Creating connections: The key to a happy workplace

Posted On March 1, 2019

Is it the job of an employer, or a workplace, to ensure that its employees are happy?

Many Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers would argue that most employees should be happy just to have a job. Many millennials, however, will tell you that workplace environment is an extremely important factor to them in deciding where to work.

Which of them are right?

I asked my guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” — Dr. Elise Labbé-Coldsmith, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of South Alabama. And the answer I got was: Probably both.

Research shows people who are happy are more productive and healthier mentally and physically, she notes. It’s in the best interest of employers to have a happy workforce.

Unfortunately, unhappiness persists.

“Loneliness is becoming a greater problem and I think unfortunately part of that may be due to technology and the way we work these days,” Labbé-Coldsmith said. “A lot of people aren’t getting the kinds of interactions we need on a daily basis.”

While most employers want happy employees, they also have a business to run. And business goes on, even when Jared in Accounts Payable is feeling blue.

Labbé-Coldsmith believes the key factor for improving satisfaction and happiness in the workplace and elsewhere is fostering a sense of connectedness – and there are things managers can do to help create it. Encouraging effective communication skills, creating an environment for collaboration, and holding meetings – yes, meetings – can all be ways to help employees connect.

Labbé-Coldsmith also shares her thoughts on the effects of technology on connectedness, the importance of having a goal or purpose, what a lonely workplace looks like, the value of failure, and the need to take a mental break from time to time.

“As a culture, I think that at some point we have to stop doing and spend some time being,” she said, “being in the present, in the moment.”

So take a break and join us for an enlightening discussion on happiness.

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What's Working with Cam Marston, Work, Workplace