Happiness vs. Production in the Workplace Essay
There is a thought that a happy worker is a productive worker and a better organizational citizen (Diener, Oishi, & Lucas, 2015). I believe that employee attitudes and behaviors can be defined by such factors as job satisfaction, job commitment, organizational citizenship behavior, the level of performance, and turnover. Not many leaders pay attention to the emotional and psychological conditions of their employees. People need jobs and salaries to have enough money to pay bills, buy food, and get an education.
Today, I can observe many situations when people are ready to perform various types of work just to earn something. People do not want to recognize their roles and opportunities in the workplace but just follow the orders given. Therefore, in the modern world where money and power play an important role, it is hard to understand if job satisfaction can be a significant attribute of productivity. In this paper, the goal is to investigate employee behaviors and attitudes and clarify the level of impact of different factors identified above regarding research developed in different countries, including the United States, India, and some European countries. Happiness may gain various forms and the task is to comprehend what attitudes may promote higher or lower satisfaction or commitment levels or change turnover ratings in regards to available working conditions.
Job performance is one of the most vital factors that are taken into consideration when companies want to achieve their competitive advantage, introduce effective results, and gain benefits from different perspectives. I think that it is not enough to sustain performance to become a successful organization. Job performance is at its high level when employees demonstrate high productivity, efficient ideas are developed, and new approaches and values are clarified and understood. For example, in the United States, employees have to follow special codes of ethics and standards to complete their tasks. Atta and Khan (2016) state that job performance is not a simple call of duty. Certain qualitative aspects, various types of behaviors, and psychological contexts have to be identified. Besides, it is possible to use organizational citizenship behaviors as a measurement for job performance in different organizations regardless of their size, trends, and professional goals.
Job performance is a part of human resource management with the help of which an understanding of how well a job is performed and what possible improvements can be offered is developed. I think that good leader has to clarify the possible levels of the job performance of their employees to understand what kind of work may be expected when goals can be achieved, and what rewards and punishment systems may be implemented. The investigations show that positive employee attitudes and satisfaction can be favorable for job performance and used to avoid burnout or unpleasant turnover rates (Demetouti, Bakker, & Leiter, 2014).
Positive job performance is not always easy to achieve. Leaders have to be ready to work hard and provide their employees with all the necessary explanations and clarifications. Today, it is popular to hire a person who can follow job performance ratings, analyze the latest achievements, and investigate the quality of work done. In Germany, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, there are many organizations with analytics and statisticians.
I find the role of such people doubtful in many organizations. Their task is to understand what makes a good job performance and use statistics to support their positions. However, job performance is not numbers and facts only. Job performance is a combination of employee attitudes and behaviors, particular situations and explanations, job commitment, and satisfaction. Therefore, productivity and happiness are two closely connected concepts in business, and this paper is an attempt to discuss the peculiar features of such relations.
Employee Attitudes and Behaviors
Atta and Khan (2016) conclude that when employees have access to a positive and favoring working environment, they can produce positive and beneficial responses and demonstrate appropriate results. I would like to agree with such an opinion because much work and many positive results may depend on how well employees are treated and able to develop their skills. It is always possible to learn fast and ask for help. Employee attitude to the job that has to be performed plays a crucial role in job performance. Not all leaders want to admit this truth that their treatment and the possibilities to win over employees can be effective. Such leaders believe that money is the only appropriate compensation for employees to be offered for their job. Unfortunately, some employees find such situations normal and do not even want to identify other opportunities.
Regarding such attitudes and outcomes, it is also necessary to underline the impact of employee behaviors. In companies, leaders find it appropriate to determine their employees’ behaviors by establishing certain organizational standards and rules, developing codes of ethics, and introducing organizational values and goals. Such intentions to control employees deprive working people of the opportunity to demonstrate their behaviors and use their potential to its full extent. However, employee behavior can be used to explain employee motivation and further job satisfaction. Behavioral science researchers admit that employee behavior may depend on such factors as personal dispositions and environmental circumstances (Barrick, Mount, & Li, 2013). After several personal observations, I may conclude that the environmental circumstances may vary in organizations, and disposition is the variable that depends on the level of job satisfaction and commitment.
