Perpectives on Happiness : A Crowdsourced Post
I have been blogging for a while on happiness as I have a firm belief that a happy person can be highly productive and can help make companies more profitable, create better social order and make our societies a far better place to live in. I had asked my readers on what they understand on happiness and was surprised to get several responses. I am attempting to put the responses in a structured form to create an optimal reading experience for this blog post.
Happiness is a volatile state of mind and means different things to different individuals, but finally it aims towards peace and nothingness what Buddha says. However “Practices which leads to Self Exploration and gives Sense of Achievement” leads to happier workforce. Self directed teams (SDT), which was implemented in TATA group came out with findings that the teams were significantly happier and had a fulfilling work environment and outcome. This comes out again to prove that happiness is not induced, but it is a state of mind and will mean different to different individuals.
“Happiness is not a destination but a journey“
Some of the readers pointed out the issue of overwork. It is a general issue with a lot of working teams that they have to work long hours and even on weekends to meet the needs of the organization. However, it has been noted that for those who enjoy their work, working long hours is fun instead of an issue.
Getting skilled to do the job effectively and achieve results gives satisfaction. Companies therefore have been focusing on the right skillset and right job fit which is key to ensuring the right level of engagement level amongst employees.
One of our readers has rightly summed up the essence of a happy workplace. – In short: Happiness is too personal & broad a term. I try to build practices to promote higher levels of Engagement, Empowerment & Workplace Satisfaction. Hire the Right People, especially your Leaders. Focus on building a fantastic company culture, which is Fair, Transparent, Clean & Supportive. Eradicate toxicity- dirty politics, power plays & inflated egos have impaired & destroyed many a great company. Build practices that promote respect, fair compensation and benefit, security, appreciation, & growth. Recognize that most people like to work for a sense of purpose, worth, fulfillment, achievement & learning in a safe & comfortable place.
Another very refreshing view point brought out by a reader happens to resonate completely with many who relocate and migrate for better career.
We are in an age where people are migrating away from natives, or back to natives like never before. This has led to very diverse workplaces. Also, there has been a surge in the number of opportunities across the globe today, people’s mindsets have changed over years, and people have become more open to move on to a better opportunity, unlike a decade or two earlier when people had inertia doing so. So to retain the best, the age-old loyalty tactics are no more enough :). Meritocracy, and rewarding the right people in a commensurate manner has become equally important. About a year ago, I personally experienced an entire team crumble and leave in a span of 3 months. There were people who turned their backs to onsite opportunities for landing into a seemingly dream job here in India. But the reason why the team members started looking for options elsewhere, and the reason for their unhappiness was so clear – lack of meritocracy, and loyalty driven (rather than merit driven) reward structure :). Today the entire team has scattered happily in great workplaces, and are super happy with their decision to quit
Almost resonating similar sentiments a great input from another reader says :
There are various ways to ensure happiness at workplace – Flexibility, Avoiding red tape, treating your employees as humans and NOT resources, listening to your employees, giving them constructive feedback, planning surprises that would lift the mood. What’s important in all this is that these approaches should be sustainable and scalable.
Finally, a young person who seems to look at a good work life balance says :
Avoid staying late in office , going out occasionally on team outing , instant recognition if some good work done and last but not the least carry a smile.
Happiness is therefore not a destination but a journey. It is not measurable, but only experienced. Finally, it is completely upto us to remain happy or not. Let us create a better and happy work place and be more productive.