Fun At Work ? A Big Predictor Of Job Satisfaction

Over the past five years, we?ve had almost 100,000 people complete the short version of the Full Engagement Profile, a work/life balance and stress management measurement. Lately, we?ve been looking for trends in the data gathered from this popular assessment, which is based on the widely read 2003 book, The Power of Full Engagement, coauthored by our associate, Dr. Jim Loehr. He is also the author of the 2007 book, The Power of Story.

One of the single biggest predictors of a high score on job satisfaction for both men and women, we?ve learned, is a high score on the statement, ?I have fun at work.? Two items were of even greater importance: ?I feel a sense of purpose and meaning in my work.? and ?I feel more challenge and opportunity than frustration and aggravation at work.?

Employers take note: A few opportunities for a good chuckle may go a long way towards increasing employee job satisfaction.

In a separate inquiry, we looked at the scores that predict a high score on the question: ?I feel fully engaged at work.? We found that high scores on the following predict a sense of full engagement:

?I have a high level of positive emotional energy at work.?

?I feel my work is personally fulfilling.?

?I am mentally alert and sharp at work.?

The question of personal fulfillment showed up on both lists, an item that many employers feel challenged to address. But it may be of use to look at the elements of personal fulfillment and find ways to address them. The word ?personal? means what it says: specific to the person. Praise, recognition, and a consistent attention to the work of individuals may go a long way towards increasing an employee?s sense of being valued at work. The word ?fulfillment? speaks of completion, something that can be gained when people have a sense of the whole work product. These are both old principles in workplace psychology, but apparently still the ones that make a difference.

As we learn more about the results of this fascinating survey, we?ll keep you posted.

Our company, Performance Programs, is a coauthor of the Full Engagement Profile, along with Dr. Jim Loehr?s company, Human Performance Institute of Orlando, FL, and the Wenroth Group, New York City.

Author: Kathleen Groll Connolly writes on a variety of human resources topics and is a partner in Performance Programs, Inc., an organization specializing in human resources surveys and measurement. For more information call 1-800-565-4223.