Happiness at work and profit go hand in hand

Happiness at work and profit go hand in hand

via Forbes by Sherrie Haynie

The Kingdom of Bhutan famously makes it a matter of public policy to focus the nation’s resources on maximizing what has been called Gross National Happiness . Essentially, the country has taken the rare step of placing well-being above GDP. While this approach has baffled the West when it first happened several decades ago, other countries have taken notice. Today, the idea of maximizing workplace well-being is making its way into corporate agendas. Why? In part because it’s becoming clear that employee well-being and the company’s financial success are synergistic instead of being unrelated alternatives.

According to Martin Seligman, author of Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Beingwell-being is more than feelings of happiness. Well-being includes relationships, meaning, engagement and accomplishment as well. From a financial perspective, the business costs of low well-being at work are tightly bundled with the enormous costs of employee turnover (and turnover is at a current high). A recent survey conducted by my company found higher workplace well-being to be positively correlated with factors including job satisfaction and so-called “organizational citizenship behaviors,” like contributing to organizational objectives and voluntarily helping co-workers.

Well-being was also found to be negatively correlated with behaviors including looking for a new job. With turnover at a high and job seekers in many industries holding all the cards in the recruitment game, stimulating organizational citizenship and limiting turnover should be a key part of every firm’s hiring and retention strategy. And well-being is closely linked to that process…

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