Happiness at work

How to build an army of happy, busy worker bees

May 23, 2011: 10:05 AM ET

People who are happy at work put in far more effort, work longer hours, and are more productive than those who aren't. So can you actually make the people you manage any happier?

By Linda Mignone, guest contributor

FORTUNE -- For all that's been written about happiness at work -- desiring it, seeking it, wishing for it -- how do you actually create it? And how do you use it to do better work?

Aside from it sounding sensible, recent studies have demonstrated that the happier a worker is, the more productive they will be on the job. While an employee may appear engaged in their work, they may not be as effective as they could be if they were happy.

"There is a big difference between how people report engagement and happiness," says Jessica Pryce-Jones, who is the CEO of HR consulting firm iOpener and the author of Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success.

Pryce-Jones says that people who have a more vigorous work ethic find it easier to be engaged in what they are doing, but that does not necessarily mean that they are happy. There are many senior leaders who are highly engaged in their work but would rather leave their jobs.

"The happier you are at work, the greater sense of energy you feel [to do more]," says Pryce-Jones.

In survey studies conducted by iOpener, of employees who reported that they are happy at work, 78% also say that they feel energetic while at work, whereas a mere 13% of unhappy employees claim the same.

People who are happy at work put in far more effort, work longer hours, and are more productive than those who aren't. They remain at their jobs twice as long and they work 25% more time than an unhappy employee works.

For Zappos founder Tony Heisch, happiness at work begins with giving employees a sense that they are part of something bigger and that they feel connected to the work they do. More

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