Two Key Factors for Happiness at Work
If you don’t like the people around you, you hate showing up at work.
Jamie Naughton, Chief of Staff for Zappos, told me she used to think, “Happiness at work was more in your job duties.”
Two Key Factors for happiness at work:
Jamie said, “We wrongly believe a new job, promotion, or getting a new boss will make us happy.”
Who you work with has greater impact on job happiness than what you do.
Beware unhappy people. Unhappy people hate the happiness of others. Unhappy people aren’t happy until everyone around them shares their unhappiness.
Chronically unhappy people are shouting, “I’M NOT GETTING WHAT I WANT.”*
Tip: Happiness is found in meaningful service. Selfish people end up unhappy.
Connection and support:
“[Happiness at work is about a number of things] and one of them is connectedness.” Jamie Naughton
“Having best friends at work is really important. And having an environment where you feel like people support you and they’re more like family will make you happier.”
Jamie’s use of the term “support” reminded me of a conversation I had with Amy Lyman, Cofounder of Great Place to Work®. I asked Amy if great companies put employees first or customers first? She said that it doesn’t matter as long as employees feel supported.**
Jamie explained that connection is about knowing people beyond their jobs.
- Know your team outside of the work they do.
- Treat co-workers like family.
- What’s important to them has to be important to you.
4 minutes with the Chief of Staff at Zappos:
Successful leaders create environments where people connect and feel supported.
What promotes happiness at work?
* I’m not referring to depression.
**Amy Lyman has been studying great workplaces over 30 years and helps create the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for® list.
Dan, what you say here is profound: “Who you work with has greater impact on job happiness than what you do.” That’s true and it’s about time we give more emphasis and support to nurturing the human aspects of work and performance.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts today, Alan. It’s one thing to say we value people, it’s another thing to treat them like human beings. Cheers
The post lays an emphase on the importance of connectedness and support.
I want to say thank you for this view and the meaning it conveys. Happiness at work is definitely related to who you work and to how you feel with the Co workers. I am so glad to read your article and to see how important the topic becomes
Thanks jeans…. A good word feels good. Cheers
the audio is not clear some time, I think low volume
Over 45 years in the work force and in management since my 20’s. It is a fact, unhappy people or unhappy no matter where they are or what position they hold. What little “happiness” unhappy people find once in a while, is temporary at best. If upper management wants to thin a work force or down size and don’t have the leadership skills to make th moves and changes, all they he need to do is put the unhappy camper in charge. Cowardly but extremely effective.
Dan, your comment about unhappy people reminded my of a sarcastic “demotivational poster” that read: We’re not satisfied until you’re not satisfied — and that’s a promise!
Like you said,”Unhappy people hate the happiness of others. Unhappy people aren’t happy until everyone around them shares their unhappiness.” We should endeavor to connect unhappy people to healthy relationships and to service. Even though we can lead them to water but can’t make them drink, it’s still worth the leadership effort and investment.
I really appreciate what you have to say about connectedness. Would you define being self absorbed the same as being selfish? I think unhappy people are often really self absorbed. They don’t seem able to or refuse to recognize a bigger picture.
Do you find yourself being more positive around negativity on your team? Sometimes I find myself sharing the bright side and LOVE when people share the bright side with me.
Great post as this is really so true. I fondly remember an old job where everyone got on well and took the time for each other. Dan and anyone else, any thoughts on how one can build PEC when working remotely. For my company, working from home is the ‘norm’ so tools like Skype for business are so important but can anyone think of anything else that could help to reduce or even remove the feeling of isolation and disconnection?
Keep your mouth shut, and do your work!!
Dan, your name Leadership Freak is so good for you because you amaze me how you can have very useful things to say everyday day after day! Thank you!
People just want to be respected, show them respect they will respect you in return. There are “those who are never happy” so don’t make yourself miserable over them, if they want to change they will! Celebrate with those you appreciate you and for you that appreciate them.
leave work behind at the end of the day, enjoy your families and friends.
Don’t let work rule your life! Take control of your life and enjoy the moments, before it’s too late!
To be honest Dan, in 99% of organisations, nobody cares if people are happy. Provided the people crank the handles, make the widgets and the bottom line satisfies the shareholders, whether the people are happy or as miserable as sin is simply not relevant.
I have never agreed with using the term “family” for people at work. Let’s face it, family has negative connotations for many. Better to think in terms of community. The community model fits well with work places on many levels.
I have worked in organizations where managers actively sought to supress any form of happiness or camaraderie. The premise was that as long as people are fighting amongst themselves they won’t target me. Attitudes of “if you’re not exhausted at the end of the day then I haven’t gotten my moneys worth out of you” were also thrown around. These cultures are extremely hard to break out of and turn around. Old habits die hard.
Knowing what really matters to people is the best way to move away from that. When we build caring nurturing relationships we build a strong, caring culture which builds psychological health.
I really appreciated this post. I recently was talking to a coworker about a stat I found out- only 15% of Americans say they are happy at their job. Lots of great leaders have made the point that your people matter but it seems that is often forgotten. I feel like this comes back to the idea of everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten. If you treat others as they wish to be treated, with all the respect and support those people deserve, you can create an environment that at least allows for happiness.
Anyway, thank you for the great blog post. Keep up the good work!
In my organization,I have found that the buddy and pal system turns on the management,example being, 4 people are friends inside of work and outside of work,the management tries to reprimand one of them,now the others are getting involved and start giving management a hard time,and if anybody else supports managements decision,they get a hard time also.It effects a lot of happy workers jobs,that require the team to get their jobs done.How do you deflect the mob mentality?