Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | February 2, 2010

The Rules of Engagement

The results were really interesting on the study of work environment shown in the Wall Street Journal article “The Rules of Engagement” by Sue Shellenbarger. The article stated that when employees are happy they are able to get more work done. Happy employees have a higher level of production. Although, the article explained that happier employees are more productive, it didn’t go into detail as to why they are more productive.

The reason why happy employees are more productive is because they are less focused on themselves and more focused on the task at hand. Whether or not someone is happy is determined by an internal choice of each person. There are, however, many factors that can make the choice to be happy easier or harder. When many things are going for someone, they tend to be happier. On the other hand, when someone feels like the whole world is against them, they lose their desire to be happy. Companies cannot create happiness within employees; they can only do everything within their power to create an environment that facilitates happiness. People are most happy when they feel they are in control of their lives and things are going their way. People are also happy when they feel they are being trusted. Companies can create an atmosphere that promotes happiness by trusting the employees and allowing them to control their own schedule.

This approach of giving schedule flexibility does not work in every situation, however. In manual labor environments, many times the work is accomplished in teams where each person is responsible to accomplish a given task within a given time period. If a worker is not present, they cannot do their part and the work does not get done. Until everyone is at the work location, the maximum efficiency cannot be achieved. On the other hand, in an office where each employee works on their own to accomplish their given tasks, the employer can give much more schedule freedom to the employee.

The bottom line is that each employer needs to look at their specific work environment and decide how to best show trust in their employees. Once they can trust their employees, they can begin to give them more freedom. By giving them more freedom, they will promote the happiness of the employees. When the employees have a sustained level of happiness in their jobs, they will be more productive and help the success of the company as the article stated.


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