The Top 3 Reasons For Being Happy At Work
by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
1. You like or respect your immediate boss. The number one reason employees give for leaving their jobs is a bad boss. On the other hand, those who have bosses they like, respect and/or trust are likely to stay with their organizations even when the organization is going through bad times. Being happy with a boss creates a great deal of loyalty.
Now, that doesn't mean that the boss has to be perfect, or even nice. You can respect and like a boss who is demanding and difficult. He/she simply has to have other qualities that command that respect and/or liking.
Being able to trust the boss is essential, though. No matter how nice, intelligent, attractive or fun the boss may be, if you can't trust him/her, the liking may be there, but the respect and loyalty will be nowhere in sight.
2. You like and respect your co-workers. The second explanation most given for leaving an organization or transferring within an organization is difficult co-workers. If you have harmful gossips, bullies, sexual predators, vicious politicos or lazy incompetents dominating the co-worker pool, you won't stay. If you have (mostly) helpful, considerate, cooperative co-workers, especially if you have friends among them, it would take a great deal to entice you to leave.
Of course, every workplace has a mixed bag of characters. Almost everywhere, you'll find folks that will help you and folks that will hurt you. You just have to have enough friends and helpful colleagues -- and in the right positions -- to balance out the bad guys and the annoying ones. (However, nothing will balance out a bad boss in the long run.)
3. You believe you are making a contribution to your organization, department, boss or co-workers. It's very difficult to find job satisfaction if you don't believe your work has some meaning and value. Many people will say they are happy simply to have a job and be earning some money. But that's not being happy. That's just relief of some stress. If you think you make a difference to the organization, you not only feel more secure in your job, but also have higher self-esteem.
Understand that the work only needs to be important and/or meaningful to you, by your standards, in the context of what contributes to the people and organization where you work, right here and now. Janitors who do a good job add far more value to the organization than lazy or incompetent executives.
C.S. Clarke, Ph.D. is the psychologist who originated the Superperformance® concept in human performance improvement and publishes the sites Superformance.com® and EverydayDelight.com.™ Superperformance is a trademark.