"Your boss's first duty is to make you happy."

#Opinion

Thu, Feb 14th, 2013 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Wired's Nic Marks argues that "happiness at work is not taken that seriously by organisations" and failure in doing so is a "serious business mistake and a serious misreading of what happiness is really about."

[...] there is a further benefit of happiness that might be even more impactful in helping businesses survive and thrive. Happier people and happier teams are more creative. In her research, Fredrickson looked at how teams functioned in business meetings. She observed that high-performing teams were characterised by much more positivity as well as being more inquiring and innovative. This particular piece of research can claim only to show that high-performing teams are happy. It does not say anything about causality (does high performance create happier employees or vice versa?). Researchers at Gallup have, however, looked at this relationship between employee perceptions (related to what I would call happiness at work) and performance. Using data from more than 2,000 teams with 150,000 members, it showed that both pathways exist but that the impact from happiness at work to performance was twice as large as the other way round. In other words, happiness at work directly leads to higher performance.

What these pieces of research suggest is that businesses should be taking happiness at work more seriously. Of course, this poses the question of how to do this. You can't just tell people to be happier.

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