Happiness, ah that elusive feeling, one moment it’s there and next, it’s gone.
Happiness can range from an immediate gratifying experience to satisfying long term meaningful objectives, goals or dreams.
The latest research in neuroscience and psychology tells us that Human’s are goal-seeking mechanisms, we are built to achieve and thrive, the more meaningful the goal we achieve the greater the fulfillment.
Why is Happiness important in work?
Our brain operates at the highest levels of functionality when we believe we are involved in work, that is meaningful to us.
Therefore our most satisfying ‘happiness’ experiences happen at work when we are achieving goals that are authentically aligned to our true selves.
The most important findings in the research are that Human’s have internal self-governing systems and are most disciplined in areas of work that they find intrinsically satisfying.
This self-governing capacity is the key to enhanced productivity and higher levels of performance in individuals and teams.
This essentially means that if the organization hires and retains individuals who are intrinsically aligned with the work tasks they are performing on a daily basis, and they derive job satisfaction from those tasks, the company will require very little additional resources to keep the team motivated and on track.
All supervision systems that a company employs to either ‘micro-manage’ employees or attempt to get them to focus on the task are simply compensation for the lack of alignment between the individual’s intrinsic motivational drivers and the tasks they are working on.
Not only does an intrinsic alignment with work tasks help engage the brain, but science has also proven that our autonomic nervous system comes into balance when we are engaged in activities we enjoy.
Since our nervous system is the master controller governor of our bodies, this system is built to give us rewards when we are ‘on track’ with intrinsically what is important to us and give us feedback i.e. negative emotions when we are ‘off track’ with what is important to us.
We have all had experienced where we are so in tune, so ‘present’ with our work, that we lose track of time. Perhaps it was an important project we were working on or a piece of work that was very meaningful to us.
This is true happiness, this is what psychologists call flow states and this state of happiness enables us to achieve the highest levels of productivity. Science tells us that we are neurologically wired to achieve flow states.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines the flow state as:
“An optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best“. Which means that the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and success in the process of the activity. It is a state of supreme creativity.”
So how do we know when we are in the flow and how to get into more flow?
The HATS’ tool developed by professor Harrison is an objective measure of where the individual is aligned with the work tasks of the job. The tool is underpinned by ‘enjoyment theory’, the measure of how much an individual enjoys or is ‘in flow with’ the tasks of the job.
The result of numerous studies and 20 years of validation research has proven that were individuals are 70% or more aligned with work tasks they enjoy, they are more likely to be ‘in flow’ and less likely to need outside supervision.
Independent research has proven that these individuals are three times more likely to be productive in their jobs than individuals who are not aligned with the work they are involved in.
The correct ‘fit’ with the job enables employees to live and work in accordance with what is truly valuable and meaningful to them. They are focused ‘on the job’ not just ‘in the job’, thus maximizing fulfillment, happiness and productivity.
If you want to know how to get into your ‘flow state’ at work, or how to help your team – Take The Free Test at www.workhuman.ie