11.03.22 Reconsidering and restructuring the relationship between happiness and work
On some level, most of you know that simply earning a lot of money won’t buy you complete life satisfaction for the next 40 years. And you may secretly wonder if getting a competitive first job in your “dream” company is really a ticket to lifetime professional fulfillment. Yet, these doubts might not keep you from pursuing either of these, sometimes with a high level of intensity that might have been instilled in you during 20+ years while growing up in China.
Even highly-driven business leaders have learned during the pandemic, however, that focusing on “balance” rather than simply revenues can lead to increased employee engagement and retention, and some of them are noting that this approach can be crafted, so as to help motivate and retain their constantly-being-recruited teams. In contrast to several years’ back, when progressive companies and individuals were just beginning to meaningfully discuss “wellness” and related concepts in the popular press, it’s now quite acceptable to address the need for “empathy” and “sensitivity” to employees’ personal lives to keep them engaged.
As young, aspiring professionals, it’s worth our considering such concepts, and to ask ourselves how we, individually, might behave, both as an employee and as a leader, in view of the growing body of literature supporting the relationship between these two ideas.
Read on for some surprising, related developments, including the 180-student “Leadership and Happiness” Course at Harvard Business School!