It’s fair to say that employee satisfaction matters. In fact, it’s a pretty powerful variable that can be nurtured and improved if given some attention and energy within the organization. There are opportunities, amongst both the employer and employees, to take responsibility for collective culture.

The current trend is to look at engagement and how to create a high performing workforce. These are the big buzz words of 2018, yet how are these really influenced?

Let’s scratch the surface by looking at happiness – which is a (fairly) big topic to tackle.

Happiness is defined as a state of emotional contentment, and it can be shaped by both nature (inherited) and nurture (the environment and choices). How happy someone feels fluctuated over time based on life events, ultimately returning to what’s called a happiness set point. Chronic sadness, however, would indicate a need to explore professional treatment for mental / emotional support.

Psychologist Martin Seligman has identified three domains that culminate in what he calls the full life:

  • The Pleasant Life → emotional contentment

  • The Engaged Life → connection in work, relationships and hobbies

  • The Meaningful Life → living with a sense of purpose

Fast fact: 4 in 10 Americans have not discovered a satisfying life purpose, regardless of how well their immediate needs are being met. – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

What can employers and employees do?  Swing into action!

  • Develop vision, meaning and purpose. It’s leadership’s responsibility to cast the vision – this reflects the mission of the organization and where is it headed for the greater good. From there, employees can better understand their role and how it has meaning in the bigger picture. Simultaneously, supporting employees in exploring their own visions and plans for creating impact is powerful too.

  • Prioritize emotional intelligence training and coaching. It’s eye opening, and life-altering, when individuals realize they get to take responsibility for the energy and attitude brought into a room (i.e. self-regulation). The same holds true when the skills are in place to be empathetic toward others while not taking feedback personally.

  • Support employee health and well-being daily. Finally, creating an environment in which people are encouraged to practice self-care regularly will support the mission of each employee showing up as the best version of themselves. People who are hungry, angry, lonely or tired do not show up at their personal or professional best. This, of course, takes time, commitment and leadership who models the same healthy behaviors.

The latest news in workplace wellness… Delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

Katy Tombaugh