What Determines Workplace Happiness?

 

Sonam Jain, Dr. Vivek Sharma

Research Scholar –Institute of Management Studies, Devi Ahilya University, Indore

Assistant Professor - Institute of Management Studies, Devi Ahilya University, Indore

*Corresponding Author Email: Sonamjain2805@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT:

Being happy at work means comprehensively relishing what you do and adoring where you work. The employees feeling happy and motivated in working bring out positive results. They are focused in achieving the organizational and personal goals. Happy employees play a major role in success of any organization. The employees who understand well the organizational code of conduct, culture, policies and procedures are happier than who do not. Happy employees are productive, committed and creative for the organization whereas the unhappy ones may be poor in productivity, commitment and creativity. However, not many studies on employee happiness were known in the past. The subject of happiness at the workplace needs to be suitably theorized so that valuable research on it could be directed. This study will further look in depth at the happiness at the workplace. The research paper is focused on determining what makes employees happy at work. For this purpose; various views of different authors were studied to pick major factors of happiness at workplace. It was concluded that Happiness at Workplace is “the combination of positive feelings that an individual have about organizational culture, work involvement, incomes, team bonding following the complete responsibility of his job profile. It is when the use of creativity in work being independent. (Vivek Sharma, Sonam Jain. Happiness at the Workplace: A Conceptual Recapitulation. Asian Journal of Management. 2018; 9(3):1090-1095.)” Designing a questionnaire based upon those combining factors, a survey was conducted on 200 employees of various sectors and organizations. The idea was to derive what determines the happiness at workplace.

 

KEYWORDS: Happiness at workplace, happy at work, workplace happiness, organizational happiness, positive psychology.

 

 


INTRODUCTION:

1.1 Workplace:

The workplace is the location at which an employee provides work for an employer (Heathfield, 2018). This workplace could be anything ranging from an institution to an organization, from an office to a workshop, from a market to an industry or from factories to stores. People working at these places are employees and thus they are responsible for specific duties and jobs.

 

 

Each workplace has its working hours, policies and procedure, culture, rules, and infrastructure based upon the work that takes place there. Workplaces attain organizational goals by motivating, talking and listening to the ideas, complaints, queries, and issues of the employees and employers. They have employees who perform their best by acknowledging, evolving and caring. These employees work together as a team or family by hiring, rejoicing and partaking.

 

1.2 Happiness:

“Happiness is when your life fulfills your needs” (Benjamin). In other words, happiness comes when you feel satisfied and fulfilled. Happiness is a feeling of contentment, which life is just as it should be. Perfect happiness, enlightenment, comes when you have all of your needs satisfied. It is something everybody desires to have. You may be prosperous and have loads of money, but deprived of happiness it will be worthless. Happiness is a subjective experience - what brings elation to one person will not necessarily satisfy another - but from a psychological viewpoint, we must be able to quantify this state of mind in order to understand it (Psychology of Happiness). Psychologists frequently allude to happiness as positive move - a mood or emotional state which is carried about by usually positive considerations and frame of mind. It is a must have for every human being whether the surroundings are personal, social or professional. Theorists, psychologists, thinker and even economists, have long pursued to define it, and since the 1990s, a complete branch of psychology namely positive psychology has been devoted to trapping it down and proliferating it. Beyond just constructive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that incorporates living a respectable life specifically, with a sagacity of sense and profound satisfaction.

 

Various research studies recommend that happiness is a blend of how contented you are with your life (let's say, finding sense in your work) and how virtuous you feel on everyday basis. Both of these are comparatively steady—specifically, our life changes, and our mood sways, but our all-purpose happiness is more hereditarily resolute than anything else. Below are few definitions of happiness, take a look at them:

 

An American film, television and theater performer, vocalist, dancer, activist and author Shirley MacLaine defined happiness as, “To be happy, you have to be willing to be compliant with not knowing.”

 

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, an American politician, diplomat and activist. She was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. According to her happiness is “A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”

 

Mastin Kipp, an author, businessperson and inspirational speaker said that “I don’t expect to always be happy, I simply accept what is. And that acceptance is key. This is what self-love is all about, really, acceptance and the ability to love yourself right where you are.”

 

Michael Andrew Fox, OC, recognized workwise as Michael J. Fox, is a Canadian-American actor, writer, producer, and activist. He defined happiness as, “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” (Khoddam, 2015).

 

Shawn Achor is an American happiness researcher, writer, and orator known for his advocacy of positive psychology. For him happiness is, “the joy we feel striving for our potential.” (The Definition of Happiness in Psychology)

 

Gautama Buddha was an austere and sage, who coined Buddhism, opined that “the path to happiness starts from an understanding of the root causes of suffering.”

