I’ve been reading “Happiness by Design” by Paul Donan (known as the Professor Happy !!). It starts with the concept that happiness is a combination of pleasure and purpose and keeping some balance between these two. Too much hedonism doesn’t, over the long term, deliver happiness and nor does too much (worthwhile) work or purpose. Keeping a balance (not necessarily an equal balance) over the long term is one of the keys to a happy life.
This made me think about the PFIT profile we use to build up a picture of candidates and the section on motivation. You might be able to map the common motivations that candidates prioritise against pleasure and purpose as follows:
Salary & Benefits
Good working relationship with Superiors
Good working relationship with Peers
Good office environment / working conditions
Gaining respect & recognition of others
Status / seniority of role
Opportunity for promotion
Challenging and Stimulating work
Gaining new skills and knowledge
Sense of personal achievement
It is interesting that our list of the 12 most common motivational factors splits pretty equally between pleasure and purpose. PFIT asks candidates to prioritise their top five motivations and employers and candidates reflect on this in relation to what is wanted and what is on offer. Perhaps we should be mapping these five against pleasure and purpose to make sure you’re are hiring people who will ultimately be happy in their work life?
It’s also interesting that work life balance is not listed in the twelve which were originated by our candidates as the most important issues. This may be because it is felt to be a negative thing to ask about when looking for a job (even though it is an important factor to many people).
Whatever the basis of happiness is for you and your team one thing is clear – it’s worth exploring the motive for your candidate coming to work in depth because if you can’t deliver what they value you aren’t going to get their best work and in the long run they are unlikely to stay.