When you saw the title of this post it either made you smile or cringe. Do you need to be “happy” at work? Heck, can you even be “happy” in HR ??
The cynics out there, many of whom are my dear friends, would be saying things like, “It’s not the 70’s again !! This isn’t The Partridge Family !!” Some people at work, and life in general, feel that making someone happy is imposing on their personal space or beliefs. Others, refusing to be happy, come to work everyday in a dark mood while ominous dirge-like music plays in the background. There are countless statistics that now show that most people want to leave their job for something else. For some – ANYTHING else !!!
So, why am I going on and on about being happy? It’s because I’m knee deep into a great new read called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. It’s a fascinating book that hit at the right time. The premise is counter to most of the history of the field of psychology and that is this . . . If you are happy, you’ll be successful.
Achor points out poignantly that all of us have been looking at this the other way around – When I get successful, I’ll be happy. However, the research shows that people never feel they’re successful enough – ever.
So, what does this have to do with HR? EVERYTHING !!!
Many HR people I know are miserable in what they do. They are burdened by the reality that working with and dealing with people is rough. There is no doubt about that. But, you don’t have to be miserable.
One of my friends visited one of our franchise locations a few years ago when I just had joined LaRosa’s, Inc. He asked the owner if he knew me and he said, “That’s the new HR guy isn’t it? Man, what’s wrong with him? He’s happy all the time !!” Great isn’t it? The owner and I know each other more now and he’s a great guy. He still wonders how I can be happy and be in HR.
So, this week ask yourself . . . happy ?? I think Achor is dead on by his premise that a person needs to be genuinely positive before they’ll ever be successful. What do you think ??