What HR can learn from ‘happy wife, happy life’

by Sarah Megginson18 Sep 2014
It’s official: the cheeky age-old phrase ‘happy wife, happy life’ is actually based in fact. But what can HR learn from this philosophy to create a happy and harmonious workforce?
According to a new study from Rutgers University in New Jersey, the happier the wife is in a long-term marriage, the happier the husband is, too.
“I think it comes down to the fact that when a wife is satisfied with the marriage, she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life,” said report co-author Prof. Deborah Carr.
In the workplace, this philosophy also rings true.
In simplistic terms, the happier and more engaged employees are, the more motivated they are to go the extra mile for their employers, bringing about positive results that subsequently create a happy boss.
By making an effort to learn what drives your employees on an individual level – and importantly, by praising their performance for a job well done – this positive output loop can be maintained, said behavioural economist Dan Ariely in a TEDx talk
“Ignoring the performance of people is almost as bad as shredding their effort before their eyes,” Ariely said.
Adding motivation isn’t too difficult, he said, as “all kinds of things motivate us to work – [such as] meaning, creation, challenges, ownership, identify and pride.”
“If we added those components and thought about them – about how we create our own meaning, pride and motivation in our workplace and with our employees – I think we could get people to be more productive and happier,” Ariely said.
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  • by Martina 18/09/2014 1:42:03 PM

    appalled that you would report this - even thought you are trying to draw a workplace analogy - lets keep away from gender based stereotypical examples. One study does not equate to a universal truth. Lets talk about what we can do for each other in our roles in organisations. Lets move forward not try and engender (no oun intended) the past

  • by iRevu 28/09/2014 6:57:57 PM

    While I agree that gender-related analogies are not necessary here, it's difficult to disagree with the message - these days, while we have so many communication tools at our disposal, failing to recognise good performance is not acceptable and detrimental to employee motivation. While we are all busy and juggle multiple tasks, using a simple mobile app could streamline the feedback-sharing process and increase motivation.

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