(Image in this post from Microsoft)
We’ve all spent time around people who aren’t happy at work. They complain about:
- their job
- their co-workers
- their boss
- the workplace
- their hours
Even business owners can get caught up in it. They grumble about:
- their customers
- their employees
- their vendors
- a lack of business
- too much business
We all have days when things don’t go well. We all need to vent occasionally. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a daily routine.
So what’s the secret to being happily employed (or happily self-employed if you’re the owner)?
The secret to being happily employed
Revealing research by Dr. Nathan Bowling, a Psychology Professor at Wright State University, shows performance is linked to satisfaction.
Okay, that’s not so revealing – if you’re happy at work, you’ll perform better. However, the surprising result isn’t the “what”. It’s the “who”.
He shows that employers can’t cajole employees into being more productive with initiatives to make them happy. Rather the employee drives the train…
The extent to which you are happy personally
determines how happy you will be professionally.
Of course, it’s not only determinant but it’s a significant one. Employers can take a note here – if you want happy employees, hire happy people!
Employees can take a note too. Would you like to be more productive at work? Then be happy!
But how? What can you do when you don’t feel happy? Try this:
If you want to be happy, act happy!
It sounds so simple, almost trite. But it works! It works because motion creates emotion.
When you act happy, your physiology changes and your brain tags along. Before you know it, you really are happy! And happiness pays dividends.
The surprising reward
Money may not buy you happiness, but did you know that happiness can buy you money?
That’s what a team of researchers discovered. They hailed from the University of Virginia, Michigan State University, and last but certainly the most, the University of Illinois. (Yes, we are showing our bias here, but at least we admit it!)
They surveyed incoming freshmen at 25 elite colleges. We’re not sure how they defined “elite”, but we’re pretty sure it’s the schools we attended!
The participants reported their cheerfulness. Nineteen years later, when the participants were about 37 years old, the researchers asked them to report their annual income.
On average, the participants in the highest 10% on the cheerfulness scale earned over 15% more than those in the lowest 10%. In today’s dollars, that’s a “happiness dividend” of about $12,000 a year!
Would you like to make an extra $12,000 a year? Then be happy!
More money, less risk
But we’re not through yet…or should we say the researchers aren’t through yet. Their next discovery is perhaps even more startling.
The happiest participants were one-third less
likely to ever be unemployed than the least happy.
So being of good cheer helps you be more prosperous while reducing your risk at the same time. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom.
We learn in business school that you have to take more risk to make more money. However, BIGG success is about entrepreneuring your life.
To do that, you have to think like an entrepreneur. The popular myth is that entrepreneurs are risk lovers. Wrong!
Entrepreneurs are excellent risk managers.
As this study shows, you can take less risk and still make more money. Just be happy! It leads to BIGG success!
Has a change of attitude changed your outcomes?