WHAT MAKES US HAPPY IN OUR WORK

By Sallina Jeffrey

Found & CEO


What really makes us happy at work? Is it our colleagues? Our type of work? The brand we work for? The money we earn? Srikumar Roa put it simply, "happiness doesn't come from your job, it comes from within yourself." Sure, but I have definitely been happy within myself and absolutely dreaded going to work. Remi said, "if you want to change who you are, you have to change what you do.” Ok, now we are getting somewhere here, you will spend an average of 90,000 hours at work in your lifetime, that's many hours being unhappy, Yikes!!


Out of everything I have researched around happiness at work, one statistic does not change. Around 75% of people are unhappy at work, which is huge. Workplaces and society need to understand that it is vital for people to be happy in their work. If you are unhappy with what you do, you will not be the happiest version of YOU, and you will deliver mediocre work and interact with others not at a level you would if you were authentically happy. This has a huge flow-on effect on the world as a whole, and it needs to change. Sadly, many companies strive for short-term goals, putting profit before people, instead of striving for the long term approach of retaining staff and investing in them to be the best versions of themselves. The cost of staff turnover and disengagement costs companies billions of dollars each year; if they focused more on their internal culture (people), companies would experience an overall uplift in productivity. Putting profit before people often leads to a gradual change in culture, turning sometimes toxic. Sometimes, leaders are not even aware that they are creating a toxic culture, and they fail to do something so basic and hold an open conversation. Ask their people what they want, what are their goals, and how can we create a workplace that makes them happier? Sounds simple. It rarely happens.


This leads to people feeling unhappy in their work, and it becomes really challenging. If you are feeling unhappy at work, you’re most likely nodding as you are reading this. Sometimes unhappiness can be a slight feeling of feeling a bit off, or it can consume you to the point of near-crippling you. Every day becomes a struggle.


I created a simple check-in list for you to confirm whether it is time for a change;


1. That Sunday dread of knowing you have to go to work tomorrow.


2. You truly don't feel passionate about what you are doing.


3. You feel the company you work for really doesn't value you.


4. Your boss really has lost your trust; they don't allow you to be YOU, you have to conform to the culture, and they don't even know YOU as an individual.


5. You are becoming disengaged; everything you do, you do because you have to do it, not because you want to do it.


Bonus point...

6. You say to yourself, "I hate my job". Ok, that one is a huge sign to start changing something.




Everyone deserves happiness, and our bodies deserve happiness. Happiness is a feeling of joy; when we feel joyful in our bodies, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin. Your body soaks up these chemicals, and you internally and externally exude happiness, and you feel good.[2]. A happy worker will make a happy workplace, and a happy workplace leads to happier customers and a happier and more prosperous world. Leaders and companies need to move the dial to focus on improving work cultures, and the profit will be long term and sustainable. People are human, and it's a human need to be seen, heard, feel valued and have a purpose, which makes people happy at work.


If you are struggling to navigate your workplace and feeling unhappy in your daily work, engaging a Mentor can really help you unpack your challenges and roadblocks and helps you accelerate your happier career journey. Let's move the dial to happier workplaces, better leaders and happier people overall.


 

Sallina is the founder of The Mentoring Movement (TMM), which provides a cloud-based mentoring platform to empower organisations to manage mentoring relationships effectively and efficiently. Mentoring can transform organisations through empowering individuals to be fully in control and immersed in their career goals and aspirations through personalised, structured and result-oriented experiences.

TMM evolved from Sallina, identifying that organisations struggled to improve engagement and their overall culture; they find it challenging to execute and successfully manage and measure their mentoring programs; TMM provides a solution to this challenge and is a key tool to improve organisational cultures overall.


Sallina has over 20 years of industry and leadership experience, has studied business and leadership throughout her career, is extremely passionate about improving the daily work lives of individuals to drive change in the workplace and contribute to an overall positive social impact on the world.


Sallina is also studying at the Australian Institute of Business for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to ensure she is equipped to help others at the highest level.

 

Roa (2010) (Murphy, 2018)


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