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Is a happy worker necessarily a productive worker - Essay Example

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Managers in every organization try to come up with new and innovative ways to increase the productivity of their workforce. There are various theories and models that have been proposed and developed over the years that are aimed at understanding the workforce and in turn try to come up with ways to increase productivity…
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Is a happy worker necessarily a productive worker
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Download file to see previous pages One such theory or belief that has been around for a long time is that a happy worker is a more productive worker.
In this essay I have addressed the issue of “Is a happy worker necessarily a productive worker?” I believe that a happy worker can be more productive than an unhappy worker but it can not be said with complete conviction that a happy worker has to be more productive. I will draw on theories of motivation, attitudes and job satisfaction in order to prove the above.
Before going on to see if a happy worker is a productive worker, I will first try to put forward the concept of happiness. Happiness can not be well defined in a systematic way. It involves a number of variables. Happiness at workplace is a combined effect of numerous factors such as quality of life at work, job satisfaction, employee attitude, overall life satisfaction, negative effects, positive effects, socialization, etc (Zelenski et al., 2008). Two main aspects that contribute to happiness at a work place are employee attitude and job satisfaction. Employees have their own views on various aspects of their work, their personal career and on the organization as a whole. These viewpoints are affected by various factors and make up the attitudes of the employees at the workplace. Job satisfaction on the other hand is also an attitude but is the most focal of all the attitudes (Saari & Judge, 2004). Job Satisfaction is best described by Locke (1976; p1304) as “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experiences.” But most important aspect here is that job satisfaction is not completely responsible for happiness as it is not just related to the events at the workplace. Life satisfaction which involves the employee’s personal life also contributes to happiness and in fact plays a bigger role than job satisfaction. Now, returning to the purpose of this essay. Different employees have different needs and each one of them measure happiness using different parameters. In the following paragraphs I will introduce numerous theories and studies put forward by experts in the field that have contributed towards proving that happy workers might not necessarily be a more productive. Maslow’s Theory of hierarchy of needs According to Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs human behavior is determined by the progression of individual internal needs. He categorized the need hierarchically as physiological, safety and security, social, esteem and self actualization. According to him, an individual will first try to fulfill his basic needs as food, shelter, etc and then move on the higher level needs. According to this theory there is no connection between human behavior and happiness until the lower level needs are fulfilled. If a stage is not fulfilled then the individual is motivated to fulfill this stage before going to the next one (Nelson & Quick, 2007). Same can be applied to an organization. An employee in an organization is motivated by his manager to fulfill uncompleted stages. The manager can motivate the employee by offering rewards or other benefits such as promotions. Each employee will be motivated by different means and this necessarily is to fulfill their needs rather than attaining happiness. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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