Job satisfaction is a goal that has to be achieved. Employees have to satisfy their clients and make sure that all expectations of their leaders are met. However, not all companies have a department or, at least, a person who focuses on employee job satisfaction. In the modern business world full of pragmatism and cruelty, many companies find it normal to fire a person instead of thinking about their satisfaction or recognizing their personal or professional needs. Though the government develops several programs and laws to protect the rights of employees, it is not difficult to find a legal explanation of a situation when job satisfaction has to be neglected. Unfortunately, I am not able to observe the results of successful governmental attempts to promote HR practices in organizations.
Job satisfaction, as well as employee happiness, may have different forms. Some employees are satisfied with the possibility to shorten their working hours and find enough time for personal or professional development (Rudolf, 2014). Some people like to work long hours as an opportunity to earn money or gather a portion of the experience. If an organization supports the idea of internal competition, then employees want to satisfy their needs, gather some points, and demonstrate their skills and knowledge to achieve positive results and gain recognition. Satisfaction should be developed in terms of supervising, educating, task completion, and working conditions (Braun, Peus, Weisweiler, & Frey, 2013). Even if employees have to work under special conditions and restrictions, leaders must make sure that all employees are satisfied. Even the necessity to follow orders and be measured in terms of work can be characterized by positive aspects that increase employee satisfaction and productivity. It is not difficult to make a worker happy. The only thing that has to be done is the recognition of the sources of happiness and satisfaction.
The recognition of organizational behavior and professional attitudes to the job that has to be performed turns out to be a helpful tool of job commitment and possible organizational growth. Today, the competitive business era makes many organizations struggle for their sustainable development, help people, and stay committed towards their work. Job or organizational commitment is a type of attitude or behavior that can be demonstrated by employees. Shanker (2016) defines it as a significant strength of individuals in their attempts to identify their professional skills and suggests using three main dimensions that can determine the level of commitment: continuance, affective, and normative.
Each level of commitment has its characteristics and leaders or other managers, who have to work with employees and follow their psychological, emotional, personal, and professional changes should understand that job commitment may vary among employees. For example, affective commitment is the intention of an employee to identify themselves with an organization (Shanker, 2016). I observed the situations when such employees were ready to sacrifice their personal lives and families to enhance job performance and promote the success of a company. In India, there are many IT workers and managers who demonstrate their affective commitment and promote the development of the industries (Patrick & Sonia, 2012). On the one hand, such devotion is highly appreciated due to the level of productivity and the possibility to make an employee happy without any considerable efforts. On the other hand, the level of affection is hard to predict, and psychologists suggest paying attention to the methods of work used by such employees.
Continuance commitment is the feeling that a certain portion has to be done after the analysis is made. Employees have to understand the current position of an organization, investigate its possible areas for improvement, and realize their roles in organizational development. If employees demonstrate their commitment after such a portion of the analysis, it can be called continuance and used for helping other people, developing altruistic methods of work, and improving the working environment.
Finally, there is the normative commitment when employees find the idea of staying within an organization as the right thing to be done. The presence of such commitment is the sign of successful development and growth of an organization and job satisfaction that can be observed among employees (Oyewobi, Suleiman, & Muhammad-Jamil, 2012).
Organizational Citizenship Behavior
Organizational citizenship behavior is another important concept that has to be taken into consideration when job performance and satisfaction are discussed. It is a norm that has to be developed in a certain psychological and social context. As a rule, such behavior should not be included in a formal description of a job but has to be investigated when organizational development and improvement are required (Atta & Khan, 2016). It is characterized by a voluntary nature. Therefore, it includes all positive and constructive activities employees may be involved in. Employees may have their demands and needs, and new ideas and approaches, with the help of which a company can get benefits and stay competitive. There are several types of organizational citizenship behavior: altruism (desire to help without any reward expectations), courtesy (politeness toward people), sportsmanship (no negative even if everything is out of plan), conscientiousness (self-control), and civic virtue (appropriate representation of an organization).