 

1.3    Workplace Happiness:

Professional happiness is also stated as Happiness at Workplace. Happiness at the workplace talks about how contented people are with their work and lives. It has conventionally been seen as a budding by-product of constructive outcomes at work, instead of a way to business achievement. The indication of happiness is associated to individual’s particular comfort. Happiness at the workplace is vital for refining efficiency in any organization. Happy people are productive, committed and creative for the organization whereas the unhappy ones may be a little lesser in terms of productivity, commitment and creativity or just opposite of them. It is an employer’s responsibility to provide a non-discriminatory and non-violent workplace atmosphere for his/her employee. (Maity, 2016).

 

Various researchers consider that organizations which are capable to maintain enduring happiness at the workplace could perhaps increase and stretch out output. Therefore, they should know what factors could distress employee happiness so as to proficiently enhance happiness at the workplace.

 

Happiness at the workplace refers to an individual’s work and life satisfaction, or subjective well-being at the workplace (Bhattacharjee and Bhattcharjee, 2010). Leaders and managers have the utmost influence on the total culture of an organization, therefore it is their duty to put a check on what is worth making their subordinates happy. It is not only the responsibility of top management of the organization, but the ones seating in the middle and lower management are equally important as well in maintaining it. For each level the determinants of happiness are entirely different from one another.  The workplace happiness is a measure for healthy work environment and practices; the managerneeds to create culture where grievances regardingwork-life issues are effectively addressed. (Rao, Vijayalakshmi, and Goswami, 2018)

 

For an organization to be strong in terms of people, behavior, culture, ethics, structure, growth, commitment, efficiency, policies and procedures; the employees working for it have to feel happy and motivated enough to support both the organization and themselves for achieving organizational and personal goals. Therefore, in the understanding of the whys and wherefores they might feel unhappy and thus it will be vital to implement appropriate strategies to make them happy at workplace.

 

This study further looks in depth about the happiness at workplace.

 

REVIEW OF LITERATURE:

Happiness at Work is demarcated equally by characterizing and in-conducive to happiness views at work. Happiness may be defined as the experience of frequent positive affect, infrequent adverse effect and an overall sense of satisfaction with life as a whole (Myers and Diener, 1995) and Work is one of the critical aspects of people's lives (Dulk, Groeneveld, Ollier-Malaterre, and Valcour, 2013). However, then why do we work? To earn a living or there is more than beside it? (Schwartz, 2015) In his book mentioned that "Their work challenges satisfied workers. It forces them to stretch themselves—to go outside their comfort zones." It was also suggested by him that, "Satisfied people do their work because they feel that they are in charge. Their workday offers them a measure of autonomy and discretion." 

 

This raises the question, is every worker satisfied at the workplace? (Fisher C. D., 2010) Reviewed what is known about the definition, causes and consequences of happiness at work, drawing insights from the expanding positive psychology literature on happiness in general. In an article (Sloan, 2012) examines gender differences in the emotion management of men and women in the workplace. (Saenghiran, 2013) conducted a study to knowhow an Organization Development Intervention (ODI) can enhance Happiness at Work concerning Feelings at Work, Job Satisfaction, and Subjective Happiness of administrative staff members at Assumption University. (Jones and Lindsay, 2014) explained the science of Happiness at Work delivers the return on investment and strategic outcomes when correctly implemented. (Wesarat, Sharif, and Majid, 2015) presented a possible conceptual framework of happiness at the workplace that gave the valuable contribution to future research in this area. 

 

So much of your life is spent at work; a huge deciding factor in your well-being is whether or not you are happy at work. (Valentine) Furthermore, it is assumed that "it is a frame of mind which empowers action to get the most out of the performance and accomplish prospectively." Happiness at Work in effect mostly depends on the individual. For an individual being happy at the workplace is equally essential as for him/her to breathe, eat and drink. Happiness at Work is an umbrella concept that includes a large number of constructs ranging from transient moods and emotions to relatively stable attitudes and highly stable individual dispositions at the person level to aggregate attitudes at the unit level (Fisher C., 2010). Moreover it is also said that Happiness at work is a constituent for success for both the organizations as well as for the individuals. (Prasad, Roy, and Sengupta, 2016)

