Monday, March 23, 2015

More than an illusion: The role of genuine happiness and satisfaction in the workplace

The stereotypical office as seen through the eyes of many cynical satirists is a soul-crushing cube farm where people feign happiness at the mere sight of their superiors. Though exaggerated, these portrayals have roots in actual workplace issues. Dismantling this false fa├žade of contentment and fostering a truly motivated and happy workforce play a key role in boosting productivity.

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A dreary workplace is sadly an all too common reality in many corporate settings. Exacerbating the problem are certain management missteps, such as letting high-performing employees get away with misconduct, which cause more Dilbertesque groaning from the production floor.

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Many employees correctly assume that negative attitudes hold their careers back. However, recent studies have shown that employees often feign happiness in an attempt to impress their superiors. This disingenuousness is stressful for employees, making them unhappier as a result.

To truly remedy this sitcom scenario and its unfunny implications on the performance and wellbeing of employees, managers must work toward encouraging workers to be genuinely happy from the moment they punch in. Employees that come to work happy often perform better, being more focused on their tasks and acting friendlier toward customers, and keeping their mood throughout the day. Managers should be understanding of the situations of unhappy employees and give them ample opportunities to improve their mood throughout the workday. Frustrated employees should also be allowed to vent in positive and productive ways.

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Creating a work environment that allows workers to improve their moods as the day goes by can also help bring a productivity-improving smile on their faces. And while few companies can have the cushy comforts of Google’s head offices, having a few toys in the office for workers to fiddle with during crunch hours can relieve them of their strain and keep their spirits up.

Sometimes, a healthy meal and time with friends does the trick as well; offices can provide free snacks like fruit and extra break time to help employees start the day with a smile.  

Thomas Wolters is a seasoned businessman with a profound understanding of the role good management plays in productivity. Visit this blog for more updates on effective workplace management.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah this is so true! It actually affects the whole company!