Do Your Employees Whistle While They Work?

Maybe the seven dwarfs had it right – “Just whistle while you work (Hear the whistling in your head?), And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place.” Maybe they were onto something … being happy and having a positive outlook can set the tone for being more productive and enjoying life to the fullest.

dsc_0472-2So it seems obvious that if employees are happy, it will affect the way they work in positive ways that could also affect the bottom line. But how do you get employees to that happy place?

In an Inc. article titled, “This is the Secret Sauce for Happy Employees,” Shawn Murphy makes the point that too often leaders focus on making employees happy, when what they actually need to focus on is creating a workplace that helps employees find their own happiness. And the answer to finding happiness at work is having purpose.

Purpose is an answer to the question, “Why am I doing this?” It helps people fulfill the need to make a difference.

Aaron Hurst of Imperative found that purpose-oriented employees are the most valuable to a company. In a research study titled “The Purpose-Driven Employee” he found the following in regards to employees with a purpose-orientation:

  • These employees have a 20 percent longer tenure
  • They are 50 percent more likely to be in a formal leadership role
  • 64 percent experience higher levels of fulfillment in their work
  • 47 percent are advocates of their direct reports

Yet only 28 percent of the workforce knows their purpose!

In our society the general attitude is that we should work hard in order to be happy because the harder we work the more successful we will be and success will make us happy. But Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and founder of GoodThink Inc., argues that we are thinking about it all wrong and that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive. In his TED Talk titled “The happy secret to better work” he states, “Only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ and 75% are predicted by optimism levels, social support and the ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat.” His findings show that when your brain is set at positive it performs significantly better than at negative or neutral stress – 31% more productive, in fact! As Shawn Murphy states, “If you want happy employees, you need to help employees work and live with purpose.”

Choose to create a work environment where employees can thrive and be successful and see how it affects your business. Maybe you’ll start to hear some whistling!