Why Wellbeing at Work is Important

November 14, 2017
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Thanksgiving is here. Most employees will welcome having a few days off for rest and relaxation. But according to Gallup polls, 70% of working Americans will be grateful to they don’t have to go to a workplace they dislike.

Some scoff at the expectation that employees should expect to be happy at work. However, success in any business depends on having highly motivated employees. People typically spend one-third to one-half of their adult life at work. Most of their interactions occur in the workplace. It’s hard to keep employees motivated if the majority of the time they’re dealing with situations that leave them feeling dissatisfied, distrustful, and disengaged.

The majority of people feel their efforts are unrecognized and unappreciated by their boss.  Their relationships with coworkers are frequently characterized by criticism and conflict. They don’t see how they contribute to the organization’s success – nor do they care if they do or not.

Astoundingly, 1 in 6 employees surveyed admits to actively sabotaging their employer. When a small group of employees brings hostility and frustration into the workplace, they degrade the performance of the entire team. Actively disengaged employees blame problems they create on other people, causing conflicts with coworkers and making scapegoats of supervisors.

Negative attitudes are contagious. Sadly, most employees mistakenly believe that they’re powerless to do anything about a negative work environment. They often blame their boss for not fixing the problems. In fact, the main reason that most people perform poorly or leave their jobs is that they develop an intense dislike and distrust of their boss.

Being happy on the job is more than having a smile plastered on your face. You may be surprised to learn that the bulk of what contributes to our happiness is attitude (our belief about how life works) rather than emotions (our reactions to situations) or moods (which are largely regulated by our biochemistry).

To PROPEL your happiness at work, begin by identifying what’s most important to your wellbeing and picturing how you could live in better harmony with those values. Envisioning a happier life arouses your Passion for pursuing the positive outcomes that are most meaningful to you. Your passion is subsequently supported or dampened by the quality of your Relationships. Engaging with other positive people will fuel your efforts to continue to take action toward a happier working environment.

But everyone runs into trouble. An Optimistic mindset promotes possibility thinking when confronting problems, overcoming the fear that causes fight-flight-freeze reactions. Holding onto the belief that positive outcomes are possible enables you to harness your strengths. You’ll be at your best in Proactively pursuing your goals when you use your character strengths to give you courage to take action as well as your interpersonal strengths to empower you in relationships.

Replenishing your Energy is essential. You’ll run out of gas if you don’t eat right, sleep well, and exercise to burn off stress. And helping others to elevate their level of wellbeing will enable you to create a Legacy in which you’re held in the highest regard.

When organizations teach their employees how to increase their job satisfaction, they generate a high-performance culture. Individuals with higher wellbeing work enthusiastically and collaboratively toward a common goal, providing everyone involved more meaning, support and satisfaction. High functioning organizations are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others. They take as good of care of each other as they do their customers.

Cultivating wellbeing generates enormous positive energy that enables people to fully realize their potential by unleashing their enthusiasm, caring, creativity, talent, energy and engagement.

The PROPEL Principles bring a missing dimension to organizations by expanding the focus from beyond fixing what’s wrong to helping people to consistently be at their best. As a positive transformation takes place, the time that people are spending being at their best displaces the negative energy they were expending engaging in or defending against dysfunctional behavior. Spending time and energy on increasing employee wellbeing has proven to produce peak performance.

If you’re in a leadership role, make this a time to learn how to create a happy workplace. In doing so you’ll change how your employees feel about you, becoming a beloved mentor to many of your people. To begin you must master the skills required to be a happy person yourself so you can remain positive in the face of problems and passionate in your pursuit of positive outcomes. Then you’ll be able to be a positive influence with your employees.

 

Dr. Tom Muha is a psychologist practicing in Annapolis. To contact him call 443-454-7274 or send e-mail to tommuha@PROPELprinciples.com. More information about positive psychology can be found at www.PROPELprinciples.com.

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