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Joy On The Job When two employees work side by side performing similar duties for the same pay, voy does one person whistle and the other g V ‘The Riddle and the Quest Even more puzzling, when two employees work side by Imagine ving in avast word that desperately needs the side performing similar duties forthe same pay, wiry does services of people who can solve pressing problems. one person whistle and the other glower? Fortunately, over 365,000 new, talented people enter this The Planet Earth scenario was so intriguing that| began planet every day. Each of these individuals is genetically _@ quest to discover the answer to two questions: What is programmed with a special git thats precisely matched causing an epidemic of delight-deticiency disorder at work? ‘o an individual, social, or planetary need. What are the secrets of oy on the jb? I never dreamed my Wola! Since work i the single greatest avenue for passion would become a ten-year quest. fter pouring over ‘most people to fuly express their special talents while stacks a studies and interviewing employees and man contributing to society the world we are discussing is re agersin 21 diverse organizations twas easy to toss a programmed withthe perfect forma for joy on the ob. rash sack filed with original theories into the recyctng pile Welcome to Planet Earth, where jab dissatisfaction has reached an all-time high ‘na world starved for talent, why do gited people hunger for happiness at work? False Suspects ‘Surprise! Happiness at work isn't related to salary, siatus, awards, perks, othe state of the economy, ‘Money and recognition are appreciated, but their per- ceived value fades if the true ingredients for happi- ness at work are absent. ‘One unhappy interviewee, whom Ill call Kelly, dreamed about the weekend from Monday morning to Friday afternoon. Kelly complained about “a low ‘salary and no professional support.” Do you think Kely would have been happier at work fnew man- agement had come on board, awarded Kelly a raise, and produced a sweet supervisor who genuinely cared about Kely’s well-being? Maybe...out maybe not. Richard Brodie was a Microsoft employee who received company-wide recognition for developing a stellar pce of software Many otner employees admitted being as jealous as a reen-eyed monster. Brodie was quickly promoted to ‘a management position. Was he ecstatic? Brodie, like key, was unhappy, depressed, and exhausted. In fact, he There is no magical Identifying what you truly require to achieve happl- ness at work produces very different results. Until ‘you know just how important tis to work for an ‘organization you respect, do tasks that have personal meaning for you, or be surrounded by coworkers who ‘support you, you wil be distracted from your genuine ‘goals. Gaining clarity will ensure that you feed your ‘needs instead of focusing on desires that will nt bring lasting joy Thousands of studies have concluded that pri- ‘mary sources of job satisfaction include interesting and challenging work and compatible relationships with coworkers, Etfective and encouraging supervi- ‘sors and feam members, supportive company poli- cies, and opportunities for advancement are also highly rated. Pay and other financial benefits must be ade- ‘quate but not necessarily excellent. Employees con- sistently rate the desire for higher pay behind their ‘wishes for respect, fair treatment, opportunities for advancement, and a friendly ‘work environment. Concems. became so miserable that he about rank and title are quit his job and moved across dwarfed by a yearning fora Mem tenesaree — FOFMUIA for — Ferree vides evidence that joy on the WOrKplace joy . Ti iM cade formula jo requires more than protes- 3 workplace joy because sional recognition for valuable. DECAUSE NAPPINESS taprinessis sat creatd. ts service . an intemal state of ming that Bode tiedessbeins ‘IS SELF-Created. —peapeoxpetene ana personal journey from misery to dolight and a return job at Microsoft in his book, Getting Past Okay. He explained that he hadn't deter- ‘mined what he needed to be happy on the job, and he didn’t know how to ask for help. What Do You Need? ‘Ahough money can't buy happiness, joy onthe job has been associated with suocess, higher income, and more enjoyable relationships. Defining your legit ‘mate needs wil be one of the major toos for achiev- ing joy on the job. ‘Needs and desires are often different. Desires, such as "I want to make milion dollars this year” are not absolutely essential. Infact, such desires often pave the road to unhappiness. describe in unique ways. We are all individuals with