arrow up with handsDo leaders have to give away the boat in order to receive high marks from employees when it comes to happiness in the workplace?

The answer is no.

Researchers at Cangrade just completed a study of 584 employed Americans and discovered that Intellectual Stimulation is the number one predictor of Happiness and Job Satisfaction in the workplace. This research offers simple guidelines for creating a happier and more fulfilling work environment.

“These findings are quite surprising, because employers often assume things like income are the strongest drivers of happiness in the workplace. In fact our research shows that it may be the weakest”

Because it’s frequently assumed that money is the most important aspect of employees job satisfaction, employers have often increased compensation in order to increase happiness and performance. In a breakthrough study psychologists recently investigated how much happiness and job satisfaction are accounted for by different job characteristics.

How much of a person’s job Satisfaction does each job characteristic account for?

Intellectual Stimulation – 18.5% (WINNER)

Achievement & Prestige – 18.4% (2nd)

Power & Influence – 14.9 % (3rd)

Job-Security – 8.8% (4th)

Work-Life Balance – 8.0% (4th)

Affiliation & Friendship – 5.9% (6th)

Money – 5.4% (LAST)

“These findings are quite surprising because employers often assume things like income are the strongest drivers of happiness in the workplace. In fact our research shows that it may be the weakest,” said Steve Lehr, Cangrade’s Chief Science Officer.

A simple formula for happiness in the workplace

Though this research, the team discovered that to have happy employees there is a simple formula.

  • Try to ensure that jobs provide intellectual stimulation and task variety. Give your employees some autonomy, influence and opportunities to acquire prestige and recognition. Give people these things if they don’t say they need them. Give them even more if they say they do.
  • Give all your employees a break now and again, even the consummate workaholics who will tell you they don’t want or need it.
  • Offer employees extra money, security and social opportunities…but only to the extent they say these things matter to them.

“This research has a major impact on our understanding of the workplace. In addition to helping people understand what really leads to job satisfaction, these discoveries will aid in the creation of powerful tools to increase employee happiness and performance,” said Michael Burtov, Cangrade’s CEO

“Research of this sort will change how things are done,” said Lehr, adding that the workplace is a nuanced and complicated environment, and many challenges lie ahead in understanding and promoting performance and happiness. “If there is a major takeaway here, it’s that we can finally prove that money doesn’t buy happiness, and that happiness isn’t as elusive as we might think,” added Burtov.

About Cangrade and the study parameters

Cangrade’s team of psychologists analyzed the personality, skills, motivation and performance of over 200,000 employees from over 500 companies and developed a breakthrough platform to organize, track and evaluate your candidates, collaborate with co-workers, set-up intelligent hiring criteria and use it all on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton

MeetTom3About TIGERS Success Series

TIGERS Success Series provides team culture surveys, work culture surveys and team development facilitation and consulting. The company licenses and certifies consultants in the use of TIGERS, proprietary and comprehensive team and work culture system.