Monday, August 21, 2006

What Makes Us Happy (At Work)?

More than 50 years ago, pioneering psychologist Abraham Maslow said that self-actualization -- the instinctive drive to make the most of one's unique abilities and to be the best that you can be -- is one of the highest needs of human beings.

Want proof? Look at the economic situation of mainstream Americans in light of a recent survey by the Gallup organization.

Just last month, investor optimism reached its lowest ebb, according to the UBS/Gallup Index of Investor Optimism. Moreover, investors have turned pessimistic about the economic outlook for the year ahead. It's no wonder. When British Petroleum temporarily shut down the nation's biggest oil field
in Alaska after discovering a leak, oil prices rose by more than $2 a barrel. In New York, where Makovsky is headquartered, the average price for unleaded gas is $3.32 cents per gallon, 6 cents higher than last month. In the past year, the price has gone up about 70 cents a gallon.

Yet despite worries about their economic future, Americans put pay, benefits, and job security lower down the list of qualities that are important to them in their job than a sense of fulfillment, opportunities to help people, and autonomy in how they accomplish their tasks.

It's what motivates me. I'm happy to find it's a universal phenomenon.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard the same type of message..."workers want to spend more time with their family. Workers want a good quality of life. etc."

But in the same breath, how many American's will forego part of their vacation time this year? How many American's will take their Blackberrys to their vacation or kid's soccer game?

It's the whole phenomenon of workers say one thing and do another. Ask a worker if he rather get paid $100,000 or $50,000 with Friday's off and see who bites.

Kevin Nichols

Saturday, September 09, 2006 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ken Makovsky said...

If you want to be a workaholic when you are working, OK. But when you’re on vacation, vacation hard and forget about the office. Don't think about it, don't call in and don't invite calls. Invest in yourself. Return refreshed and ready to go hard at it again.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:22:00 PM  

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