Rediscovering Joy at Work
10th May 2022
Now – more than ever, people are considering the importance of Joy at work and how not enjoying your work can have a negative impact on the overall quality of your life. Recently, we caught up with Rebecca Newton to hear about her take on ‘Joy at work.’
As a psychologist and coach to leaders within Business, HR and L & D, Rebecca has a wealth of experience and knowledge on this subject. Rebecca highlights what it really takes to experience Joy at Work and why this should matter to those, particularly within leadership roles.
What is joy?
Joy is an emotion in response to something we experience as positive. It gives us energy and can fuel engagement and satisfaction at work. It’s something that we can actively seek and where we can play a role in others’ experience of work.
Are happiness and joy the same thing?
Joy and happiness may be perceived as the same thing, but this is not the case.
Happiness has longevity to it, it’s a state of mind. Joy is usually more ‘in the moment’, something you can proactively seek and find. Joy can still be experienced under pressure. So, you can have an ‘okay’ or even particularly challenging day at work, but still experience joy in the workplace.
Why does joy in the workplace matter?
Joy in the workplace can fuel a sense of purpose.
When you and colleagues experience joy at work, research suggests that you will experience:
Elevated levels of creativity
Stronger, deeper connections with others
A powerful sense of value
Joy in the workplace is not a superficial ‘nice to have.’ It can have a significant impact on your cognitive performance, your effectiveness and when part of the culture, on organisational outcomes.
How can we bring joy into the workplace as leaders?
Create a safe space for people to release any tensions, worries or challenges they are experiencing – they should know who they can talk to when they are struggling.
Make sure everyone is aware that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes, and that they are supported
Remind your team every day of the purpose and vision – these give people energy
Give clarity to the whole team, about what you are all trying to achieve and the vital role they play in supporting that goal
Be inclusive – feeling disconnected has a negative impact on psychological well-being and areas that impact performance such as creativity and navigating change
Encourage development opportunities – feeling a positive stretch and moving towards meaningful goals is part of what we call ‘active joy’
Ask questions to understand what brings people in your team joy. What do your team enjoy about their roles? Equally, what do they not enjoy?
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About The Author
Rebecca Newton, PhD is an organisational psychologist, Master Practitioner Coach with the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of Authentic Gravitas, Who Stands Out And Why.
Rebecca has spent the past two decades researching and teaching leadership, communication, professional development, culture, change, and management. She is the CEO of CoachAdviser and has 20 years of experience advising and coaching business leaders and teams in organisations globally. Originally from Sydney, Australia, she lives in London, with her husband and three children.
For more on Rebecca’s work on joy, see her HBR article Rediscover Joy at Work, and you can connect with Rebecca here.
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