Top 5 Ways to Make Your Job Way Better (& Everyone Else’s Too)

Photo by Namita Azad
Photo by Namita Azad
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The Challenge: Most people are unhappy with their jobs, but…
The Science: YOU can be a part of the solution & make your workplace happier and better!
The Solution: Here are 5 ways you can make a change and thrive at your workplace.
If you’re like most people, your workplace isn’t exactly a haven of happiness and fulfillment. Truth be told, the majority of workers out there have stressful jobs and employers don’t always know how to create a happy business culture.

However, progressive organizations around the world are beginning to understand the importance of happy employees. They now know that improving workplace happiness isn’t just a nice thing to do for workers; research suggests that it helps the company bottom line in numerous ways, including increased productivity and lower turnover, absenteeism, and health care costs.

To this end, the American Psychological Association has five recommendations for a psychologically healthy workplace. I’ve described them below, along with practical ways to implement them. If your employer doesn’t understand the value of making employees happy, don’t despair; lead by example and educate those around you to spark a change that ignites the formation of a happy, thriving, and sustainable business culture.

1. Make Everyone a Part of the Decision-Making Process

All too often, you may feel out of the loop at your job, resulting in a lack of engagement and commitment to your company. To counteract this, get yourself involved in decision-making and at least partially in control of how you do your work.

Make It Better: Be proactive and organize a self-managed work team, employee taskforce, or monthly suggestion meeting. The goal is to empower your co-workers and give them some responsibility in decision-making. All too often, you might have great ideas that never see the light of day; don’t let this happen!

2. Strike a Balance Between Work and Life

Many people would agree that their work-life balance is tipping too far toward the office. If you are forced to neglect responsibilities at home, the quality of your professional work will be negatively affected too.

Make It Better: Petition for flextime, telecommuting, childcare, eldercare, or financial management assistance. Your employer should see this as an opportunity, not an obstacle, in getting high-level work performance from you and your team. The more you feel like you are part of a family, rather than an uncaring corporate entity, the better you’ll perform at your job.

3. Allow Room for Everyone to Grow and Flourish

Nobody wants to be in a dead-end job. You and your team should be gaining new knowledge, skills, and abilities as you put in more time at the company. This is a wise I’ve described them below, along with practical ways investment for your employer because it ensures the cultivation and retention of top-notch employees.

Make It Better: Explore your options for enrolling in continuing education or leadership development courses. You deserve concrete opportunities for advancement within your company – if you don’t get them, find them somewhere else.

4. Make Health and Wellness a Priority

Some illnesses are inevitable, but many can be prevented from happening in the first place. This is most common in business cultures that embody the essentials of fitness, nutrition, and stress management. In addition to the obvious perks for you and your team, promoting health and safety will benefit your employer as well; healthy employees are less likely to miss work and have lower healthcare insurance costs.

Make It Better: Take the initiative and invite experts to give workshops promoting weight loss, smoking cessation, and stress management. Wouldn’t you love to be part of a business culture that encourages everyone to be healthy and provides the resources to do so? This investment tends to pay off big-time for you and your employer.

5. Appreciate and Recognize the Good Things

What motivates you more at work than feeling appreciated for your contributions? By recognizing outstanding colleagues employees, you send the clear message that hard workers do not go unnoticed. In turn, this motivates you and your team to step it up and believe that your efforts really do matter.

Make It Better: Start small. Sometimes an informal and private “thank you” can make a huge difference to someone who hasn’t been thanked in months. In general, when you and your team feel valued and appreciated, the quality of your work soars! However, if those around you feel ignored or snubbed, it’s just a matter of time before the company is negatively affected.

Progressive organizations know that a positive business culture helps both employees and the bottom line. Also, by treating you and your team with courtesy, trust, and respect, your company can gain a substantial advantage over the competition by cultivating and retaining top-notch talent. Happiness is the new business strategy and millions around the world are jumping on this exciting new movement. Will you be a part of it too?

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Matthew D. Della Porta

Matthew D. Della Porta

Matthew D. Della Porta is an organizational consultant and expert on workplace wellness. A Ph.D. graduate from the University of California, Riverside, he worked as a member of Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky’s Positive Psychology Laboratory. He received his B.A. from the University of Rochester in 2006 with high honors in research in psychology, and his M.A. from the University of California, Riverside in 2009. Dr. Della Porta's research in positive organizational psychology focuses on the strategies people can use to become happier for a sustained period of time. He is particularly interested in how these strategies can produce optimal employee performance, job satisfaction and organizational health. He currently works as a speaker and consultant, assisting organizations in the implementation of well-being research into their corporate cultures.
Matthew D. Della Porta

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