Word Of the Week #548: Happiness

February 6, 2015 by  

Happiness: a state of well being; ranging from contentment to deep intense joy in living.

How happy are you in your current job? Do you feel you work in a loving and caring environment? How would your employees answer those questions?

This week’s WOW comes from the UT Business section titled, “Investing in happiness a profitable pursuit.” I’m There for You, Baby is a weekly column written by Barbara Bry & Neil Senturia.

One January 5th they wrote, “First column, 2015. No Predictions.

Instead we are going to discuss happiness – happiness in the workplace. Now tell the truth, you’re happy at work, aren’t you? Well, finding out how you feel is a big business. 80% of firms have conducted a survey to gauge how employees are feeling. And what used to be an annual survey is now much more frequent. Called “pulse surveys,” companies send out one to two questions multiple times a year.

The “big idea” behind the surveys is to mine data, to know what it takes to increase productivity etc., and of course, the single most important driver is – happiness. Dr. Aymee Coget has a Ph.D. in happiness and shows companies how to achieve more of it. She teaches empowerment, positive mood, resiliency, contentment, and bliss.

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Coget has real statistics: 3 out of 4doctor visits are stress related, 25% of Americans struggle with mental challenges, 8% of the country is depressed, and American companies spend $24 billion per year on depression disability. Research has confirmed that salary is not an indicator of happiness, but it is also not just about vacations or lunches. To create long-term employee happiness, change must occur at the organizational level. So that means assessing an employee’s strengths and showing them why they are a valued part of the company.

The Harvard Business Review article “Employees Who Feel Love Perform Better” states that employees who work in a loving, caring culture report higher levels of satisfaction and teamwork – in other words, they are happier. All the studies show that there is a clear correlation between positive feelings and successful outcomes.

Of course at the end of the day, it is each person’s individual responsibility to search for their own happiness – it cannot be mandated, but it seems it can be “encouraged and taught.”

This week’s focus is on happiness. What are doing that fosters a culture of love and caring at work? Have you ever surveyed your staff to gauge how they are feeling? Are you currently assessing employee strengths and showing them why they are a valued part of your company?

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