Organizational citizenship behavior is the opportunity to recognize the needs and be prepared for new challenges and tasks. As a rule, employees who demonstrate organizational citizenship behavior can take extra work or break the boundaries to achieve positive results for their companies. At the same time, it is wrong to expect that they can become the best representatives of their departments. They may demonstrate a properly developed sense of hope or self-efficacy and stay optimistic and devoted to the goals and values of their companies (Thakre & Mayekar, 2016). The required outcomes can be achieved only in case leaders of companies introduce all necessary standards, goals, and tasks in a clear and comprehensible way. Employees should not panic or be frustrated with their inabilities to understand that kind of work should be done but stay focused on the goals they have to achieve.
The relationship between job satisfaction, employee happiness, and turnover is significant as well as the relationship between other concepts. Still, it is not as strong as it can be. Besides, I usually associate the turnover of employees with some negative activities because turnover is the process when workers leave organizations, and other employees have to replace them in a short period not to challenge organizational productivity, competitiveness, and development. The higher the turnover rate is, the more problems a company has meaning that not all employees are satisfied with their working conditions or not all leaders are satisfied with the work performed.
Still, it is necessary to measure employee turnover because it can help to investigate the conditions under which people should work, identify the problems that can occur, and calculate possible costs. People want to believe that they find a good job, learn their duties, and develop their skills to be promoted, earn a lot of money, and understand the sphere they are involved in. If the reasons for why people leave their jobs are positive (like marriage, pregnancy, or buying a new house in another country), employee happiness is evident. Still, if the reasons for high turnover ratings include poor productivity, small salaries, or removal, the happiness of employees is usually low. In such cases, the level of turnover is inversely proportional to employee happiness.
However, I can introduce another perspective, with the help of which employee turnover and happiness have to be investigated. Each employee may have personal attitudes and norms that have to be followed. There are such groups of people who like changes and try to change their places of living or work regularly. It is interesting for employees to have several jobs in a certain period. People are happy to have an opportunity and choose between the workplaces.
Taking into consideration the fact that the reasons for turnover can vary, I believe that it is wrong and ineffective to connect these two concepts and find the relationship. Situations and conditions under which people change their working places and can be fired or hired are hard to predict. Therefore, turnover and happiness are the concepts that have the longest distance between each other in line under analysis.
Happiness vs. Production in the Workplace
Regarding the ideas discussed and the thoughts developed, I would like to say that employee happiness is an integral part of organizational performance. A happy worker is a productive worker, and this fact can be proved by several issues. If an employee is happy, there is a possibility that some things that may disturb a working process can be removed. People are focused on their tasks, comprehend what kind of work should be done, and properly complete their duties. The level of productivity can be increased considerably. A happy employee is eager to visit the workplace and share optimism with other people. The development of positive attitudes and trustful relations with co-workers is the key to effective teamwork. When people exchange information and positive emotions, they increase their chances to work hard and to use their knowledge, potential, and abilities.
At the same time, I want to admit that too much happiness may easily distract employees. It can be hard for a worker to concentrate on all tasks and think about the necessity to improve the results and develop. There is no ability to control the level of happiness that can be appropriate and can be above the norm. In other words, organizations cannot identify the line when happiness is regarded as a motivator, and when happiness turns out to be an organizational challenge.
Therefore, happiness may be characterized by several positive and negative outcomes of employee productivity. In the United States, organizations expect that their employees can control their emotions and use their happiness to meet positive organizational outcomes.
In general, I want to introduce happiness in the workplace as a serious issue for consideration because different organizations formulate different opinions and attitudes to happiness and its relation to productivity. It is impossible to create one theory or one formula according to which it is possible to identify what kind of measurement is appropriate for happiness. Besides, happiness is a personal quality. Its development depends on traits, knowledge, and abilities. Organizational success and productivity cannot be compared with the level of happiness achieved by an employee. Still, it seems to be normal for organizations to take care of their employees’ emotional well-being and promote happiness, job satisfaction, and commitment. Turnover rates can be changed because of different reasons, and happiness has no connection to this factor. Anyway, if a leader wants to believe that a happy worker is a productive worker and uses appropriate measurements and evaluations of their work, this statement can be implemented as one of the main organizational values and purposes that have to be achieved by a company.
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