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Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success

ISBN: 978-0-470-74946-3
254 pages
April 2010
Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success  (0470749466) cover image
Sharing the results of her four-year research journey in simple, jargon-free language, Pryce-Jones exposes the secrets of being happy at work.
  • Focuses on what happiness really means in a work context and why it matters to individuals and organisations in both human and financial terms
  • Equips readers with the information, knowledge and skills to make the most of the nearly 100,000 hours that they'll spend at work over a lifetime
  • Demystifies psychological research through a fascinating array of  anecdotes, case studies, and interviews from people in the trenches of the working world, including business world-leaders, politicians, particle physicists, and philosophers, sheep farmers, waitresses, journalists, teachers, and lawyers, to name just a few
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Prologue.

Acknowledgments.

1 Why Happiness at Work? Why Now?

2 The Research Journey.

3 Contribution from the Inside-Out.

4 Contribution from the Outside-In.

5 Conviction.

6 Culture.

7 Commitment.

8 Confidence.

9 Pride, Trust, and Recognition.

10 Achieving Your Potential.

Happiness at Work: A Conclusion.

What Next?

References.

Dramatis Personae.

Index.

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Jessica Pryce-Jones is CEO and founder of the Oxford-based consultancy iOpener, which enables people to improve their performance and organizations to develop sustainably. A regular speaker and media commentator, she featured in the BBC series Making Slough Happy and CNN’s special on happiness at work. Pryce-Jones teaches and coaches leaders at London Business School, Chicago Booth, Saïd Business School in Oxford, and Judge Business School in Cambridge. Clients include multinationals in banking, IT, health, publishing, and engineering as well as the public and not-for-profit sectors.
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  • Focuses on what happiness really means in a work context and why it matters to individuals and organisations in both human and financial terms
  • Equips readers with the information, knowledge and skills to make the most of the nearly 100,000 hours that they'll spend at work over a lifetime
  • Demystifies psychological research through a fascinating array of  anecdotes, case studies, and interviews from people in the trenches of the working world, including business world-leaders, politicians, particle physicists, and philosophers, sheep farmers, waitresses, journalists, teachers, and lawyers, to name just a few
See More

"After reading this book, I certianly did not need any more convincing that happiness at work matters. I am usually wary of self-help books, but the author's message is too simple to be ignored. . . Read this book, take action and get happier at work." (Edge, 1 September 2011)

"Pryce-Jones, who is among a growing number of experts studying the connection between happiness and productivity in the workplace, suggests there's a significant difference between happiness and engagement." (Human Resource Executive Online, October 2010)

"This book is a useful addition to the array of books published in recent years the objective of which is to help folks who are not social scientists or clinical therapists understand happiness as a concept and how the research thereon over the past few decades can be used to achieve greater levels of personal happiness and the successes in life that go therewith." (Social Indicators Network News, May 2010)

"The author undertook an enormous five year study of the concept and implications of happiness at both work and at home. The result of the intensive interviews underlined the critical importance of workplace happiness, and its correlation with a happier personal life." (Blog Business World, June 2010)

"Normally I pick a book up, read the first few pages, then find I can't face it and end up leaving it in a hotel room. But this book, I picked it up, started to read it and I thought, ‘Hallelujah! Here is a book that makes sense at last.' And that was just so refreshing. I don't even have a copy at the moment, because I have given about ten of them away to people saying, ‘You have just got to read this!'" (Fivebooks.com, June 2010)

“So, if you want a workplace filled with happy workers who are more productive, engaged and willing to contribute, then you need to read this wonderful book by Jessica Pryce-Jones.” (Inside Personal Growth, May 2010)

“Everyone gripes about work, but Jessica Pryce-Jones, founder of British human-asset management consultancy iOpener, discovered that, believe it or not, work makes us happy. In her straightforward examination of the relationships among work, productivity and happiness, she takes readers on a journey through the core elements of happiness at work, ultimately tasking them with reaching their own happy place.” (Kirkus Living Well Supplement, June 2010)

"Whether you’re an individual who wants to enjoy the personal benefits that derive from happiness or part of a management team that recognizes the direct correlation between happiness and productivity, Happiness at Work is the essential guide to understanding this once-elusive subject." (HR.com, April 2010)

"An excellent study in employee happiness. There is a lot of value to be gained from this book." (Teach the Soul, April 2010)

"A useful and informative guide in helping employers create environments and structures that keep employees happy and productive." (Basil & Spice, April 2010)

"Sharing the results of her four–year research journey in simple, jargon–free language, [Pryce-Jones] exposes unexpected secrets about being happy at work." (StrategyDriven, April 2010)

"[Pryce-Jones] demystifies the latest research, illustrating her findings with a fascinating array of over 80 revealing interviews." (The CEO Refresher, April 2010)

