Workplace Engagement Is Good. Happiness Is Even Better

Workplace Engagement Is Good. Happiness Is Even Better

via Forbes by Rodger Dean Duncan

Employee engagement, we’ve been told for decades, is an imperative key to business success. It’s the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs. It’s the level of their commitment to the organization. It’s the discretionary effort they devote to their work. It’s all about psychological ownership.

This not just “feel good” stuff. High levels of employee engagement and wellbeing are closely associated with productivity, customer loyalty, profitability, lower turnover and many other measures of business outcomes.

The Gallup organization has collected employee engagement data for more than 80 years across 160 countries. The average level of engagement among Gallup’s U.S. clients hovers around 35%. Obviously, this means that around two thirds of employees surveyed are less than fully engaged with their work. In the U.S. alone, disengaged employees cost the American economy an estimated $400 billion per year in lost productivity.

But what if engagement turned out to be the wrong metric to follow? What if something else has a greater influence on people’s productivity in the workplace?

Those are questions asked and answered by Eric Karpinski, author of Put Happiness to Work: 7 Strategies to Elevate Engagement for Optimal Performance.

Karpinski, a scientist who focuses on workplace achievement, has brought positive psychology tools to companies ranging from Intel, IBM and T-Mobile to Kaiser Permanente, Deloitte and Eli Lilly. His book provides a powerful vision of what work could be: deeply connected groups of dedicated, energized people who find meaning in what they do and support each other to achieve challenging goals…

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