R180 Is the Happiness Solution for the Workplace

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By now, we’ve all heard about the myriad ways in which the workplace has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, while we’re all well aware of the problems that have arisen, there hasn’t been a solution prescribed to remedy the lack of connection, burnout, decreased productivity, and general malaise that many workers are feeling these days. 

As a blockbuster study conducted by researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management revealed, no matter how many pizza parties, team happy hours, or ping pong tables companies provide, workers are better off — and better performers — when they’re happy. 

What, Exactly, Is Happiness?

This question has no simple answer, as happiness can vary across time and from person to person. However, researchers have used metrics including job satisfaction, positive/negative affect, lack of emotional exhaustion, emotional well-being, and feeling a sense of meaning and purpose when attempting to quantify happiness.

However hard to measure, happiness has knock-on effects that extend well beyond an individual. An individual’s happiness can spread to a larger group – a phenomenon known as the Pygmalion effect. It posits that happy people are inclined to spend time and energy supporting their colleagues, leading to greater overall well-being and prosperity across larger teams or the entire organization.

What is a “Happy Employee?” Why Does the Concept Engender Such Cynicism?

Simply put, “happy employees” are those who are content in their jobs and thus productive members of the workforce. Organizational leaders may not think they have a role to play in the happiness of their employees, but research over the years suggests a direct link between happiness at work – something which we spend a significant portion of our lives doing – and effectiveness on the job.

This may seem like common sense, but the relationship between workplace happiness and productivity has been studied more closely since the early 2000s and initial research measured “trait” (this is emotional well-being) and “state” (a positive or negative mood) among participants, and found that each of these could predict job performance.

Subsequent research exposed participants to “happiness shocks” as well as “unhappiness shocks.” When compared to a control group, the people that experienced happiness shocks were 12% more productive.

The research began to more clearly illuminate the fact that preexisting happiness is an indicator that leads to greater productivity and success, while conventional wisdom of the past may have said that success precedes happiness and satisfaction in life. 

More Evidence Supporting the Happy, Productive Worker Hypothesis

Research conducted more recently by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School in conjunction with British telecoms firm BT found that happier workers are more productive than their counterparts who are not as happy, without working more hours overall.

The MIT study examined almost a million U.S. Army soldiers over the course of five years. If you’re wondering what a study of soldiers has to do with the workplace, it’s worth remembering that the U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer, and it’s not even close. 

The researchers expected happier soldiers would perform their jobs better than those who had lower happiness levels, but the research found that those who reported the highest levels of happiness won a whopping four times the number of awards and promotions as those who reported the lowest levels of happiness.

Similar to earlier research, those conducting the study sought to define happiness, and in this case, they found several factors that contributed to a person’s overall perception of their own well-being, including a sense of inclusivity, a supportive manager, a sense of purpose, and more.

These observations can be extrapolated to a more traditional workplace and even makes a case for an employer to invest time and resources into screening for happiness when searching for employees to fill a given role. 

Why R180 Is a Game-Changing Workplace Intervention

REVALUATE180 responds to the dilemma that many organizations find themselves in: an inability to create and foster a happy, productive work environment.

R180’s “X-factor” lies in its iterative nature and its intense focus on values, combined with sophisticated and modern technology that encourages participants to rediscover and pursue their core values.

When we’re able, as individuals, to take stock of our values, we learn more about ourselves, what drives us, and what brings us meaning or purpose, i.e., happiness. 

We believe that organizations across the spectrum would be well-suited to both foster individual value pursuits as well as “value congruence” across all aspects of their businesses. When employees feel connected to the greater mission of the company and feel a sense of purpose in their professional lives, this goes a long way in creating and maintaining happiness. For a relatively small investment, companies can achieve an outsize return – a competitive advantage that will make your business the envy of your peers.

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