“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Confucius said. But how many people have the privilege of having a job that they enjoy and life is as good as it can be? Luckily, I know a lot of people in that situation, but I also know many others who are in the opposite position. The sad reality is that most people would leave their work without hesitation if they could because it’s not enjoyable or fulfilling for them. All studies conducted around the world about the level of employee engagement with their company show that it tends to be very low. There are notable exceptions, but most are in depressingly low figures. Why does this happen? In my opinion, there is not a single answer, but each case has to do with the degree of alignment that exists between the objectives of the organization and the ideal of happiness in the worker. If a person cannot grow and develop where he works he ends up leaving the organization, if only mentally. And when there’s the slightest chance he can leave with certain guarantees, he will do so without hesitation. Maybe when we ask someone if they are happy in their work we would also have to ask if they are happy in life. And is it that everyone aspires to be happy, but not everyone knows how to achieve happiness? In this area, initiatives have appeared lately to correlate the good progress of an organization with the level of happiness among its staff. But why is this so important? Basically for four reasons:
- Happy people at work are more productive. They are more committed, more motivated, provide better customer service, work better in a team and make better leaders.
- Happy people at work are healthier. Happiness and health are interconnected. Happy people become ill less often and recover much faster. They generally work harder, engage more in work and have more energy in their daily lives.
- Happy people at work are more loyal. They are less likely to leave. Organizations with happy people have a higher retention rate and, therefore, lower recruitment costs than average.
- Happy people at work are more innovative and more creative. Positive emotions generate creativity and the ability to abstract, to see the whole. This is good, not only for imagining new ways of doing things, but to be able to carry them out.