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Performance & Hotrod Business - February '15

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February 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 73 Improving Inner Work Life A feeling of well-being increases output. n BRICKS & MODEMS By Jason R. sakuRai E ffective managers create an atmosphere that is conducive to a great inner work life, which consists of strong motivation, positive emotions and a favorable perception of the company, their work and their coworkers. Since 2008, Gallup and Healthways have assessed the well- being of U.S. adults via the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a definitive measure and empiric database of real-time changes in well-being. The Well-Being Index uses data from individuals to view progress on the elements that matter most in respect to well-being. Their latest state-level study, based on more than 178,000 interviews with adults across all 50 states, found that overall, many were unhappy with their supervisors, apathetic about their companies and detached from what they do. When workers don't care, they don't show up consistently, they're less productive and the quality of their work suffers. Improved well-being leads to lower healthcare costs and increased worker productiv- ity, in turn enhancing orga- nizational competitiveness. The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents ideal well-being. Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile and researcher Steven Kramer, the authors of The Progress Principle, collected 12,000 diary entries from 238 workers in seven different companies. One-third of the workers expressed frustration, disdain or disgust, and their inner work life had an effect on their creativity, productivity and shared responsibility. Conversely, when workers are happy, they are more likely to contribute new ideas and perform better across the board. Managers can help ensure workers are happy on the job, within the scope of their authority to aid in this achievement. By remov- Well-Being Sub-Index Highest Sub-Index Lowest Sub-Index Life Evaluation Nebraska (56.3) West Virginia (39.3) Emotional Health Alaska (82.9) West Virginia (73.8) Work Environment North Dakota (60.7) Mississippi (41.0) Physical Health North Dakota (79.6) West Virginia (68.7) Healthy Behaviors Vermont (71.7) West Virginia (58.4) Basic Access Massachusetts (86.9) West Virginia (77.8) Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index, 2013 States With the Highest and Lowest Scores on the Well-Being Sub-Indexes States With the Higher or Lower Well Being ing obstacles, providing help when needed and acknowledging efforts beyond the norm, the feeling that employees are making progress in meaningful work is a great motivator, according to the authors. This was followed by excitement and joy about their job, improved performance and an even better inner work life. To provide incentives that are meaningful to the individual, set goals that can be attained and manage employees as they would like to be managed. Goals need to be specific, measurable, actionable, realis- tic and timed. Sell this quan- tity in a specified time and show their progress. Maybe the goal isn't strictly sales, but instead to introduce or demonstrate a product and that's the activity you want to incentivize. Whatever goal you're setting, make sure it can be attained or you're pretty much guaranteed that it won't be. Recognizing an individual's behavioral style will also help achieve the best results from all of your employees. In brief, these four styles are: • Amiable: A friendly, talkative person who accepts guidance and instruction. • Analytical: A task-oriented person who wants specificity and to understand why things are done a certain way. If you can't explain why, they won't do well. • Driven: A bottom line, no-nonsense person who wants to get things done. Strong leadership is required to direct them. • Expressive: This outgoing person wants distinction, needs compliments and recognition for their achievements. Adults spend more of their waking hours at work than any- where else. Promoting workers' well-being isn't just ethical; it makes economic sense. Fostering positive inner work lives sometimes requires manag- ers to better articulate meaning in the work. If managers believe their mission in part is to support employees' everyday progress, inner work life within your company and our economy's produc- tivity as a whole will improve. Jason R. Sakurai is the owner of Roadhouse Marketing, an advertising, marketing and public relations firm dedicated to the automotive aftermarket. BUSINESS

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