"A fascinating new book based on many years of consulting and coaching experience … .Packed with case studies." (CNNMoney.com, April 2010)

"Good trainer that she is, Pryce-Jones works hard to convert knowledge to understanding, and finally, to practical action. This is a 'How To' book for grown-ups who recognise they can try harder and deserve better." (Management Today, February 2010)

"A very good book for understanding aspects of work that traditionally aren't considered 'important.' And if you're struggling with a job (either new or long-term) that doesn't seem to have that 'spark,' you may find out why (as well as how to change yourself and get re-centered)." (Duffbert's Random Musings, March 2010)

“Everyone gripes about work, but Jessica Pryce-Jones, founder of British human-asset management consultancy iOpener, discovered that, believe it or not, work makes us happy. In her straightforward examination of the relationships among work, productivity and happiness, she takes readers on a journey through the core elements of happiness at work, ultimately tasking them with reaching their own happy place.” (Kirkus Living Well Supplement, June 2010)

"Whether you’re an individual who wants to enjoy the personal benefits that derive from happiness or part of a management team that recognizes the direct correlation between happiness and productivity, Happiness at Work is the essential guide to understanding this once-elusive subject." (HR.com, April 2010)

"An excellent study in employee happiness. There is a lot of value to be gained from this book." (Teach the Soul, April 2010)

"A useful and informative guide in helping employers create environments and structures that keep employees happy and productive." (Basil & Spice, April 2010)

"Sharing the results of her four–year research journey in simple, jargon–free language, [Pryce-Jones] exposes unexpected secrets about being happy at work." (StrategyDriven, April 2010)

"[Pryce-Jones] demystifies the latest research, illustrating her findings with a fascinating array of over 80 revealing interviews." (The CEO Refresher, April 2010)

"A fascinating new book based on many years of consulting and coaching experience … .Packed with case studies." (CNNMoney.com, April 2010)

"Good trainer that she is, Pryce-Jones works hard to convert knowledge to understanding, and finally, to practical action. This is a 'How To' book for grown-ups who recognise they can try harder and deserve better." (Management Today, February 2010)

"A very good book for understanding aspects of work that traditionally aren't considered 'important.' And if you're struggling with a job (either new or long-term) that doesn't seem to have that 'spark,' you may find out why (as well as how to change yourself and get re-centered)." (Duffbert's Random Musings, March 2010)

‘We all want to be happy in every area of our lives, including work. This book offers the secret to finding happiness at work for us all, which in turn helps us to experience a more meaningful and healthy life.’
Lynne Franks, author of The Seed Handbook: The Feminine Way to Create Business

'Illustrated with fascinating and diverse interviews, this book is understandable and easy to read. Jess Pryce-Jones has definitely created a great guide for anyone who wants to improve their working life.'
Cathy L. Greenberg, PhD, New York Times Best Selling author of What Happy Working Mothers Know, and Managing Partner of h2c Happy Companies Healthy People

‘Jessica Pryce-Jones establishes happiness as more than a fleeting feeling; she argues that it is a critical resource for successful work and a good life. She brings her years of experience to bear on this important topic and provides practical tools for achieving more happiness at work. The book is wonderfully written.’
Robert Biswas-Diener, author of Positive Psychology Coaching

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April 01, 2010
In Today's Economy, Does Happiness in the Workplace Really Matter?

“Happiness does matter from both an individual viewpoint and in terms of business sustainability,” says Jessica Pryce-Jones, CEO of the human asset management consultancy iOpener and author of the new book HAPPINESS AT WORK Maximizing Your Psychological Capital For Success (Wiley-Blackwell, April 2010).  “If you’re really happy at work, you’ll be 180 percent happier with life overall, have 180 percent more energy, and be nearly 50 percent more productive than your least happy colleagues,” she explains.  Pryce-Jones bases her conclusions on an in-depth, five-year study involving 3,000 people that included focus groups and comprehensive interviews with eighty individuals, as well as her years of consulting and coaching for both large and small organizations.

According to Pryce-Jones, happiness at work is a mindset that allows people and their organizations to maximize performance and achieve their full potential.  Based on her research, the benefits include getting promoted faster, earning and learning more, generating better and more creative ideas, achieving greater success, and being healthier.  For businesses, the impact is greatly improved productivity and sustainability.

Commitment is what every organization wants from every employee because it has such a big impact on the bottom line.  People know what it looks like, but find it extremely difficult to achieve.  In HAPPINESS AT WORK, Pryce-Jones shows that increasing Commitment is just as much an individual’s responsibility as it is a corporate one.   People suffer when they don’t feel committed to what they do.  Pryce-Jones provides a clear road-map for achieving Commitment.

