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November 22nd, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Happiness in the Workplace

Man at desk reading tablet in front of window

Candidate experience. What do these two words mean to you? To me, it means that a company is thinking through every single step of the hiring process to provide a memorable journey to the candidates. Employers want to hire talented, passionate employees who love their job. If you are unhappy at your job, it will reflect in your work ethic, productivity and the product that you produce. It is becoming more and more important for companies to create a better candidate experience from the very beginning – starting with the hiring process, background screening and onboarding. Employee well-being is reflected in everything a company does from production to promotion. We write a lot about these topics, because it’s crucial to have a workforce who is aligned with an organization’s vision and enjoys their work.

The Happiness Equation

There is a common misconception that a person’s happiness is described as: great work leads to big success, which leads to happiness. Neil Pasricha, the author of The Happiness Equation, argues that this is actually incorrect. He believes the opposite is true: being happy leads to great work and big success. If you believe you are happy after working hard, then you are placing your attention on the future achievement and not on making the most of every day. In a recent interview, Neil Pasricha described this phenomenon by stating, “we think happiness is a destination, when actually it is a starting point. It enables all the positive outcomes in our lives if we choose to do it first.”

Happiness at the Workplace

How does this translate into improving the candidate experience? If employees are happy first, then tend to work harder and be more productive. There is less turnover, higher revenue and smoother operations overall. Happify, an organization dedicated to using technology to empower individuals to lead happier, more fulfilling lives, illustrates the research behind Neil Pasricha’s theory in their infographic, “Why Emotional Wellbeing Matters in the Workplace” and what companies and employees can do to increase the happiness factor in their organization.

There are four ways companies can encourage a feeling of well-being with their employees:

  • Give employees variety in their work tasks. This gives a chance for the employee to expand their their work skills rather than focusing on the same thing day in and day out.
  • Allow employees to work independently from management.
  • Share work related intelligence with your employees. Transparency at all levels is important for well-being and stress relief.
  • Supervisors and employees should consult together on projects and strategy where both can share and develop ideas and opinions.

Happiness isn’t a one way street. What can workers do to help obtain and keep that feeling of happiness in their jobs?

  • Employees should feel that their work is meaning to the company. Workers are happy when they feel as though they are contributing to the company mission, values and goals.
  • Workers are the happiest when they feel their work is benefiting others.
  • Workers who are happy can easily bring to mind what they love about their jobs. These workers were able to reduce their absentee rate by up to 75% because they were happy at their jobs.
  • Learning a new skill at work can be stressful in the short-run, but over time it actually makes workers happy. This ties-in nicely with employers giving their workers a variety of work tasks and teaching them new skills.
  • Employees should take and plan vacation time. Looking forward to a vacation helps workers feel better, more productive and happier than those not booking vacation time.

One way to help improve the candidate experience and improve happiness is by having an onboarding policy in place for new employees. If new hires feel welcome at their new jobs, then they are more likely to stay longer. Find out ways to improve your company’s onboarding process by downloading Your Complete Guide to Onboarding from Decision to Day One.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.