Sometimes the job of keeping employees happy, focused and engaged in their work seems almost insurmountable. The larger the organization, the more complex the system of interactions that impact people every day. Removing all the stress and struggle from the workplace is impossible—and not even desirable since a certain amount of stress serves as a catalyst for growth, achievement and change. But finding a simple way to smooth out the daily bumps and improve employee happiness? That's something worth considering.
Improving Employee Outlook and Motivation
Mood Matters at Work
If we can’t reduce the complexity of work and eliminating stress is not an option, what can we do to help improve employee outlook and keep them plugged in at work? Employers have tried everything from sugar highs to unlimited vacations, with inconsistent results. Perhaps we’re thinking too big. Maybe, as a recent report from Plasticity suggests, it’s not that complicated and little things really do mean a lot.
One of the most interesting findings in their research is the fact that happier employees are less stressed at work–even when their work is exactly as overwhelming as their co-workers’ jobs. Happier workers are simply harder to overwhelm and stress out. They’re also more focused, have a more positive outlook and are willing to do more work. What’s more intriguing is how Plasticity arrived at these results by measuring the impact of one little intervention.
They divided a sample set of employees into two groups and asked them to complete a brief survey about their mood, stress levels etc. Before responding, half the sample was given a brief task to complete that “involved identifying something positive in five different spheres of life – work, relationships, meanings, emotions and personal growth.” This one small activity led to significant differences in the responses of the two groups.
Here’s what they found:
Only 3% of respondents who completed the task indicated that they were “very stressed at work” compared to 37% of those who didn’t complete the task.
Respondents who completed the positive task reported 16% higher rate of overall happiness than their counterparts, who didn’t complete the task.
65% of those who completed the task reported “High Focus” compared to 15% of those who didn’t complete the task.
Those who completed the positive task expressed a more positive perception of their work, found it less difficult and expressed greater willingness to take on additional work.
H.E.R.O. index scores were 7% higher among those who completed the task compared to those who didn’t.
Those who completed the exercise also rated their overall Life Satisfaction at 16% higher than the control group.
The results of this study suggest that something as simple as reminding employees of the many positives in their lives is enough to significantly elevate their mood and generate a waterfall of side benefits. Who knew?
Three thoughts stay with me after reading this report:
Gratitude is powerful. As Melody Beattie so aptly stated: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Given the evident power of gratitude, Employers might also benefit from a self-imposed task requiring them to identify positive things about their team, division, company, etc.
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We’re rather fond of costumes here at TribeHR. And we typically don’t wait for Halloween to show up as, for example, a unicorn or a circus performer. Having said that, we’re totally onside with dedicating a specific day to appear as our favorite anthropomorphized cuddly animal, superhero, pirate or whatever else floats our boats. Especially if there’s candy involved—and a little competition!
Unicorn by Bart Everson, Wikimedia Commons
This year, our workplace Halloween party will include contests for both costumes and pumpkin carving. Carving contest-worthy jack-o-lanterns is not easy, so
The trend toward telecommuting shows no signs of slowing down. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of remote workers grew by nearly 80%. The numbers show that 50 million workers in the U.S alone could (and want to) work remotely. As this data demonstrates, people who work remotely are often involved in the decision to do so. In fact, many remote workers specifically seek out roles that allowed them the flexibility to work outside the office. When asked, 79% of U.S. workers say they would like to work from home at least part of the time.
Working in Isolation
In spite of this
Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Many organizations place exceptional customer service at the heart of their mission. Sometimes, this focus on service is the primary element of their brand that sets them apart from the competition. For these companies, customer service is “mission critical.”
But who, exactly, is the customer?
Typically, a customer is thought of as the client, buyer, or purchaser of an organization’s products or services. For companies who identify customer service as a key differentiator in the marketplace, however, this perspective leaves too much to chance. Every employee who deals directly with these external
TribeHR prepares for ALS ice bucket challenge!
Things are pretty exciting here at NetSuite TribeHR. We’re working on next generation HCM software that is truly awesome. On a daily basis we engage with fascinating businesses around the globe. We’re regularly hiring interesting and talented new people. Soon we’ll be too big for our current space, so a move to bigger and better digs is also in the cards.
I’d have to say that there is a definite positive energy happening. Work is a lot of fun these days. Not that it wasn
Employee engagement has to be the #1 HR buzz phrase for this decade. How do we get employees to plug in and turn on at work? How do we foster the level of emotional and mental connection with the company and the job that allows them to put forward their best efforts, and love doing it?
In their efforts to compete and achieve sustainable growth, employers offer everything from foosball to catered lunches and unlimited vacation to keep employees happy. Sometimes it works and people shine and companies win awards for being great places to work. But sometimes it doesn&rsquo
Employee Engagement is Intrinsically Social
We know that employee engagement is both important and also woefully low in most organizations. Despite all the resources put into traditional engagement initiatives, the needle still isn’t moving. Why?
The problem with traditional engagement efforts is that it is viewed as the domain of managers. Meaning, let’s give data and leadership training to front-line managers, and they’ll do a better job of engaging their workers.
That’s a good start, but it doesn’t tap into the most powerful force for engagement: the workers themselves.
Wikimedia Commons, Public domain
Absenteeism occurs when an employee misses work intentionally, creating a habit of taking unscheduled time-off for a variety of reasons, legitimate and otherwise.
Common Causes of Absenteeism
Bullying and harassment – Employees who are bullied or harassed by coworkers and/or bosses are more likely to call in sick to avoid the situation.
Burnout, stress and low morale – Heavy workloads, stressful meetings/presentations and feelings of being unappreciated can cause employees to avoid going into work. Personal stress (outside of work) can lead to absenteeism.
Childcare and eldercare – Employees may be forced to miss
Last week, someone shared a very powerful quote with me. It was attributed to Maya Angelou, American author and poet.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Although deceptively simple, Angelou’s words have the ring of truth about them. As a quick test, think about these questions: What do you find when you flip through your mental scrapbook of memories? Who and what do you remember in your
The time for year-end holiday celebrations has arrived.
Having heard of (and witnessed) a number of employee flameouts at past festivities, I thought this would be a good time to restate the fundamentals of office party etiquette.
The company holiday party is a time to celebrate, but it’s also a business function and it pays to keep that in mind. Here are a few tips for making sure that this year’s holiday party brings only good things your way.
Drink alcohol in moderation (or not at all if you’re driving).