Years ago one of my closest friends went through a long period of time where every Sunday evening, like clockwork, he would feel a terrible dread for the upcoming workweek. He was spending so much of his life being unhappy at work and on top of that he wasted Sunday evenings dreading the week to come. After witnessing this pattern that developed I started to ponder what made him feel this way and how companies could avoid the Sunday evening dread.
Three Vital Factors
While looking into this idea of happiness in the workplace I came across the organization, Great Place to Work®, which has come to the conclusion, after millions of surveys and years of extensive research, that there are three important factors that need to exist in a good workplace.
- Trust between coworkers and leaders.
- Pride in the role you preform.
- Camaraderie in the workplace.
Trust is the first place you have to start; it’s the glue to any company. If you want to improve and grow you need the glue to build it all. This value is dependent on the relationship between the employee and the company so therefore it’s in the hands of the company and team to make improvements. The results of obtaining trust in your workplace are innumerable; employees are more comfortable in their environment, can rely on one another for support, feel valued and are much more confident to voice their opinions and ideas.
Pride and camaraderie are more difficult to define and obtain. These two values are different in that they depend on each individual person, their personalities and needs. They are reliant on the relationship between the employee and his or her job (pride) and the relationship between the employee and his or her coworkers (camaraderie). The needs each person has to be proud of their job are personal and unique and it’s crucial to ensure everyone is in a role that satisfies their goals. The quality of relationships with coworkers depends on the personalities and different preferences each person has as well as the ability of the team to match them seamlessly.
Going from Great to Happy
In order to be a happy company you have to first be a great place to work that focuses on these three factors. The way to become a happy company is quite similar to the way you become a happy individual. You can’t focus on the happiness itself, but you have to dedicate yourself to your passions and a balanced lifestyle that will result in happiness. It is a process specific to the individual as well as the company. This process needs certain tools such as trust, support and clear communication but happiness isn’t the end result it’s the continual byproduct of dedicating yourself to the process.
Saying that you have the happiest company in the world is the same as saying you are the happiest person in the world. This could be true, but it’s specific and unique to you only, if another person were in your shoes living your life they wouldn’t feel the exact same way as you. To be the happiest company in the world is reliant on and exclusive to your specific team of individuals, their definitions of happiness, processes to get there and aligning them all. Each employee needs to be in a role with daily tasks that are aligned with their own personal and professional goals, which results in the byproduct of happiness. By aligning these goals with the company’s goals you are following the process to create a happy company.
The goal of becoming the happiest company in the world is one well worth pursuing. If more businesses would stop and ask how they could collectively become a happier company the number of people suffering from anxiety and stress would decrease while the level of collective happiness would inevitably increase making your company the happiest in the world to your team of individuals.
Image by Great Place to Work®