Earlier this month, I discussed positive affect, and how spreading happiness out into the world is a surefire recipe for increasing the happiness in your life. I even brought “The World’s Happiest Man,” a Buddhist monk named Matthieu Ricard, into the discussion.
Today’s Notes ventures into similar territory, although the focus is on the connection between happiness and success in the workplace. And giving me a hand will be Zack Friedman, author of “The Lemonade Life: How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness and Conquer Anything”.
Zack is a big proponent of spreading happiness around, especially in the workplace.
So here is the chicken or egg question: Are happy people successful because they’re happy, or are successful people happy because they’re successful? Let me say that again: Are happy people successful because they’re happy, or are successful people happy because they’re successful?
Thanks to a 2021 study titled “Happy Soldiers Are High Performers,” published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, we know that optimism and performance are linked.
The study examined the mindset of close to a million US Army soldiers, many of whom performed administrative, non-combat roles, and the study followed their careers over five years to monitor who received performanced-based rewards.
As per the study, the happier soldiers performed their jobs better than the unhappier ones–and, ultimately, were acknowledged and rewarded more with promotions and bigger raises.
The key takeaway: Bring happiness into your job, you will be more successful and make everyone better around you.
According to our friend Zack: “When we share and spread happiness, it is such a powerful thing. I truly believe that everyone has a shot at greatness, and in order to spread happiness and bring it throughout our organizations and our companies, it’s really to share it with others, to lift them up.”
Also if you supervise people or manage a company: when it comes to business success, employee happiness is VERY important. Happiness is linked to business success!
- In a March 2019 research paper, Krekel, Ward, and De Neve conducted a meta-analysis of 339 studies that were conducted by the Gallup Organization to explore the relationship between employee satisfaction and organizational performance outcomes. The Gallup studies involved more than 1.8 million employees in 230 organizations and 49 countries.
- “We find a significant, strong positive correlation between employees’ satisfaction with their company and employee productivity and customer loyalty, and a strong negative correlation with staff turnover,” Krekel, Ward, and De Neve wrote in their paper after analyzing the Gallup studies. “Ultimately, higher wellbeing at work is positively correlated with more business-unit level profitability.”
Harnessing happiness means focusing on both employees and potential employees, and the best time to start is while screening job candidates.
For example, during the interview process, asking about a candidate’s outlook to gauge their underlying positivity and bent towards happiness.
Where does happiness in the workplace come from?
- Employees’ sense of belonging, both within an organization and among coworkers
- The flexibility afforded to workers
- A sense of purpose to their work
It’s worth noting that during the pandemic, having a supportive manager became the most important factor.
Ultimately, though, a question remains: who is responsible for your happiness at work? While some may automatically think that responsibility lies with the company, the answer is that it lies with you!
I actually published an article on this and the 5 M’s, which you can find on my website, Project Bold Life.
And finally, Here is another lesson learned from the studies: happiness is contagious, meaning happiness begets happiness.
So give away some happiness and bring some positivity to work, it will benefit you and your company. Want to be successful? Spread some happiness!
Keep living Bold!