Are you a happy employee?

When I started my PhD program, I was unaware of how much my thinking and perception of employee wellbeing will change. It is easy to say a particular group of workers are more prone to stress due to the nature of their job for example social workers or police men. But do we really know the level of stress they go through? “Knowing” that someone suffers from stress (which everyone tends to easily say these days), is different from knowing the impact this has on their health and wellbeing or how they can be supported to deal with it. The same goes for health and safety. It is easy to focus on what we see – hazards and risks but less emphasis is placed on the psychological aspects of a job.

For a while now, I have been thinking a lot about being happy at work and how much it can affect productivity. So I have decided to share some information on how to tell you have a happy workforce.

First I need you think of what your present workplace and situation is. Is it a happy one? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning to get ready for work? How do you feel when you get to work and take a look at your desk or colleagues? Hold that thought and let me know if any of this makes sense by leaving comments and making contributions in the comments area.

Happy employees:
Do you tend to go beyond what your job description requires? If you do then obviously, you care about your organisation, it’s growth, beliefs, visions and you love being a part of it. You see the bigger picture and have a strong desire to work hard to make things better. Having your job isn’t about just having a means to an end. It is more than that. It is a part of who are are. You eat, breath and live your job. You are good at what you do. You excel because you care about making a difference and are willing to go an extra mile to achieve results.

You most likely have a good relationship with your colleagues and manager? I have been there before. Infact I looked forward to going to work and having coffee and a good conversation with my manager. I got my job done and did more than I was required to. She depended on me to get things done and I never disappointed her because I loved my job and was a happy employee. She was a wonderful friend and boss. She still is. We still meet for drinks and I get to spend the weekend with her family every now and then and eat good home cooked food. 🙂

Unhappy employees:
Most frustrated employees don’t care about their organisation and whether or not it is at the brink of bankruptcy and about to be shut down. All they care about is getting paid so they can at least afford to pay their bills. They are indifferent about their organisation’s beliefs, visions and goals and they don’t care about being a part of it. I have been there before. I didn’t like my first job when I was a student and I couldn’t leave because it was my bread and butter; I didn’t want to be seen as stupid for leaving a job when there was nothing else for me to do so I stayed. It was always so cold and we had to stand throughout our shift pretending to smile to make customers happy. It was draining.

Do you know that having an unhappy employee especially one who complains a lot is infectious? Yes it is. When you have a colleague who is stressed and complains a lot, this tends to have a negative impact on other employees around. I can relate to this – in a previous article, I talked about a colleague who was suffering from stress and was taking it out on everyone. We in turn began to feel tensed and didn’t want to be around her. Even when she wasn’t complaining, we expected her to switch to complain mode.

In the same way, having a lively and happy work colleague impacts on others around. You begin to wonder why is xyz always happy? You are amazed and want a little of what he’s got.

Are you an employer? Watch out for my next article on how having a happy employee is good for your business. 😉