How happy do you want to be at work?
Of course, no one is looking to be unhappy at work – but is not actively hating your job enough for you?
Here are some great stories from around the web from people who have discovered the importance of happiness at work. First a story from a man with real management potential:
When I get my own department to control, the first thing I am going do is ask people what they want to be happy at work. Truly happy.
My goal would be to get a group of people who loved coming in and loved being there. I would recognize the fact that people the people I hired were adults and would handle their responsiblities.
So what if they spend a day playing a game all day and taking a 2 hour lunch. As long as they get their work done on time and at a high level what difference does it make. If someone was taking advantage of it and not getting their work done, then yeah, it’s a problem. But if they are doing great work, who cares?
In my eyes I look at the results. Sure people do good work right now, but I think by making them more comfortable and making work more enjoyable they would do GREAT work. (Source)
That is the manager of the future – a person who recognizes that a leader’s first responsibility is to make people happy at work. Forget your mission statements, visions statements and corporate values – that is a manifest for great leadership right there.
Here’s another great story about happiness at work:
I have survived the place for ‘almost’ a year now. However, it was yesterday, Monday the 9th of Jan 2007…..that I finally experienced my FIRST REAL HAPPINESS at work….
You see what happened was that I was assigned to work on an issue… [I invited] our Team Leader Leader to come to my computer to check our the partly done work.
When my project leader arrived he was like “Wow….look at it… finally I get to see some happy news today”!!! Looking at his face and hearing closely to his tone, you can feel a genuine happiness flowing from his face. And after he was done poking around on the interface….he simply said to me “Well done…..good job!” (and I could also tell it was a genuine appreciation too)!
And THIS is what I call “joy in the workplace”! : ) A genuine appreciation and a genuine admiration of one’s work! And what makes it even more joyful was that I myself, did not think it deserves such appreciation, seriously it doesn’t look THAT nice at all!!! So to see the joy on his face was a total shocker for me!!!
And hence after this I thought to myself, if ONE DAY I am lucky enough to become a management person. I will definitely remember to give credits to my team when its worth it and show my appreciation and admiration to their work frequently!!! Because this is what makes a team work and one happy employee that will continue to work hard on their job! (Source)
While it’s pretty sad that a person could work somewhere for a year without experiencing any happiness at work, this story shows just how little it takes, and just how powerful genuine appreciation is. And how yet another person chooses happiness at work.
Here’s one final, powerful story:
One of the things I decided a while ago (see posts passim. for reasons why) was that I wanted to be happy at work.
It’s stupid, when you write it out like that. Who doesn’t want to be happy at work? And yet, it took a conscious decision on my part that one of the things I would look for in a job was that it made me happy. Not ‘it pays the bills’, not ‘it’s better than being on the dole’, but actively happy.
No job is going to manage that 100% of the time, of course. I’m not happy when I’m stressed, I’m not happy when I’m bored, but every job will have either stresses or boredom in it, and the bad jobs have both. But I made the decision that if I ever found myself in a job where, on a regular basis, I woke up in the mornings and didn’t want to go into work, I’d change.
But there needs to be an element of personal responsibility in there as well. I can’t expect my employers to provide for my every need – I don’t need to be spoon fed. So as long as they give me the space to grow, and the support to do so, that’s where my responsibility comes in. (Source)
How cool is that – more and more people are choosing happiness at work. And yes, it does seem a little silly because who wants to be unhappy at work.
But I’ve always felt, that the real choice here isn’t between happiness and unhappiness at work – we all know what we prefer out of those two choices. It’s a matter of choosing between a job situation that is happy and one that is merely… ok. Which is what most people have.
They don’t hate work too much (if they did, they’d probably find new work), but they don’t really like it either. Some people have had it like this for years – some spend their entire careers/work lives like that.
And more and more people are saying “Naaah – that’s not for me. I want to be happy at work. I want to wake up most mornings and look forward to my work day. I want to have fun at work. I want to use my strengths and do work I can be proud of. I want to come to work excited and leave proud.”
I predict a future, soon in fact, in which this is the normal approach to work. In which we’ll look back and wonder, why so many people ever decided to settle for any less.
This change will come from two places:
- Companies realizing that they make more money when their people are happy
- You and me choosing once and for all to be happy at work
I can’t wait :o)