How to put a happiness formula to work

I’m no employee engagement expert, but I do know that if you’re not happy doing what you do at work, the how and why of it all, then your productivity will stink.

That’s not good for you and your wellbeing, nor is it good for your employer and the business. It’s usually pretty clear who is happy at work, going above and beyond, mentoring others around them, taking “stretch” assignments for those of you in human resources, people development and direct management positions.

According to a Fortune article titled How to build an army of happy, busy worker bees, you should put a happiness formula to work:

1. Put the team in charge

Don’t treat it like an internship exercise. Count on them and let them know it. Have the team establish their vision for getting to a solution, creating their own timelines and benchmarks. It’s important to provide guidance along the way and hold them accountable, but the goal is to give them a sense of autonomy. “People want more sense of control. [When organizations put] in more controls, they get the opposite of what they want,” says Pryce-Jones, CEO of HR consulting firm iOpener and the author of Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success.

2. Give your team a name

Simply giving the team a name will introduce a layer of accountability and a sense of membership in something important. Heisch says that managers often think that fear or incentives inspire motivation in the workplace, but a sense of purpose in the company and in the employee’s work is more important.

3. Nurture your team

“Pride, trust and recognition from the company are critical factors in happiness,” says Pryce-Jones. Give the team the resources they need to get the job done and provide them with recognition that they are part of an important project even before they begin.

Some organizations have begun to analyze their internal social networks to determine which leaders foster the most happiness, says Pryce-Jones. “We’re not talking about emotional highs, or that someone has an optimistic [attitude]. We are talking about a mind-set.”

4. Provide visibility

Allow the team visibility at the highest levels of the organization and make them aware that they will present their ideas to senior staff and that they are responsible for the outcome. Have them present to the CEO if you can.

“We just started a new program where, once a quarter, individuals who are passionate about an idea can seek funding for it by coming to a quarterly meeting on a Saturday and presenting it,” says Heisch. “It’s like a pitch [for] internal venture capital.”

Don’t worry. Work happy.

(Kevin W. Grossman, Guest Blogger)