The Eight Pillars of Organizational and Employees Wellbeing: Part 1 of 4 Blog Mini-SeriesApr 06, 2022
Part 1 of 4: Introduction and Pillar 1
To have a healthy organization, we have to focus on both - organization and its employees. What does it take for a business, small or large, to "live well and happy." My framework consists of the eight pillars of authentic corporate and employee wellbeing: authentic happiness, strength, optimism, goals, relationships, mindfulness, gratitude, and resilience.
When we talk about employees' happiness, I will not go over what makes that person happy in general, but how we can help individuals increase their wellbeing while at work and help organizations improve their bottom line at the same time.
For this model to succeed, both organization and employees have to do their part. The key to success is aligning the organization with employee needs and vice versa. This is often overlooked and is why we have unhappy employees and unhealthy businesses. This model solves that problem.
Pillar 1: Organizational and Employees Happiness
Regardless of the size or shape of the business, revenue and profit are the main reason enterprises survive and strive. Wherever an organization invests its money, they look for a return on investment. The company's bottom line is often the number one part of the authentic happiness pillar. So revenue, profit, share price, dividends, and other critical factors define authentic happiness for most organizations. And then really comes everything else. That is reality. But how the company gets to the authentic happiness level is another story.
Authentic Organizational Happiness is created with people, revenue, profit, budget, marketing, sales, operations, strategies, customer service, technology, etc. Although revenue and profit might be critical factors, it is more complicated than this. If you look at some of the biggest companies in the world (i.e., Amazon), it took years before they became profitable. I am not the finance guy, but we need to include a cash flow and the investment for the business to be "happy."
Ultimately, employees decide if a company is healthy to work for. Because of that, companies are creating employee satisfaction surveys; unfortunately, many companies do it just because they feel they need to, but they often do nothing with the results.
Authentic happiness, defined by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, is a combination of hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. Hedonic happiness is when you achieve a high level of positive emotions and a low level of negative emotions. Eudaimonic happiness is when you have purpose and meaning.
So what can people do to achieve authentic happiness at work? What can they do to increase a level of positive emotions? One thing to do is make a list of things that make them feel good when working—accomplishing a small goal, working toward a promotion, a short, enjoyable commute, morning coffee with colleagues, etc., focus attention on that.
How about negative emotions? Make a list. Maybe avoid talking with people that get you down. Stop complaining about work. Find a way to enjoy your commute, etc.
How about purpose and meaning. Do not think of a significant meaning but rather the meaningful work you do. Regardless of what you do, you can relate your work to your meaning and purpose. Janitor's (John) meaning and purpose in the hospital may be to provide a clean and healthy environment so that patients do not have to worry about getting yet another disease. The receptionist (Jane) may have the meaning of making everyone feel at home as soon as they walk in because he loves communicating with people. When I managed global data centers (Braco), I found meaning in helping people and organizations connect worldwide, assisting small businesses trade, assisting individuals in running cabling inside our data centers. My colleagues and I helped thousands of families have a good and meaningful life with that work.
In a nutshell, to achieve Authentic Happiness at work, regardless of circumstances, think of what do to:
- Increase positive emotions and make a plan to do more of it
- Decrease negative emotions and make a plan to minimize or eliminate these activities
- Connect what you do with meaning and purpose
Align Organizational and Employees Happiness
Think about what John, Jane, and Braco did. Their meaning and purpose were 100% aligned with the company's wellbeing, which is fully aligned with the business goals, vision, and mission. They aligned 100% with organizational happiness. They are happy to do what they do, and at the same time, they help businesses reach their goals. Everyone is happy.
Businesses are happy if they are doing well financially and healthy if they align their work with the vision, mission, and purpose.
For employees, finances are the basis of their happiness at work. But up to a certain point. What employees want as compensation may not always be aligned with what the company wants to offer. So for this model, we ignored that factor.
How do we align employees' happiness with the organization's wellbeing? Employees need to look at the company's vision and purpose and ensure it aligns with their life. For example, if you do not support smoking, you should not be working in the tobacco industry, if you support climate change, you should look for companies that do the work in that area; if you love helping people, look for a job in the service industry, etc. And if it does not fully align, try to find an alignment. Look for it.
Sometimes, people just need a job, and in that case, this kind of alignment may not be possible. If you are already working for a company that does not align with your values, you have a choice. Stay or leave. But chances are, if you stay, you may not be performing at your best, may not be happy there, and may not be the best asset for that company.
What can you do as an employee? How do you align your authentic happiness with company profitability? What can you do as a leader to help your employees increase that profitability and yet be happy as an employee?
To be continued.
Part 2 of 4: Pillars 2 and 3 of the Organizational and Employees Wellbeing will be published on April 13. 2022.
Braco Pobric is an Internationally Recognized Positive Psychology Expert, Executive Coach, and Corporate Trainer. He is the bestselling author of Habits and Happiness: How to Become Happier and Improve Your Wellbeing by Changing Your Habits. Braco is a founding member and Chief Happiness Officer of the Life Success Academy, Certified Positive Psychology Master Coach and Trainer, and former globally Certified Trainer and Business Coach for Dale Carnegie Training. His unique approach to integrated learning in Positive Psychology Coaching (PPMC) program let him train over 60,000 Students in 172 countries.
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