Depending on the nature of the company you work for, creating and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be extremely difficult. When you work on the clock and have set hours, it's a bit easier to mentally separate time at work and time for yourself. On the other hand, if you're a new lawyer or working at a startup, your working hours are bound to bleed into your personal life.
Employee engagement is an increasingly important metric for companies of all sizes to track throughout their lifetime. From employee satisfaction and happiness to retention and productivity, there are a huge number of benefits correlated to improving the level of employee engagement.
Whether you're a business leader, student, or mid-level employee, you probably want to feel confident and be successful. Generally, leaders are already fairly confident and are trying to encourage their teams so they feel more self-assured. On the other hand, many individuals still grapple with a lack of self-confidence.
No matter who you are, understanding the connection between recognition and confidence will help you find success.
Whether it be in the office or at school, people tend to think financial incentives would make them and their team work harder. If only they could get paid directly for putting in that extra effort, and perhaps their overall motivation and performance would improve as a result. And sometimes, especially when the reward is big enough, that is what happens. The opportunity to earn more money for improved performance presents itself, and thus, performance improves.
In the American workplace, there’s a traditional idea that the best way to praise an employee is strictly through financial rewards - employees receive a regular paycheck, what more could they need? It can even go so far as to say employees who receive recognition in the form of written or oral praise will get “soft” overtime.
For young people searching for jobs today, it’s almost impossible to avoid companies trying to lure them in with office perks like game rooms, massage chairs, and yoga classes. And all these things sound fantastic, especially when you’re fresh out of college dorms, where forty people are sharing three showers and you can hear your next-door neighbor snoring through the wall.
Silicon Valley is particularly notorious for providing employees with a swath of benefits and perks from free meals and snacks every day to in-house barber shops and dental offices. Companies like Facebook and Google draw in thousands of new employees, largely by offering an array of perks that appeal to the generations who have come to expect convenience and comfort.
Younger generations tend to receive a fair amount of criticism for their obsessions with instant-gratification-based systems like social media and video games. There’s this idea that somehow, older generations were wired to be more patient while technology has fundamentally corrupted the young mind beyond repair.
Most of us are familiar with differing priorities among departments in an office and how that can impact the inner workings of a company. While management is more focused on developing practices that increase productivity and profit, Human Resources is often dedicated to employee well-being. Michael and Toby’s tumultuous relationship in the hit TV sitcom The Office demonstrates this dichotomy perfectly; it’s one we have seen time and again.
It isn’t without reason that this parody exists. Oftentimes, new managerial practices can have trade-offs that are detrimental to certain aspects of employee well-being, whether it be psychological, physical, or social well-being. Rather than argue one set of priorities is more important than another, it’s more important to recognize that happiness, health, and human relationships are related, and their optimization leads to better overall outcomes for company success.
You’ve most likely heard the commonly-held belief that work life and personal life should be distinct and separate. Why should it matter if you enjoy being at work and interacting with your coworkers as long as you can go home and relax at the end of the day? Well, since happiness has become an increasingly popular area of scientific inquiry, more and more research has been produced demonstrating just how important basic happiness can be in many areas of our lives, including at work.
We’ve all had the life experience where a group activity is going smoothly and morale is high… up until that one person walks in with “negative energy.” It’s like the spell of positivity and efficiency is lifted, and negative emotions spread throughout the rest of the group. How by a single person or small group of people who project their emotions onto the rest of the team, whether it be consciously or subconsciously.
As highly emotional animals, humans pick up on other peoples’ signals like body language and energy levels, and often their own experience will change as a result. This type of mimicry is called emotional contagion, and it can apply to both positive emotions as well as negative ones. In both cases, emotional contagion has important implications when considering effective teamwork strategies and organizational culture in particular.