Employees need to be happy in their work. If they don’t feel fulfilled and enjoy some sense of autonomy, absenteeism and other ills will follow.
Organizations that ignore intangible workforce motivators will sabotage the one thing every employee needs in today’s challenging work environment: resilience.
Happy brains are creative brains. That’s one conclusion from psychiatrist and attention deficit disorder expert Edward Hallowell’s book Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best From Your People.
Happiness should be a big aspiration in talent management due to its impact on productivity, creativity and loyalty. Since 2008, people are often producing within a pressure cooker of deadlines and an avalanche of information. Yet many high-potential, high-growth career tracks offer less time and fewer resources to draw out an employee’s best.
The executive parts of the brain, the frontal lobes, which excel at sequencing tasks, solving problems and producing results, are not online when people are under excessive stress. Further, prolonged stress ultimately triggers the fight or flight emotional parts of the brain, the limbic system, that make people feel and react, but not do, according to Hallowell. Instead of happy brains, people have stressed brains and low career satisfaction, which translates to low productivity and decreased innovative thinking.
In the 2012 National Norms Survey on employee engagement levels in the U.S. workforce, only 10 percent of the 700 adults surveyed in March agreed that they were fully engaged in their work. Modern Survey, an information gatherer and human capital trend analyst which conducts the annual workforce survey, reported that 67 percent of respondents were either underengaged or disengaged.
There were two things survey respondents claimed they wanted more than anything — senior leadership’s clear vision of where the organization is going and the opportunity to personally grow and develop. When connecting these desires to research like Hallowell’s on happiness at work, talent managers can find at least nine ways to boost career satisfaction in any organization. A Clear Vision
Employees want to be informed about goals and expectations and how their roles fit within them. Do I have a future here? is one of the most important questions for both employers and employees to answer. Employers, however, often try to answer that question by offering promotions and pay raises when employees are really looking for value and meaning in their work.