Happiness at work

An increasing amount of Australian workers are now refusing to put up with a job that makes them miserable. It makes you wonder how, as a business owner, do you ensure that you keep yourself, your business, and your staff happy?

 Whether you are a sole trader or have 1,000 employees, unhappy staff are an expensive cost and will affect the bottom line of your business. Research shows that they cost the Australian economy a staggering $20 billion each year and in addition, stress and untreated depression have been proven to cost over $647,000 per 1,000 employees per year – with men between the ages of 30 and 39 suffering the most.

 The good news is that there is an increase in businesses who are investing in programs that seek to create more happiness within the workplace and there are some simple things you can do as a business owner, to increase happiness at work. With studies showing that businesses with happy workers are up to three times more profitable than those with unhappy workers then surely this seems too good an opportunity to miss.

IOpener Institute carried out extensive research into ‘The Science of Happiness at Work’ and their findings identified five important drivers which are key for happy and high performing employees:

These are referred to as the 5C’s by Iopener Institute:

1) Contribution. In order to make the most of their contribution, employees need to have clear objectives and feel they have a voice and are being listened to. Staff who feel appreciated and valued are also happier at work. Do you thank your staff and acknowledge them for a job well done?

2) Conviction. This covers motivation and how much staff is motivated to perform in the good and the bad times. A conviction also includes staff feeling resilient and feeling that they are doing an effective and efficient job. Do you perhaps need to introduce technology to improve processes?

3) Culture. It is important for happy staff to feel positive about their role and also enjoy working with the people around them. Does your team actually like each other?

4) Commitment. In order to feel a high level of commitment, happy employees need to feel that they are doing something worthwhile and are making a difference. It is also key that they resonate with the vision and objectives of the company they work for. If you asked your staff what the business is trying to achieve what would they say? Are they clear on the objectives of your business?

5) Confidence. This is the gateway to the other four drivers and it relates to how much self-belief each staff member holds and if they are willing to take a risk and give something new a go.

I remember many years ago during the startup period of my business, I lost a large amount of money as a result of purchasing some advertising. The campaign failed miserably which led to me losing large amounts of confidence and belief in myself. I lost focus, constantly second-guessed myself, and felt totally alone. For me, this illustrated the importance to have a strong sense of resilience and self-belief about myself and also, as a business owner, to have the right people and experts around to guide, mentor and coach when you feel lost or start to lose confidence.

The opener research highlighted that when all of these 5Cs are in place, you will find a happy and high-performing workplace that will feel like they’re achieving their potential.

To conclude, understanding what makes employees happy at work and how that affects performance offers a whole new way of managing yourself, your career, and staff within an organization.

son is the founder of Inside Out Coach.

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