Confidence gives people the knowledge that they can handle tasks and relationships too.  Contribution, Conviction, and Commitment all depend on being confident.  “At its center, Confidence is made up of getting things done, the solid evidence which tells you ‘yes I can.’  The softer, flakier and more fragile edge is made up of self-belief and your understanding of your role,” Pryce-Jones explains.  The harder center is difficult to dislodge, while the softer edge is more vulnerable.  It’s important to choose jobs, goals, and challenges that push the boundaries of one’s comfort zone in order to grow Confidence.  But it’s equally important not to do it alone.  Increasing Confidence also means creating safety mechanisms and support when trying new and difficult things.

Highlighting the personal stories of managers, employees, politicians, farmers, teachers, journalists, bankers, doctors, and others, HAPPINESS AT WORK is truly a hands-on primer for creating success.  In addition to exploring the 5Cs, Pryce-Jones also shows how Pride, Trust, and Recognition are intricately woven into the very fabric of happiness.  People need Pride and Trust in their organizations and Recognition for their achievements.  “These qualities act like signposts, confirming that you’re on the right road, in the right vehicle, and heading in the right direction,” the author writes.  “Not having them is strongly associated with less productivity, more sick leave, and greater intention to quit.”

Whether you’re an individual who wants to enjoy the personal benefits that derive from happiness or part of a management team that recognizes the direct correlation between happiness and productivity, HAPPINESS AT WORK is the essential guide to understanding this once-elusive subject. 

Fast-paced, insightful, and filled with practical advice, anecdotes, and case studies, HAPPINESS AT WORK reveals that there are five components – or 5Cs – to the happiness equation:

Contribution is the most important part and operates in two ways – from the Inside-Out and from the Outside-In.  Inside-Out means achieving one’s goals, having clear objectives, raising issues that are personally important, and feeling secure in one’s job.  The Outside-In part of Contribution consists of being listened to, getting positive feedback, being respected by one’s boss, and feeling appreciated.  Pryce-Jones suggests that people focus first on things that are clear and doable such as goals and objectives and that the more abstract concepts such as having a sense of job security will flow from there.

Conviction is about being motivated at work; feeling effective and efficient; showing resiliency when times are tough, and perceiving that one’s work has a positive impact on the world.  Although Pryce-Jones provides practical tools to help people achieve a strong sense of Conviction, she warns that this component is often easy to ignore, because it involves a deep sense of self-awareness.  “Pay attention to your level of Conviction,” she advises. “It provides essential clues that indicate whether you’re truly happy on the job or need to make changes.”

Culture is made up of the norms, values, and behaviors that are particular to an organization.  People who work in a positive culture enjoy their jobs, like their colleagues, appreciate the values the workplace stands for, believe they are being treated fairly, and feel that they have control of their daily activities.  Although Culture is more difficult for individuals to change than Contribution and Conviction, Pryce-Jones does provide steps that people can take to impact the Culture around them, since being proactive is a key to happiness.

Commitment is what every organization wants from every employee because it has such a big impact on the bottom line.  People know what it looks like, but find it extremely difficult to achieve.  In HAPPINESS AT WORK, Pryce-Jones shows that increasing Commitment is just as much an individual’s responsibility as it is a corporate one.   People suffer when they don’t feel committed to what they do.  Pryce-Jones provides a clear road-map for achieving Commitment.

Confidence gives people the knowledge that they can handle tasks and relationships too.  Contribution, Conviction, and Commitment all depend on being confident.  “At its center, Confidence is made up of getting things done, the solid evidence which tells you ‘yes I can.’  The softer, flakier and more fragile edge is made up of self-belief and your understanding of your role,” Pryce-Jones explains.  The harder center is difficult to dislodge, while the softer edge is more vulnerable.  It’s important to choose jobs, goals, and challenges that push the boundaries of one’s comfort zone in order to grow Confidence.  But it’s equally important not to do it alone.  Increasing Confidence also means creating safety mechanisms and support when trying new and difficult things.

Highlighting the personal stories of managers, employees, politicians, farmers, teachers, journalists, bankers, doctors, and others, HAPPINESS AT WORK is truly a hands-on primer for creating success.  In addition to exploring the 5Cs, Pryce-Jones also shows how Pride, Trust, and Recognition are intricately woven into the very fabric of happiness.  People need Pride and Trust in their organizations and Recognition for their achievements.  “These qualities act like signposts, confirming that you’re on the right road, in the right vehicle, and heading in the right direction,” the author writes.  “Not having them is strongly associated with less productivity, more sick leave, and greater intention to quit.”

Whether you’re an individual who wants to enjoy the personal benefits that derive from happiness or part of a management team that recognizes the direct correlation between happiness and productivity, HAPPINESS AT WORK is the essential guide to understanding this once-elusive subject. 

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