Unhappy Employees? Try our Winning Formula!
Happily, happiness is a hot topic. Scientists and researchers are learning more and more about the factors that contribute to a joyful and happy life. And that’s a good thing!
Aside from the obvious benefits of helping people understand what they can do to live happier lives, some of this happiness research can be applied to the employee experience. And of course, a great employee experience can have a positive impact on organizational performance and other outcomes that are important for businesses.
Back in 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper called, “A Theory of Human Motivation” where he identified different levels of motivation from the most basic to the most complex. This framework is still used today and I think it serves a useful purpose when we look at how internal communications can support happiness in the workplace. Even better – we are able to map our formal for great internal communications to the hierarchy.
Inform = Esteem
Inform is based on the idea of providing people with the information they need to do their job efficiently and effectively. Think about back when you were in Grade 4 and the popular girls/boys had a secret and left you out. How did that make you feel? Not very good, right? If your workers are out of the loop, misinformed or kept in the dark, it is going to have the same impact.
The flip side is that if you equip your people with knowledge and information, this will build their skills, confidence, and their self-esteem. Whether it is information on how to file your travel expense report or providing them with better information to support performance, informing your people meets a critical human need.
Involve = Love and belonging
In our formula, involve is all about breaking down barriers in organizations and supporting the free flow of communication. This includes a lot of listening and providing employees with a voice that is heard. But it also includes breaking down the silos and helping to promote understanding between groups and teams. I believe this supports collaboration and innovation, but it also provides a better sense of belonging.
As for love, there are people who say they love the company they work for. I think there is a strong chance that a welcoming, open and inclusive workplace where people have a voice, might just contribute to that kind of emotional connection. Supporting the development of social connections at work can also contribute to the need for belonging. There are many ways organizations can do this – through social events, community relations activities, or using a mobile app like Bonfyre that provides a modern platform for interacting and connecting.
Inspire = Self-actualization
A lot of the happiness research centres around the impact of having meaning or purpose in your life and, which of course includes your work. An important element of your internal communication should be to inspire your employees by connecting them to a meaningful purpose – a purpose they can feel good about. In Maslow’s theory, self-actualization refers to the ability to reach your full potential however he later added a level and called it self-transcendence, which is a higher outside goal.
In John Izzo’s book, The Purpose Revolution, he says there is, “A growing expectation that work becomes a place of fulfillment, where one can make a difference in the world while also finding personal meaning and satisfaction.” Connecting people to purpose helps draw out the best in people and motivates them to perform at their full potential. Working with leaders to articulate an authentic purpose is a critical internal communications function.
Attracting and keeping the best talent, boosting performance and profitability all depend on a workplace where employees are informed, involved and inspired. We happen to think our formula will also boost the happiness factor at work!
If you are having trouble keeping good people and you could use more positive energy and attitudes, let’s talk. Book one of our free 30 minute strategy sessions today.
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This book looks at fundamental drivers of successful human relationships and applies them to the employee experience. Andrea shows how trust, respect, and even passion can be fuelled in the workplace with the right approach to internal communications.Download the ebook