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Making A Happier Work Environment Achievable and Valuable

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Promoting workplace happiness isn't just advantageous for employees; it also benefits employers. Studies indicate a direct correlation between employee happiness and a 13% uptick in productivity. Conversely, discontent at work leads to a staggering $8.8 trillion global loss in productivity, equivalent to 9% of the world's GDP. However, a significant portion of the workforce feels disconnected, unengaged, and uninspired. Half of the global workforce is silently leaving their jobs, while 18% are openly expressing their unhappiness. Social media movements like #QuietQuitting and #ActYourWage has garnered over 1.2 billion views, highlighting widespread experiences of chronic stress and burnout, exacerbated by the pandemic.

Clearly, addressing the pervasive issue of workplace unhappiness is imperative. Genuine workplace happiness stems from a profound, intrinsic alignment with the purpose of one's work. Cultivating a culture of autonomy, belonging, and purpose necessitates a shared organizational vision. Presently, many companies and their employees lack this alignment. This article outlines three steps organizations can take to rectify this situation.

Step 1: Redefine Flexibility

The pandemic compelled us to navigate a challenging path, fraught with obstacles, yet we persevered. Returning to the old ways would mean retracing our steps through dense woods. Whether consciously or unconsciously, there's a resistance to this. We must rethink flexibility across all sectors and job types; it shouldn't be limited to specific roles. Our effectiveness thrives when autonomy is widespread. Moreover, it serves as the catalyst for fostering both a content and productive workforce—a mutually beneficial outcome.

Step 2: Foster a Sense of Belonging

The average individual dedicates approximately 81,396 hours to their job. Just envision all that time devoid of positive social interactions—it's evident that our happiness would suffer. To cultivate a sense of belonging, we need to proceed with care. Deliberately consider what contributes to workplace happiness, as well as what detracts from it. Take heed of recurring themes by closely observing employee desires and posing direct inquiries, such as "Do you feel connected to your workplace community?" and "We welcome your input—how can we enhance the sense of belonging for you and others?"

Step 3: Rediscover Purpose

Ultimately, maintaining motivation at work necessitates a sense of purpose—whether it's the drive to provide for our families or a deep-rooted alignment with the organization's mission and values. Quiet resignations and attrition are often associated with a dearth of enthusiasm and significance in the workplace.

To find happiness at work, we must forge a deeper connection to our purpose. A culture of autonomy, belonging, and purpose arises from a shared vision. Currently, many companies and employees are not aligned.

But there's hope. Firstly, let's drop our resistance and foster open dialogue. Let's address our fears and acknowledge our collective pain. Begin by asking employees, "What can I do to make next week easier for you?" and build from there.

Article source: HBR

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