We know from our work in applied positive psychology across industries and sectors that happiness at work is a creative edge strategy. Happiness at work enables individuals and their organizations to do good work and to enjoy it.
We teach graduate project management students at the Project Management Center for Excellence at the Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park and have presented papers, talks, and workshops to project management audiences worldwide.
Academic research (University of Michigan, Stanford, Harvard, NYU Stern School of Business) demonstrates that if you increase the happiness (subjective well-being) of your employees, you will increase favorable key performance indicators (profit, productivity, sales, retention, customer loyalty, etc.) while decreasing unfavorable key performance indicators (theft, safety incidents, absenteeism, healthcare costs, etc.). And, it’s reasonable to assume that this science applies to project managers specifically since it applies to employees generally.
But, we were curious. And, when we are curious, we get motivated. And, when we get motivated, we take action.
Our action will be featured on these pages over the next two months as we collaborate with HappinessWorks and Nic Marks to launch a dedicated, global survey to find out just how happy project managers are and how their happiness influences project outcomes.
We will report our findings — both what worked well and what might do with some improvement. And, since we are experts in happiness at work applications, we’ll offer some practical, actionable steps you might take to improve your own happiness at work.
That’s it in a nutshell. Happiness, known in academic circles as subjective well-being (SWB), is the key to sustainable competitive advantage across all three sectors and all industries.
Happiness (SWB) is so important that the U.K. has adopted a national measure of subjective well-being to supplement its standard measure of economic progress, gross domestic product. The U.S. is currently in the process of undertaking a similar initiative.
Nelson Hart is pleased to share a free self-assessment with you if you’d like to find out just how happy you are, or aren’t at work.
Over the next several months, we’ll be reporting here on what is working for people at work — capitalizing on what’s going well and sharing insights and best practices so you can do more of that, too. And, we’ll be examining what’s not working so well and offering practical, actionable steps you, your team or your whole organization could take right now to increase happiness at work.
Increasing happiness at work will do two important things. It will increase your positive experience of work and increase your effectiveness at work…a win/win for you and your organization.
If you’d like to know more right away, here are two immediate sources from our recent presentation at the UMD PM Symposium held in early June.