All other things being equal, happy employees make for higher productivity. When leaders help their employees in the happiness department, they reap the investment in the bottom line. Employees who are happy with their environments and the nature of their work have less conflict and are willing to give more without being asked—not to mention that when it comes to customer service, happy employees make for happy customers.
Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos and the author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, would agree. Hsieh built his company on employee culture rather than customer service, because he knew that happy employees beget happy customers. His theory has since proven to be true. However, you’re not Tony Hsieh, and there’s a good chance you don’t run your company. So what can you do to improve your happiness at work?
Look beyond the office walls. Wherever you fall on the happiness scale in your overall life, pick an area (health, fitness, finances, relationships) that you can improve. When you come to work, you bring not only your body, but also your sense of well-being and contentment. If you want to be happier at work, increase your happiness in other areas. Doing so will have a ripple effect.
Embrace a new challenge. Happiness has a lot to do with breaking through limits and achieving goals. I don’t know of anyone who can be both bored and happy at the same time. Don’t wait for your manager to recognize your underused talent; instead, ask for him or her to let you head up a project you’ve been thinking about.
Make a gratitude adjustment. Happiness and gratitude go hand-in-hand. To quickly and easily boost them both, begin or end your day by writing out three things that you are thankful for. These could include a means of transportation to and from the office, a colleague’s acknowledgment of your work, or even just the fact that you have a job! (If you are unemployed, you can especially benefit from this simple exercise.)
Happiness doesn’t happen by accident. We have to create it ourselves. Don’t wait for your company to take the lead—your life and your happiness are your reponsibility. Go for it!