Do you know what makes you happy at work?
When leaders try to figure out how and what will make their employees happy, they can sometimes miss the mark because they think that office perks such as ping-pong tables and team yoga classes or even tasty biscuits at meetings are what’s needed. While those things do make a fun work environment and may support well-being, they don’t necessarily make employees happier at work. I was reminded of an article posted in TES magazine online headed ‘Giving us chocolates won’t sort out our “wellbeing” – or indeed make us happy!
A post last year on LinkedIn referenced Annie McKee, author of ‘How to Be Happy at Work’, and stated that there are three things that are required for us to be happy at work:
- Find meaning in what we do
- Our hope for the future
- Relationships we have at work
Find meaning in what we do
“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” This one question from Steve Jobs to future Apple CEO John Sculley was asked in 1983 and convinced him to leave his job at PepsiCo. The better our jobs are aligned with our core values, the more likely is it that our work becomes more than a job. People who know how their work has a meaningful, positive impact on others are not just happier than those who don’t. Do what you love – love what you do!
Hope for the future
Our happiness is influenced by how hopeful we feel about the future. If you are doing work that is closely tied to your goals, aspirations and personal vision, you will be happier at work. When our personal, work and life goals are in sync, and our life is progressing the way we want it to personally and professionally, it makes us more engaged and inspired. Think about where you’re headed and what you want in the future. Improve your happiness by making sure that what you’re doing today is helping lead you to the tomorrow you see for yourself.
Relationships we have at work
Your happiness at work is influenced by how positive your relationships are with the leadership and your colleagues. It is important to have a trusted support network at work just as it is in other areas of your life. The stronger your connection is to those you work with and work for, the more you will want to be generous with your time and talents. Who doesn’t want to spend the bulk of their day with work friends—those people they can have fun with, are inspired by and truly enjoy being with? If you respect and admire and trust those on your team, you will have better results together. These accomplishments and your success help inspire you to be the best version of yourself.