(Sharon, 2011) Opined that individuals who find their lives (inside and outside of work) rewarding and fulfilling are generally more successful in the workplace. It has also been concluded that the happier the employees are, the more probabilities to stay in the firm (Choo and Bowley, 2007). Happiness mostly results from an individual‘s autonomy power or the ability to personally take decisions. People who choose to work as a choice are happy. Roles, therefore, should be assigned to individuals with discretion depending on their level of autonomy. In organizations where employers have no freedom to make decisions or use their discretion, the employees become demotivated and less effective. (Gavin and Mason, 2004) Besides, the positive psychology helps to achieve happiness and also hold back the individual from targeting at the unmanageable. (Edmunds and Pryce-Jones, 2008) Demarcated Happiness at Work as about mindfully making the best use of the resources one has to overcome the challenge one is facing. Actively relishing the highs and managing the lows will help one maximizing one's performance and achieve one's potential. Moreover, this not only builds one's happiness but also that of others. The type of organization in which the worker is hired will also be a determinant of his or her happiness, since there are ones that take care of their employees in a better way than others do security (Block J. H., 2011) (Habbershon and Williams, 1999) (Memili, Eddleston, Zellweger, Kellermanns, and Barnett, 2010)(Poza, Alfred, and Maheshwari, 1997). On the other hand, Teamwork is the primary key to maintain a climate of real happiness at work. (Mateu, 2016). (Namie, 2016) Suggested that when people work less, most people enjoy their life more. This data implies that long work time decreases the opportunity to enjoy their life. However, voluntary part-time employees who choose not to work full-time are happier than those full-time employees (Nikolova and Graham, 2014) whereas it was opined by (Mohanty, 2009) that some psychological capital variables (for example positive attitude or self-esteem) are likely to affect the worker's happiness positively. So these capital variables could have an effect on the employee's' wage not only directly, but also in an indirect way through their effects on happiness. In an attempt to define happiness at the workplace (Cheloha and Farr, 1980)  proposed involvement in work is NIL the first steps to achieving satisfaction at work, which is essential to feel happy with one work. The desire for more income remains a powerful motive among many people who in need to earn more (Ahuvia, 2008) this was later on supported by Mohanty who demonstrated that the worker’s wage has a positive effect on his or her positive attitude. (Mohanty, 2009)

 

Summarizing above statements in tabular form based upon the measures of happiness; we derive:


Table 1 showing various measures of happiness based upon the literature of review

S. No.

Measure

About

1

Autonomy

(Gavin and Mason, 2004)

2

Capital variables (positive attitude or self-esteem)

(Mohanty, 2009)

3

Involvement In Work

(Cheloha and Farr, 1980)

4

More Income/Wage

(Ahuvia, 2008)(Mohanty, 2009)

5

Rewarding and Fulfilled Life

(Sharon, 2011)

6

Teamwork

(Mateu, 2016)

7

Type of organization

(Block J. , 2011) (Habbershon and Williams, 1999) (Memili, Eddleston, Zellweger, Kellermanns, and Barnett, 2010) (Poza, Alfred, and Maheshwari, 1997)

8

Use Of The Resources

(Edmunds and Pryce-Jones, 2008)

9

Working hours

(Namie, 2016)(Nikolova and Graham, 2014)

 


RESEARCH METHOD:

Rationale of the study:

In today’s competitive and target oriented working atmosphere every employee feels an unseen pressure. This ultimately brings in the negative feelings of absenteeism, stress, health issues and psychological issues. To overcome these ill-effects this study attempts to collects various determinants that make people happy at workplace.

 

Objective:

To determine what makes employees happy at workplace. Is it the nature of work, salary, reputation, terms with superior, subordinates, and colleagues? Or is it among the number of holidays, paid leaves and other monetary benefits that he/she earns. It may also be the working hours, job profile, social status or type of organization they work in. It can also be the infrastructure or use of resources or upward learning that employee has. 

 

Methodology:

Based upon literature review and various other studies 25 determinants were extracted. These 25 determinants were then taken to 30 respondents for preliminary discussion and checking relevance in today’s working scenario. The combination was like 22 from industry and 8 from academics. To further divide them according to their positions and years of experiences we choose 8from higher level of management, 7from middle level of management, and 7from lower level of management in different organizations (public, private, semi-government and government). 8 were from academics (school, college and university). They were also asked to add any other relevant determinant based upon their experiences.

 

After this stage, the researcher had 13 determinants in hand. Few of them were discarded upon discussion and some of them were clubbed with other to make a comprehensive determinant. On these 13 determinants then a set of 50 questions was designed explicitly asking about their views on a 5point Likert Scale ranging in between Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.

 

 

This set of 50 questions together with 7 questions of useful demographic questions then circulated among 221 people.

 

Data Analysis and Result:

143 males and 78 female respondents participated in the study what determines workplace happiness.

