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The Science of Happiness at Work

By Admin February 3, 2016

Majority of people feel that if they become successful at work, they will automatically become happy. However, according to Shawn Achor, CEO and founder of Good Think, Inc., this scenario should be reversed.

It is indeed important to become happy, which will then help an individual to become successful. Therefore, it is best to say that the greatest competitive advantage in the modern world is a positive and engaged workforce.

In a deeper sense, happiness must be defined as “the joy we feel striving after our potential.” It must occur along the way in achieving one’s potential, and not just when that certain potential has been achieved. Thus, this definition of happiness is very crucial for leaders to understand.

A person can achieve his or her potential by understanding better the role of social support in the workplace. One must remember that giving support is even better than receiving it. Sounds cliché but that should be the case.

In today’s generation, we need to stop lamenting how tiny social support we get from our managers, supervisors, workmates and friends. Instead, we should start focusing our brain’s resources on how we can increase the amount of social support we can provide to the people around us because the ultimate predictor of success and happiness at work is social support. And the greatest way to increase social support is to provide it to others.

Thriving is similar with happiness. It also involves the experience of positive emotions, but it is centered on a particular type of positive emotion- and that is energy. When employees are thriving in their work, they feel alive at work. Their work is literally fueling them with energy. But there is more than positive emotions in thriving. It also comprises a sense that one is growing, learning and getting better at what they are doing. This summarizes that thriving is about creating progress or having positive momentum rather than deteriorating or feeling underdeveloped.

At work, everyone can help themselves to thrive more. There are lots of very simple ways out there to do it, such as: managing energy by having a good sleep at night, eating a balanced diet, and taking breaks at work to mention a few. But sometimes, the way people engaged in their work had an effect on how well they thrived. A concrete example is when employees engage their work in such a way that helps others, learn new things, and find meaning in their work, they make higher levels of thriving. So the challenge now is for us to find ways to master our work so we’ll have more interpersonal networks, more chances to experience new things, and can see more of the result in what we are doing.

Leaders can create the kind of workplace that can boost employees to thrive. They can provide their people with more opportunities in making decisions. They can share more information about the organization, its standardized strategies, more initiatives to improve work performance and efficiency and promote healthy working environment. Leaders can also reinforce norms that promote respectful behavior as well as strengthening performance and feedback mechanism, most especially what is going well. When leaders create a workplace like this, their staff will feel like they can grow, they can develop, and they can thrive to be successful in their craft.

Fully engaged and thriving employees finish the workday not exhausted, but with energy for their family life, hobbies, and community service.