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Sobering thoughts on happiness


I continue to ponder my experience at the Osa and Martin Johnson Museum. They found happiness and connection with people around the world through their years of exploration. Their passion shows in their research work, continuous learning, and the relationships they built over the years. But, they were self-employed. What about people who work for others?

This Labor Day, I almost passed over an article on employee engagement. “Employee engagement” seemed like a worn out buzz phrase. But a quick glance reminded me of the research showing that low job satisfaction shows up in lower productivity, quality, and – ultimately – profits. Estimates are that low employee satisfaction costs the U.S. economy $300 billion per year.

The good news is that managers can make a difference. What are the catalysts?

  • Support progress in meaningful work by providing resources and giving autonomy.
  • Honor small wins each day way with genuine, positive feedback.
  • Build mutual respect and trust among team members.
  • Learn from problems without blaming others.

The article concludes, “Working adults spend more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else. … If those who lead organizations … believe their mission is, in part, to support workers’ everyday progress, we could end the disengagement crisis and, in the process, lift our work force’s well-being and our economy’s productivity.”

The courage to end management as we know it
How to Stay Engaged (and Employed?) in a Downturn

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