 

The age group of respondents was as follows:

Age Group

Respondents

21-30

79

31-40

98

41-50

28

51-60

15

60 above

1

 

Type of Organization

Number of Respondents

Private

174

Government

32

Semi-Government

12

Self-employed

3

 

 

 

The respondents were working in private, government, or semi-government organizations. Few of them were also self-employed.  The numbers are as follows:

 

 

 

Respondents with work experience more than six months to more than 20 years were chosen for the study. They were classified into six different classes based upon number of years they have worked.

 

Number of years

Respondents

Less than 1 year

26

1 - 2 years

45

2 - 5 years

64

5 - 10 years

51

10 - 20 years

15

20 and above

20

 

 

 

It was also asked that around how many hours they actually work for their organization in a typical week. This determines their interest in the job they do. It was seen that:

 

Number of Hours They Actually Work

Respondents

Under 30

11

30 - 34

12

35 - 39

34

40 - 44

59

45 - 49

105

 

 

 

Because literature has the statements where in number of people of working in the organization made an impact on an employee’s work performance, we also inquired about the number of people employed in respondent’s organization. The data was like:

 

People employed at organization

Respondents

Less than 10

21

10—25

18

26 – 50

16

51 – 100

13

101 – 250

27

251 – 500

11

501 – 1000

12

1001 – 5000

29

5001 and above

74

 

 

 

As mentioned there were 50 statements that were framed to determine what make people happy at workplace. Here are 10 statements that help us understand various determinants of happiness at workplace.

 

For Job Satisfaction: I am satisfied with my job. To this statement

I am satisfied with my job

Strongly Agree

58

Agree

108

Neutral

43

Disagree

11

Strongly Disagree

1

 

 

For Qualifications: I am working on a profile suitable to my qualifications and knowledge. To this statement

I am working on a profile suitable to my qualifications and knowledge.

Strongly Agree

57

Agree

99

Neutral

32

Disagree

22

Strongly Disagree

11

 

 

 

For Working Hours: I can work in flexible working hours. To this statement

I can work in flexible working hours

Strongly Agree

69

Agree

73

Neutral

30

Disagree

42

Strongly Disagree

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Number of Holidays: I have sufficient number of holidays/week-offs. To this statement

I have sufficient number of holidays/week-offs

Strongly Agree

48

Agree

101

Neutral

22

Disagree

36

Strongly Disagree

14

 

 

 

For Infrastructure: My organization has pleasant surroundings and good infrastructure to work in. To this statement

 

My organization has pleasant surroundings and good infrastructure to work in

Strongly Agree

58

Agree

91

Neutral

54

Disagree

15

Strongly Disagree

3

 

 

 

For resources: My organization provides all the necessary facilities to perform my job. To this statement

My organization provides all the necessary facilities to perform my job

Strongly Agree

56

Agree

109

Neutral

25

Disagree

26

Strongly Disagree

5

 

 

 

For relationship with colleagues: I can share my responsibilities and duties with colleagues. To this statement

I can share my responsibilities and duties with colleagues

Strongly Agree

31

Agree

130

Neutral

34

Disagree

20

Strongly Disagree

6

 

 

 

For relationship with superior: I have a good bonding with my superiors. To this statement

I have a good bonding with my superiors

Strongly Agree

49

Agree

130

Neutral

32

Disagree

8

Strongly Disagree

2

 

 

 

 

For the authority over job: I can control my job responsibilities. To this statement

 

I can control my job responsibilities

Strongly Agree

28

Agree

119

Neutral

50

Disagree

20

Strongly Disagree

4

 

 

 

For the work pressure: The work pressure brings negativity into me. To this statement:

The work pressure brings negativity into me

Strongly Agree

10

Agree

50

Neutral

47

Disagree

94

Strongly Disagree

20

 

 

 

CONCLUSION:

From the above mentioned 10 statements it can be concluded that happiness at workplace is determined by job satisfaction, educational qualifications, job responsibilities, bonding with superior and colleagues. The work pressure has an impact on the workplace happiness as well. An attempt has been made through this research paper to find out what literature has to say about determinants of happiness at the workplace and validate them through discussion with various people. It can be concluded that Happiness at Workplace for employees could be determined when employees are hired in a right organization in a right position at the right time. (Half, 2017) Says a poor fit can dampen the morale of the entire team. Employees who see their work as worthwhile are nearly 2.5 times happier than others. (Morgan, 2017) Opined higher wages are tied to higher levels of worker satisfaction. It has also been observed that employees with higher levels of autonomy in their work reported positive effects on their overall well-being and higher levels of job satisfaction (University of Birmingham, 2017).

 

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Received on 08.04.2019         Modified on 30.04.2019

Accepted on 19.05.2019      ©AandV Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2019; 10(2):495-502.  

DOI: 10.5958/2321-5828.2019.00082.2