Most people spend a great deal of their lives at work and if you are unhappy, it can affect every sphere of your life.
A study conducted by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute in partnership with Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute, gathered data from 45 countries and captured the experiences of 23 000 employees at different levels of their careers and in different industries.
The results showed that there are five main factors which contribute to happiness and greater engagement at work, or what they call “positive employee experience”:
1. Belonging: being accepted by others, having friends at work and being seen as part of the team
2. Happiness: experiencing pleasant feelings at work, arising from the work itself or surroundings
3. Purpose: understanding the reason why one’s work matters and how it contributes to the goals of the team/organisation
4. Vigour: feeling energetic and excited at work, either alone or within a team
5. Achievement: feeling a sense of accomplishment once goals are achieved or a project is completed, either internally or via feedback
How to increase happiness at work
Whereas flexibility in their workplace used to be a luxury, it has now become more of a requirement. Employees often leave jobs until they find a workplace where they can enjoy the benefits of a flexible schedule to accommodate their children/personal responsibilities.
Transparency and trust
This element is definitely one that needs to be driven by top-level management. When employees feel that their organisations are ethical and act with openness and integrity, they are more likely to place their faith and trust in the company.
This finding is nothing new, but is still not championed by many organisations because of a lack of time, energy or budget. Opportunities for development are still consistently met with positivity and greater engagement levels from employees. Those who are loyal to their organisations and grow within their company put back that extra knowledge and energy into their performance.
Meaning and purpose
Employees felt more engaged when their work was consistent with the core values and mission of their organisation, while 81% were happier at work when they agreed that their jobs effectively make use of their skills/abilities.
Having a voice
Feeling empowered to speak up and have an impact on decisions making directly influences an employee’s loyalty to their company. Findings showed that those employees who felt able to voice opinions about how things are done and have ideas listened to, experienced a greater sense of belonging and purpose within their organisation.