In a never-ending quest to stay competitive, companies are striving to create killer company cultures to attract top talent. As we’ve discussed, some are going to insane measures to find ways to make their employees happy. They have gone wild instituting benefits to try to make this happen. And when we say gone wild, we mean it! We’re talking about unlimited vacation, cars and chocolate fountains (just to name a few). But are employers turning to the right things to make employees happy? Now don’t get me wrong, we love our perks here at Funding Gates, but we believe these should be things aimed to reward employees and to enhance their time both in and out of the office. When it comes to making our employees happy (which is a pretty loaded word) we look elsewhere.
You’re Never Fully Dressed (Or Productive) Without a Smile
1. Positive Emotion/Pleasure— Happiness through living a pleasant life.
2. Engagement— People feel happy when they can “lose themselves” in their work and activities.
3. Meaning— People experience happiness when they participate in what they feel are meaningful activities.
Positive psychology, a recent arm of the science which focuses on what makes people happy, believes the happiest people exhibit all 3 types. At Funding Gates, we’re aiming to enable our employees to find each type of happiness, utilizing what positive psychology can teach us about applying each type to the work place. For example:
The first type of happiness, focused on pleasure, is in the details; providing employees with appropriate salaries, exploring those cool benefits we mentioned above, etc. What can you do to make their lives more “pleasant”? In a way, it’s the easiest to cross off the list as it’s more tangible
Following, focus on how you can engage employees. The easiest way to approach this is to make sure your employees understand how they fit into the bigger picture of your company; how your company needs them, and what they do, to be successful. How so? Provide consistent feedback for your employees that they are able to act upon. They need affirmation and advice. They need to understand what they mean for the company and that their work matters enough to be constantly evaluated.
The last type of happiness to pursue in the workplace is the most difficult to achieve, but also the most rewarding. You have to help your employees feel how meaningful their work is, and this isn’t something you can force to happen but you can develop an environment that fosters this. It’s about creating intrinsic motivation for your employees. There are two kinds of motivation: extrinsic, which comes from outside the individual (think, for example, money) and intrinsic motivation that comes from the inside, from the pleasure of the task itself or from accomplishing the task. You see, you take care of extrinsic motivation with the first kind of happiness, and tackle intrinsic with the second and most importantly, the third. When employees can see just what the work they are doing accomplishes, it helps provide them with this motivation. When employees are intrinsically motivated, they are able to operate with freedom and autonomy, they take ownership of their work, they are proud and have laser focus. So, how do you promote this? Always make sure your employees understand how your service or product fits into the bigger picture, what it accomplishes. What role do they play beyond the company? In the market, industry, etc.?
Why is it important to have positive employees?
1. Emotional Intelligence – When your employees are happier, they approach situations with a clearer head. Imagine how employees will better engage with customers if they are stress-free. Imagine the joy that will be displayed to your customers. Also, interoffice relationships improve, as coworkers don’t snap at each other from stress.
2. Enhanced Creativity – Establishing such a positive environment creates a comfortable environment which allows employees to have less fear and take more risks. With more risk comes better ideas. You’re creating a perfect workplace to stimulate innovation.
3. Refined Reputation – With this kind of thinking, it doesn’t take long for word to get around. If you are wholeheartedly pursuing postive psychology for your workplace and unabashadly focusing on employee happiness, your employees will talk. If you want to remain competitive in the war for talent, your current employees are your biggest asset. What they say out of the office, what they tell others about their work experience, has a way of reaching people. You want to have a reputation of a place that focuses on employee happiness, in a way that almost no one else is doing.
Does your workplace need positive psychology?
YES. Employment satisfaction is at an all-time low. Two thirds of both men and women are horribly weighed down by stress at work. We can’t have “work” be “work” anymore, not if you want to have happy, productive employees and attain the top talent. It’s our responsibility as CEOs, owners, managers, HR associates or simply just as coworkers, to completely alter the workplace. Here at Funding Gates, we’ve joined the Results Only Work Environment revolution (more on this later, you can find info here now). We’re giving our employees the tools they need to be happy, healthy, engaged and instrinsically motivated.
To begin on this journey, it starts from within. Do yourself a favor: no matter your role in the workplace, find ways to make positive psychology a part of your everyday. Remember: happiness inspires productivity. Here’s a great video that explains just that and provokes an awesome 21 day challenge to help adjust the way we think and start being more positive.
The 21 day challenge:
Each day, for the next 21 days, do the following:
1. Document 3 new things each day that you are grateful for.
2. Document one positive experience that you have had over the past 24 hours.
3. Meditate, which provides relief from multi-tasking and allows ourselves to concentrate on one thing or focus on the task at hand.
4. Exercise, which teaches our brain that our behavior matters.
5. Send one positive email each day to someone in your social network.
The Funding Gates team is pledging to make our workplace one consisting only of positivity; one of gratitude, of focus, of awareness and of kindness. We hope you’ll join us.
If you’re planning on taking the challenge, or simply just trying to bring more positivity into your workplace, leave comments below! We’d love to know how it goes!