Some organizations still believe that high salaries and generous benefits are enough to keep employees motivated and happy. This might be true. But will you be happy in an environment where mistrust and intrigue are prevalent? Sure, these two exist in all organizations. You can always keep colleagues at arm’s length and maybe trust a few. Given a choice, would you stay or seek other options?
Money or material wealth isn’t enough to keep employees. In time, they leave to take a different career path or search for opportunities to find happiness. The last sounds like a cliché, but people prefer to be happy than miserable – even at work.
Happiness Means Different to People
Several factors make people happy at the office. Among these are the following:
• A fulfilling job
• Transparency and honesty
• Open communication
• Challenging tasks
• Friends at work
• Good work environment
There’s a common factor in the above and that is trust. People are social animals who need to be recognized and valued. It’s fair to assume that humans also desire a level of trust to exist in any situation.
Leaders may not be friends with their colleagues. But, they will recognize the skills and abilities of their employees. Thus, they believe their staff will get things done. This is what’s known as transactional trust.
Other leaders promote relational trust in the office, which encourages the creation of personal relationships. Employees who work with people they like are more effective team players and collaborators.
Remember that both types of trust can lead to happier people at work.
Employees work harder or smarter when they know their bosses and colleagues have their backs. They aren’t afraid to take risks and try out new ideas. Also, they don’t create unnecessary barriers that prevent good working relationships with coworkers. Conversely, in an environment lacking trust, a worker becomes passive, reserved and apathetic to the people around.
An organization with a culture of trust encourages employees to address work problems and their need for assistance. In case of conflict, they don’t fear opening up.
Know Your Colleagues
What does trust mean to your coworkers? Like happiness, it means different to each person. For instance, will employees view more autonomy positively? It will be if you express your confidence in your colleagues.
As a leader, you must verbalize your trust, as it might not be apparent outright. Don’t forget it also leads to happiness.