I coached two very different third sector leaders this week. One is stressed out, overworking and overwhelmed. She’s up at the crack of dawn to get into the office, missing her yoga and fun nights out because she’s exhausted and falling out a lot with colleagues. Needless to say, she’s not happy at work at all.
Another client is having a completely different experience. She’s loving her job, enjoying working with her colleagues, raring to go each morning and feeling as if she’s making a real contribution. She is seriously happy at work.
I’ve been talking about changing the world and having fun while we go about it for a while now. When I started Be The Change I was inspired by the innovative happy.co.uk (whose strapline is ‘Serious Learning’), but I felt I was a voice in the wilderness. I thought I should squish my ‘fun’ side so that clients had a ‘serious’ coach and trainer.
But over the years, happiness has become way more mainstream and I have become more confident about being authentic with my coaching clients, fun side and all!
Is there space for happiness in the workplace?
There’s also been an increase in compelling research in this area, with The University of Warwick finding that happiness makes people around 12% more productive at work.
The research team said: “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”
“The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”
So what makes people happy at work?
There seem to be five key factors:
- Happy people know exactly how their work fits into the overall goals of their organisation
- Happy people are trusted to get on and reach goals in their own way
- Happy people are valued and celebrated by their colleagues
- Happy people are encouraged to work to their strengths, rather than criticised for their weaknesses
- Happy people are supported when they need it.
Over to you?
Just because we’re seeking to change the world doesn’t mean we can’t have fun at the same time. So how much fun are you having at work?
Is there anything you could do today to foster a happier environment for yourself and your team so that you can all work at your best?
Why not take those five key factors to your next management meeting and brainstorm creative ways to spread a little happiness.
If you need some help working out how you can inject some fun into your organisation without undermining the seriousness of your mission, call me on 0208 772 7808 (or 07958 501 427) or drop me an email here. I’d be delighted to give you a no-cost, no-obligation Discovery Session to see how coaching could help.