We have enough science to know that there is a direct relationship between how people feel at work and the quality of their work and interactions. Feelings have an unreasonable, and sometimes irrational, influence over whether people show up with their best or less at work.
Reality is, most organizations don't hire for happiness. They analyze performance histories and scrutinize interview skills but have no metrics or methods for assessing for the critical driver of performance. Growing happier work groups begins with hiring in, and promoting, happier people.
It's time for an approach that assesses for happiness. I would include attention to some key indicators:
- Locus of control: Whether they think their happiness comes from other people and conditions or from their own habits and perspectives.
- Happiness practices: Examples of how actively they engage in habits of gratitude, exercise, healthy cooking, generosity, living in the present and discovering new people, places and things.
- Network influence: The happiness profile of people in their personal, social and professional networks that directly shape their happiness
- Strengths focus: The extent to which they focus on their strengths and progress instead of their deficiencies and disappointments
- Meaningful passion: Evidence they work and live with a sense of what matters to them and the significance of how they show up in their world
An organization cannot realize its commitment to more engaged workplaces until it realizes a commitment to knowing what kinds of people they're hiring and promoting on the front end. We are finally undertanding the metrics necessary to make this possible.
As a followup to this post, check out the 2 min read on Medium.com: Does It Matter How Happy Your People Are?