New research has shown the emotional strain experienced by people faking happiness at work. Apparently no good come from faking it – at least not for the faker.
This is big news, according to the research, because happiness is now big business and integral to the success and presentation of many businesses.
Positive emotional displays from staff – particularly public-facing staff – can give one business competitive advantage over another. It is all to do with changing consumer expectations. These days we no longer want to simply consume a product for its functional purpose or even the experience of consumption itself. What we are after are products and services that align with or reinforce the identify we seek to embody – the more positive and happier the better. This is why the business or creator is now an important element of the consumer experience. No longer can they remain anonymous, in the background; rather they now have to smile – the bigger the better. We don’t want unethical or unhappy creators – even if the product or service was objectively out of this world – because this would look bad on us and who we are.
This is why companies invest so much in their corporate identity and put such a big emphasis on happiness, which, again, is no real surprise when you consider that four out of five jobs being created are in the service sector, where identity and customer experience is everything. Businesses are waking up to the idea that, to attract and retain customers, they need to create consumer experiences that make people want to come back for more. The positive emotion of the worker isn’t just an added extra, but should be central to the service itself. Unsurprisingly there are now training companies offering to help businesses manufacture the happiness of their staff.
However, as the research showed, faking happiness and positivity over a long period of time will lead to strain and stress, resulting from prolonged suppression of how one really feels. Emotional discrepancies can lead to staff feeling estranged from who they really are and it will almost certainly lower their engagement in work and overall productivity.
Avensure are pleased to announce the launch of the new Employee Assistance Programme, Zest, designed to help improve employee physical and mental health. Zest in run in partnership with Care First.
Your employees can take advantage of Zest in a number of ways. They will have access to a confidential, twenty-four hour counselling service, as well as an online portal and app to help them manage their work/life balance by offering nutritional advice, a personal training program, and a wellness plan, amongst other unique features intended to boost your employee wellbeing and happiness. Needless to say, happy employees equals happy businesses, because healthy and happy employees are generally more engaged at work and with their colleagues, leading to increased productivity and benefits for the employer.