Does your work make you happy? Can your work make you happy? What could you—or should you—be doing to improve your employees’ work experience—and make them happier?
What is happiness, anyway?
These are questions I imagine—maybe incorrectly—that employers in decades gone by didn’t have to contemplate. The employer-employee relationship was not as highly analyzed in the “good old days.” Workers were happy to have work, employers expected loyalty, and “employee satisfaction” would have been taken for granted, if considered at all.
Today, things are different—for a lot of complicated reasons. But one thing is for sure: There is a growing awareness that work plays a significant role in our happiness. This might be a chicken-or-the-egg kinda thing, but it seems like the research on happiness is multiplying like dandelions in June. It’s hard to keep up with it all.
I got to thinking about this after reading Five steps to jumpstarting worker happiness at your company. The writer lists these steps: Consider your culture. Rethink hiring. Increase performance reviews. Be transparent. Empower employees.
Three points stood out for me:
• Happy workers are more productive and businesses with satisfied workers are more profitable.
• Worker happiness has its foundation in a company’s culture.
• The more workers know about their performance, the more satisfied they’ll be and the better worker they’ll become.
Perhaps these points spoke to me because right now, the Communication Department at Great Clips, Inc. is in the middle of putting together the annual Leadership Report that is sent out to franchisees, managers and vendor partners. The Report includes messages from the Executive Team, and it tells the stories of Great Clips franchisees who are running successful walk-in haircare salons.
Here’s what I noticed. They all seem to have one thing in common: they put a lot of effort into connecting to their employees on both a professional and personal level. And I can’t help but think that that makes their employees happy… which then makes them more productive, and more satisfied and… happier.
What brings you the most happiness? As a new mother, I can say that the joy I get from having a child is immeasurable. I also get a lot of satisfaction—and happiness—from my work. It’s challenging, rewarding and enjoyable to talk to so many people who are looking to build their futures by becoming a franchisee. I believe that my work actually contributes to their happiness and that makes me happy (and, yes, that’s a plug for Great Clips!).