mean I get asked this two or three times a year at least!

Anyway, here’s why: There is no way you can energize or excite the people in an organization around the theme of satisfaction. “Come on, everybody, let’s make this a workplace where we can all be satisfied with our jobs!??? is not exactly the rallying cry of the century.

Make happiness your goal instead. As in “Let’s make this a workplace where people are happy to work???. It has way more potential and sends a much clearer and more interesting message.

In summation:

Happiness at work = Exciting. Fun. Ambitious. Energizing.
Job satisfaction = Booooooooring!

All clear?

7 thoughts on “Happiness at work vs. job satisfaction”

  1. Good explanation Alex. I think “job satisfaction” sounds like a survey, like something an HR department would want to measure, whereas happiness at work seems to be something you can feel/touch/taste on a personal level. At least that what I get from your postings. And it is WAY MORE FUN than job satisfaction. :)

  2. What I love most about your writing is that is feels like it brings you happiness.

    On this little question of why ‘happiness’ rather than ‘satisfaction,’ I think that satisfaction is something reflective and internal. Satisfaction doesn’t lead to wonderful contributions because it’s a very individualistic feeling. But happiness is something to be shared! When you’re happy, you want to show it and spread it. And for work, happiness leads to positive thinking and more inspired creativity.

    So satisfaction is a guage of what’s going on now, and happiness is a feeling that leads to something in the future. That’s why ‘hapiness.’

  3. Thanks Josh! I think you’re right: Satisfaction is more of an internal state, and happiness is more likely to infect others and create outward action.

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