Career goals aren’t just useful for climbing the corporate ladder or increasing your salary. They can also be used to boost job satisfaction and your engagement at work. The development of your career goals lies with your ability to understand your happiness and productivity in the workplace.
The experts at Robert Half show you how to set career goals so you can achieve your level of happiness in the workplace, now and into the future.
What defines workplace happiness?
According to a global research commissioned by Robert Half, there are three main factors which impact how happy UK employees are at work: pride in their organisation, being treated with fairness and respect, and feeling appreciated.
Although you might assume that these are all things which can only be influenced by an employer, there is plenty you can do when it comes to finding happiness at work. Setting goals which tackle each of these three factors can help you regain some control over working happy and will improve your productivity and satisfaction in the process.
Professional goals for happiness in the workplace
- The positive psychology of achieving a good work–life balance
When your work–life balance is poor, your physical and mental wellbeing can suffer. According to the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide, 44% of UK businesses are offering flexible working to current employees because they feel it will improve staff retention and have a positive impact on work–life balance.
To help achieve better balance, you can try working from home several times a month which will vary your work environment. You could also vow to take your full holiday allocation, spreading this out throughout the year. Start taking lunch breaks outside of the office environment, so sitting away from your desk to eat lunch. Leaving the office on time is something you can do to try and restore a sense of purpose to your work–life balance. In the long run the restoration of your work–life balance can have a positive effect on your happiness and productivity at work.
- Partake in more work-related social events
Research shows that 62% of happy professionals have good friends at work and 81% get along with those on their immediate team. Company culture can remain productive with a friendly and communicative team and really boost your engagement at work. To increase your chances of forming positive bonds, try arranging a weekly team lunch or monthly activity that everyone can enjoy. Make it part of your professional goals to form new friendships and see how much of a difference it can make!
- Principles that match company core values
Fitting with corporate culture is important for employee happiness in the workplace. In the UK, the biggest factor for happiness at work was feeling a sense of pride in an employer organisation. Core values are important factors that can fuel a "feel good" attitude within the workplace.
If you don’t agree with your employer’s core values or the values of the brand you represent while at work, it might be better to think about changing things up and moving to a new role which is in alignment with your own personal values.
- Participate in projects outside of your comfort zone
Research has shown that workplace happiness goes up when work is interesting and meaningful, so don’t let others dictate the direction of your career development. Take the opportunity to put yourself forward for the projects or tasks that you’d like to do. Try to set yourself new development goals which push you outside of your comfort zone.
- Broaden your skill set
A sense of achievement is crucial in attaining happiness at work, and what better way to keep things fresh than by learning new job skills. Work alongside your direct report to choose which skills are most useful for the role, the company and your own satisfaction, then aim to gain a qualification. Broadening your skill set can not only help to boost quality of life but can pave the way to being happier at work.
- Focus your strengths by applying thoughtful responses
Your role does not have limitations on your ability to be heard and likewise you don’t have to be part of the senior leadership team to be noticed as part of the office team. When we feel our opinions and thoughts matter, workplaces become a fairer and more respectful place to be. Aim to fill in workplace surveys or to provide feedback on projects and processes during performance meetings, so you can make a tangible difference to the positive emotions which affect your happiness in the workplace.
Would you like help setting career goals to enhance your workplace happiness? Are you hoping to find a new opportunity more in line with your values? Get in touch with the Robert Half team today.