As an employee, you have to pause and reflect on what makes you happy, what keeps you going, and what your non-negotiables are. Being able to communicate your motivations to your manager or your future employer is only half of it. The other half relies on your manager’s ability to create an environment so you feel supported to reach your goals.
Create a T-chart to uncover what lights you up.
This simple exercise can help uncover what brings you happiness at work. One side of your chart should outline all the tasks that fill your cup. The other side outlines the tasks that bring you down. Once you’ve identified what brings you joy in the workplace, you can seek opportunities that align more closely with your values. Carry these points to your interviews so that you land at a company that supports your happiness.
Your motivations don’t need to feel self-gratifying.
In a world where we are programmed to put others first, you have to put yourself at the center to identify what motivates you. For example, knowing that you are motivated by praise and recognition, or your love language is words of affirmation, can help your manager communicate with you and provide feedback in the best way.
A manager’s responsibility is to support employee development.
If you are in a leadership position, your number one responsibility is to support your employees’ happiness and professional development. It is imperative to maintain open lines of communication, tap into vulnerable conversations, and get to the root of what drives your team to be the best they can be. But what if you are not equipped to provide support in certain areas? You can fill this gap by connecting them with other experts to support their growth. You don’t need to be the only one to create the environment for your employee’s success. However, you are the one responsible for fostering it.
Achieving happiness at work both for employees and managers requires intentional commitment and action. It takes a lot of self-reflection, thoughtful consideration, and building genuine relationships. At the crux of it all is open communication and being able to navigate all types of conversations — with yourself, your manager, or your employee.
Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here.
Thank you to all of the WISE partners for making this event possible and our panelists for sharing their time and advice.