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Are you happy in your job?

How happy and fulfilled are you at work?

Now there’s a question that may well stop you in your track. Because, let’s face it, in your busy role when was the last time you were asked that question? Have you been asked that as part of your own annual performance evaluation? Or is it a question you regularly ask yourself?

This train of thought arises from some info I’ve come across on the net. I am grateful that we live in an age where a vast amount of knowledge and information is available. In terms of volunteer management I sometimes think that we are guilty off seeking guidance or leadership from a narrow silo. That is to say that we seem to lack the courage and conviction to look outside our sector at generic leadership and management philosophy. We sometimes tend to think that Volunteer Management is so unique and different that we can’t learn from others.

Of course Volunteer management is different and unique…but have we got some philosophy back to front? Because I believe that other management sectors can in fact learn from us!

But back to happiness and fulfillment at work. There haven’t been many surveys on the Volunteer Management sector. Not many in my memory at least. The only one that I recall is an international survey conducted by People First Total Solutions> I’ve written about that one before but it appears that it was largely ignored by the volunteerism sector. Which is a shame!
A section on the Wall Street Journal called ‘The Source” has teamed up with the iOpener Institute iOpener Institute for People and Performance to find out how happy and fulfilled their readers are at work. The Institute has a specially designed survey to help readers establish how happy they are at work .

Before inviting people to take part in the interview the article has some great ways of describing happiness at work

Their research shows that there are five important drivers that underpin the science of happiness at work.

  1. Contribution.

This is about what you do, so it’s made up of some of the core activities which happen at work. Like having clear goals, moving positively towards them, talking about issues that might prevent you meeting your objectives and feeling heard when you do so.

  1. Conviction.
    This is the short-term motivation both in good times and bad. That’s the key point: keeping going even when things get tough, so that you maintain your energy, motivation and resources which pull you through.

  2. Culture.
    Performance and happiness at work are really high when employees feel they fit within their organizational culture. Not fitting in a job is like wearing the wrong clothes to a party—all the time.

  3. Commitment.
    Commitment matters because it taps into the macro reasons of why you do the work you do. Some of the underlying elements of commitment are perceiving you’re doing something worthwhile, having strong intrinsic interest in your job and feeling that the vision of your organization resonates with your purpose.

  4. Confidence.
    Confidence is the gateway to the other four drivers. Too little confidence and nothing happens: too much leads to arrogance and particularly poor decisions. Without greater levels of self-belief, the backbone of confidence, there will be few people who’ll take a risk or try anything new. And you can’t have confident organizations without confident individuals inside them.

To see the whole article and to do the survey follow the link

http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2011/09/18/the-five-drivers-of-happiness-at-work/

Make you own mind up on the science of this survey because there are plenty of comments in the comments section.

I do feel it’s an interesting experiment for us to take in a sector that is devoid of self analysis and research in the first place!

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peoplefirst

Thanks for the blog and the information. There were mixed reactions to the Global Volunteer Management Survey. Managers of Volunteers and their associations were very interested but there were few other organisations that took the information on board because frankly there are few organisations that advocate for managers of volunteers. How do we get around this?

23rd Oct '11 at 14:32
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WendyMoore

Thank you DJ for highlighting this survey.

I would certainly encourage people to complete the survey as it is very quick and easy to navigate.

I think that the results of this survey would provide some valuable insights into how we feel in our workplace. I look forward to seeing the final survey results and the correlations that they identify.

23rd Oct '11 at 04:17