Nelson Hart, Happiness Works and IIL are pleased to announce that they have launched the first global survey of the PM profession which will measure happiness at work in the profession in conjunction with IIL’s International Project Management Day (IPM Day). IIL’s IPM Day is a free, day-long webinar offering 12 PDU’s to PM’s around the world.
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.
Project management is continually evolving. This evolution is described, for example in Morris (1994) and Shenhar and Dvir (2004). Each change is supposed to bring advancement in project management practices and greater reliability and professionalism. Yet projects continue to fail. We believe that the next developmental stage for project management is to focus on the needs of the people who are carrying out the project. In order to take that step, education for project management (PM) professionals must help project managers to understand the people they manage, in all their diversity and complexity. There is a growing body of research in psychology and management sciences to support developing that understanding for PM professionals thereby moving this knowledge from the universities and colleges to common practice in the workplace.
Read more from Jocelyn S. Davis in “Positive Psychology” — Chapter 51 of Gower’s Handbook of People in Project Management