So, you have reviewed all of those things that can cause unhappiness (what-causes-unhappiness) and there are no gaps. So, in theory you should be happy at work. But something is not right. You might feel content, but you just don’t feel any emotional connection to your job, and don’t feel inspired, stimulated and supported.
Well, that is because the things that cause happiness are different from those things that cause dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg’s Two Factor theory the things that are going to make you feel happy at work relate to our psychological need for advancement and growth.
Gallup Inc. has conducted extensive research in the area of employee engagement, and has identified the following 12 key determinants known as the Q12. ( for more on the Q12 go to http://www.gallup.com/consulting/52/employee-engagement.aspx). And here are the magic dozen – I have categorised them, to make some important points below:
The basics – roles and tools
- I know what is expected of me
- I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right
The context – organisation mission and colleagues
- The mission of my company makes me feel like my job is important
- My co-workers are committed to doing quality work
Recognition and support of your strengths and passions
- I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day
- In the last 7 days I have received recognition or praise for doing good work
- This last year I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow
- In the last 6 months, someone has talked to me about my progress
Authentic and positive human connections
- My supervisor seems to care about me as a person
- There is someone at work who encourages my development
- My opinions seem to count at work
- I have a best friend at work
So, according to Gallup the key things that are going to make you happy at work are:
- knowing your strengths and passions and being supported by your managers and colleagues to let them shine and grow; and
- having deep and meaningful human connections at work.
It makes a lot of sense – if you are doing what you are both good at and what you love, and you are surrounded by people that believe in you and support you, well, what a wonderful world it would be!
Something For You To Try
The Q12 provide a great starting point to help us pinpoint exactly what is great, and not so great about our jobs and workplaces. So, spend some time reviewing this list more closely and identify:
- any of the happiness factors already in place in your work – and spend some time being grateful for these
- any of the happiness factors missing for you. It is only when you identify the problems that you can take actions to fix them.
Stay tuned for further posts discussing some of the more interesting Q12 in more detail, including ideas for how we all can make these things become real in our own workplaces.