Tony Hsieh, The Science of Happiness & Employee Engagement

Whenever you want something in life, whatever it may be, that desire can usually be traced back to how you think having that something, might make you feel.

We often refer to this feeling as happiness.

One way to think about happiness is in 4 areas:

  • Perceived Control
  • Perceived Progress
  • Connectedness (number and depth of relationships)
  • Higher Purpose (vision/meaning bigger than yourself) 

In Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh talks about how these areas can apply to business. Employee engagement is a good example.

Employee Engagement

Happier employees are more engaged employees. So, what makes an employee happy and thus more engaged?

Perceived Control. Happy employees believe they ultimately control their career. They understand the company reward system and like the fact that performing well (which they can control) will eventually lead them where they want to go.

Perceived Progress. Every employee likes the feeling of progress. It’s nice to look back over the course of a day (or a year) and feel like you’re a little bit closer to where you’d like to be. Zappos creates progress milestones, unique to each career path, that are closer together than normal so each milestone can be more easily seen from one to the next.

Connectedness. We all enjoy the company of friends. Good relationships can magnify the human experience like few other things. So it’s no surprise that the number and quality of workplace friendships is directly related to employee engagement. We’re happier and more engaged when surrounded by friends.

Higher Purpose. Great companies create cultures where employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. There’s a sense of meaningful contribution to a larger vision that makes, what may seem like an ordinary job, into a purposeful one. 

Looking to make your workplace better? Take a lesson from Tony Hsieh and explore the science of happiness!

Leave a Reply