distinct needs and preferences, and there are thousands of ‘workplace contents. To add to the complexity, what ‘you need and prefer today will probably change at ‘another point in your life. Betty may eventually tie of the high-profile, high-stress job challenges that thrill her today. When Bryan completes the novel he is ‘working on at night, le may become bored with the repetitive tasks he now prefers during his day job. What Brews Job Dissatisfaction? It's puzzling that the majority of managers cing to ‘he misperception that employees quit their jobs it they don't receive 2 hefty check. Employee cissatis- faction is more often related to misrepresentations ‘about pay, hours, traning, or promotions. Employees are anxious when top leadership is untrustworthy This discomfort eventually manufactures a mass exit Humans at work are similar to gorillas inthe jun- le. People are community orientad even though our culture has distorted this reality by encouraging aggressive behavior. Humans are hardwired ‘to receive support from a community and to nurture each other: We are genetically of them shifted their salary, status, responsibilities, bosses, coworkers, and geography. Some of the peo- ple were genuinely happy, even when they were assigned more than their share of work after an orga- nization downsized. Many of the employees and man- agers | observed were content even though they ‘worked with a “toxic boss.” programmed to work for the ters could sing & happy tune ‘survival of our species. You always have ‘even when surrounded by loud- tire neanas an, €12 PEFSONAl OWE! Se dk ! : : - escalate the departure of good to create a ‘ers who couldn't fathom why employees. Awards programs meaningful fun they should carry their fair share that encourage cut-throat ” 1 of the workload, competition and belittle the HG The personnel who were still achievements of employses aNd fulfilling work smiling and walked witha skp in who perform to the best of environment. their step while those around their ability but don't qualify for top awards don’t serve any- one. Inadequate feedback and coaching encourages ‘employees to seek another job. Deficient career growth and advancement oppor- ‘tunities are a sure-fire recipe for frustration, inade- (quately trained employees, and employee loss. mismatch between the jobs employees hold and their abilities, passion, and skis acts like a fountain that can't be shut off. Stress and boredom spew forth nti good people fee the premises. Sincere recognition and positive feedback are essential, bit employees are insulted by meaningless awards or perks. When employees consistently feet their contributions are unrecognized or devalued, a stack of resignations piles up. Anxiety from chronic overwork and work-life imbalance eventually result In voluntary terminations and job-related illness. What If You Don’t Work at Happy Time, Inc.? Maybe your work environment doesn’t truly support your dreams or your work isn't as interesting and challenging as you'd like. Perhaps you lack opportu- nities for professional advancement that would make your heart pound with passion, Part of my incentive to discover the keys to joy on the job emerged from giving a series of presenta- ‘ions to occupational heath personnel from across ‘he U.S. This allowed me to observe many of the same people year after yea. During tis time, many them were exhausted and ‘grumpy had not endured loboto- ‘migs. They weren't taking happy pills. These people ‘were smart and savvy. They helped me discover the keys to oy on the job. Over 400 secrets for happiness at work were later validated during a series of Joy on the Job Serminars. Following are four ofthese power- ful secrets which I've selected to share in tis article, because they are directly related tothe beautiful mis- sion ofthis magazine. You Are the Miracle You've Been Seeking You always have the personal power to create a ‘meaningful, fun, and fuiling work environment, ‘whether you are working your dream career or a job you can't wait to vacate, A ulfiling life doesn't create a happy person. A happy person has created a fulfilling lite. What a relief that joy on the jb isn't cirectyrelat- ed to single factor outside of ourselves such as salary, status, awards, perks, or the people with ‘whom we work. That's freedom! ‘though we each have a genetic set point for happiness and by nature tend to be optimistic or pes simistic, that's nota limitation. There is nothing about human nature that is set in stone, not our prsonali- ties, LO., or how we interpret the world In spite of what you've been tod, your personality {sas flexible as that of a newborn baby. With self-