Think being happy at work is a nice thing? You'd be very wrong. Happy employees are essential to the well being of your business.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which has been polling over 1,000 adults every day since January 2008, shows that Americans now feel worse about their jobs -- and work environments -- than ever before. People of all ages, and across income levels, are unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their organizations and detached from what they do.
Additionally, Gallup estimates that because workers are not engaged, American businesses lose $300 billion in productivity each year.
What Employees Want
Teresa Amabile, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, an independent researcher, authors of The Progress Principle (compare prices), studied 12,000 electronic diary entries from 238 professionals in seven companies. They discovered that the most important factor in happiness at work was "making progress in meaningful work."
The same authors studied managers to determine what managers thought was motivational for employees. 95% of the managers put making progress last. So there is a basic disconnect between what managers think is meaningful for employees and what employees believe creates their happiness at work.
How Managers Can Motivate
The authors conclude that managers who listen to the problems that employees experience, help solve problems, and remove barriers so that the employees feel like they are making meaningful progress, are more likely to have happy employees. And, if Gallup's studies are to be believed, having happy employees will magnify the success of your business - beyond calculation.
The writings on this website, too, make these points repeatedly. It's affirming to have these authors saying the same thing. When will managers get it?
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More About Motivation and Happiness
Termination letters are neither pleasant to write nor pleasant to receive in most cases. But, termination letters are an essential component of an employment termination.
They confirm the details of the employee dismissal. They also give the employee the status of any severance package, benefits information, and a picture of how the termination will be characterized to prospective employers.
An effective termination letter is a clear demarcation of employment status for the employee's personnel file, the unemployment office, and the employee's records.
I had never added termination letters to the samples available on the Human Resources site until recently, but after receiving four requests for sample termination letters in the same month, I listened to my readers.
Here are termination letters for most employment termination situations you will encounter.
Image Copyright iStockphoto / Christopher Steer
Interested in asking for a raise during these tough economic times? You can, but follow these guidelines for best success.
You need to be sensitive to the state of your business or non-profit. If no money exists, if sales are still falling, and prospects look bleak, now is not the time to ask for a raise.
Layoffs, buyouts, and hiring freezes are all signs that now may not be the time to ask for a raise.
But, you can do your research and preparation now for when the time is right to ask for a raise. Or, you can decide that your company is operating prudently, but they might be open to a pay raise request from a good employee. In that case, the only way you'll know is to ask. And, don't waste your one chance. These pay raise tips for tough economic times will help you prepare for your meeting.
Image Copyright iStockphoto / Phil Date
More Related to Pay Raises
"The purpose of Women's History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history: to take one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes that the day will soon come when it's impossible to teach or learn history without remembering these contributions," says Jone Johnson Lewis, About.com's Womens' History expert. Take a look at the story of how March was designated women's history month.
Then, take a look at the special resources about women's history month she has gathered from around About.com.
Finally, today is International Women's Day. Jone shares the history of this day, too.
Image Copyright Jack Hollingsworth / Getty Images
Women and Work Resources