Happiness at work
Monitoring the mental health and well-being of workers, and attempting to manage stress factors, is crucial for any workplace. The well-being and happiness of an organisation’s employees is in everyone’s best interest. Not only is it important for employees to feel good at work for it’s personal attributes including:
– happier lifestyle
– balanced mental health and positive mindset and
– better attitude at work
But an employee’s mental health directly correlated with their productivity, which in turn can affect their quality of work and the business.
Every workplace can have any given number of stress factors, which if approached
correctly, can significantly reduce the impact of their effect on an employee’s happiness and well-being. Some of the stress factors workers are exposed to include:
● Long hours worked, work overload and pressure
● The effects of these on personal lives
● Lack of control over work and lack of participation in decision making
● Poor social support
● Unclear management and work role and poor management style, including overly demanding or unfair management behaviour
● Physical strain at work
● A dangerous work environment
● Bullying and harassment in the workplace
● Lack of respect for a worker’s personal rights including, a safe environment, fair hours, fair breaks, fair pay and fair treatment. Managing these stress factors begins with providing a safe, fair and supportive work environment for all employees. Any workplace should work at reducing the possibility of these stress factors at all times. To do so, consider the following:
● Keep within the legal limits of working hours and provide a reasonable amount of breaks for long working hours so workers are not overworked and overtired.
● Have comprehensive policies regarding workers personal lives and, in keeping
with their contracts (casual, part time or full time) ensure appropriate amount of
● Try include team members as much as possible in the decision making and overall organisation and operation of procedures. Be open to constructive suggestions. Many times the best contributions on productivity come from an
inside perspective, and giving team members merit-based leadership roles can inspire hard work.
● Provide a supportive working environment. Creating a supportive and inclusive environment can be difficult, but if management have overall positive and constructive attitudes and maintain an ‘open door policy’, for workers to express concerns, this may help workers feel supported.
● Always strive for direct, fair and understanding leadership and management styles. Do not over-manage by being unnecessarily controlling and dictatorial or
under-manage and leave room for uncertainty. Directions should be clear and precise. Management should always treat workers with integrity and respect, despite personal differences.
● Create a safe working environment, with the appropriate safety training, procedures and equipment to comply with OH&S laws. This will help workers feel
safe and protected.
● Implement and consistently enforce a no-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment in the workplace. Do not allow for discrimination of any kind, and stress this policy in the induction process. An ‘open door policy’ should also mean workers feel comfortable informing management if another worker is making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable, or when bullying and harassment is taking place.
● Respect your workers personal rights and try and create a work environment which is morally sound and comprehensive of your workers. Abide by all the legal
requirements for workers rights and ensure fair and equal treatment in the workplace.
Signs of Stress:
Despite an organisation or employer’s attempts to manage stress factors, in environments with many workers it isn’t always easy to control each worker’s personal experience. For this reason, supervisors, management and even co-workers should be encouraged to look out for one another and create a positive environment. Learning how to notice and manage the signs of stress can help to do so.
Signs of stress may be expressed in areas of:
● Feelings and mental health: mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability and fatigue
● Behaviour: being withdrawn, aggressive, tearful, sad, and unmotivated
● Thinking and reasoning: difficulties of concentration and problem solving
● Physical symptoms: pain, nausea and headaches
If stress persists, there can be more permanent health damages occurring to the mind and body. Long term depression and anxiety can occur, as can the
development of heart or respiratory problems brought on by stress.
The significance of happiness in the workplace:
The importance of monitoring employees mental health and striving for happiness in the workplace is significant for both employees and employers. For employees, happiness in the workplace can come down to:
● being treated fairly, kindly and respectfully
● experiencing a sense of accomplishment and productivity
● having a sense of pride in their work and organisation
And can ensure an overall better quality of life for the employee. For the employer and organisation, it comes down to productivity and a harmonious working environment.
Simply put, people who are happy and engaged with their work, contribute more to the workplace. They’re overall more efficient, focused productive and willing to work, which in turn is better for the business. Happy workers also contribute to a happy and productive group environment, positivity is contagious.