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A Happiness Researcher Has Found That There Are Four Keys to a Fulfilling Job

This question originally appeared on QuoraWhat are some ways companies can increase happiness levels of employees, in order to boost performance? Answer by Raj Raghunathan, professor of marketing and happiness expert at UT Austin.

One way to answer this question is to first get an understanding of what we need—beyond basic necessities—in order to lead a happier and more fulfilling life. It turns out that we need two main things. First, we need to feel that we are progressing towards fulfillment of three important goals: 1) Mastery (the feeling that we are really good at something), 2) Belonging (or intimacy with at least one other human being), and 3) Autonomy (or the feeling that we are not puppets in someone else’s hands, but rather are the authors of our own judgments and decisions). The second thing we need is a certain attitude or mindset—specifically, the mindset of abundance. The mindset of abundance, rather than that of scarcity, is more conducive for sustaining happiness.

Once you understand this, it becomes a little clearer what companies can do to promote the happiness of employees. You need to help employees progress towards mastery—e.g., help them develop...

7 Ways to Find Meaning at Work

Several years ago, Gallup asked people in 142 countries to respond to a series of statements designed to measure employee engagement—involving matters like their job satisfaction, whether they felt their work was important, and whether they had opportunities in the workplace to learn and grow. What the polling firm found was that engagement is the exception, not the rule: Worldwide, 13 percent of employees were engaged at work, while 63 percent were not engaged and 24 percent were “actively disengaged,” meaning they were unhappy and unproductive. Engagement rates were highest in the United States and Canada, and lowest in East Asia.

“About one in eight workers . . . are psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations,” Gallup noted. “The bulk of employees worldwide . . . lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes.”

These realities restrain not just economic productivity and growth, but quality of life around the world; after all, in advanced economies, people spend more than a third of their day at work. David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, and Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington...

Why Stress is More Likely to Cause Depression in Men Than in Women

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more women are affected by depression than men. This pattern is seen in countries around the world, including the United States.

Cross-national and cross-cultural studies have indicated that the prevalence of depression among women is higher at any given time than among men. This pattern does not seem to have many exceptions.

Why is that? Biological differences between men and women, like hormones, explain part of it. These are examples of sex differences. But social factors between men and women (gender differences) may play a bigger role. For instance, women, in general, experience more stress than men, and research has shown that social stress is a main cause of depression.

But, new research that I’ve conducted with my colleague Maryam Moghani Lankarani suggests that men might be more vulnerable to depression caused by stressful events.

Why are more women depressed than men?

Researchers have defined stress as any major changes to the status quo (existing balance) that may potentially cause mental or emotional strain or tension. These stressful life events can include marriage, divorce, separation, marital reconciliation, personal injury or illness, dismissal from work or retirement.

Men are more likely to have...

Looking Under the Hood of Annoying Management Speak

Poking fun at corporate jargon is on trend. Newspapers and online publications get a kick out of compiling extensive lists of the most egregious examples and the overarching narrative is that we should puncture the pomposity that this “management speak” is deemed to represent.

To its critics, this new language of business is seen as a tool for making things seem more impressive than they are. Phrases are dismissed as “meaningless lingo” or “lame euphemisms” and we are offered simplified, plain speaking versions instead. Sometimes, we are simply forbidden to use them.

But before we throw the baby out with bathwater – see what I did there? – we should stop to reconsider. What is the problem with this form of language? Why are we so annoyed by it? And why do so may of us keep using it?

Drilling down

The first problem is a semantic one. There is a big difference between the various labels so liberally used in the media, so let’s get it straight. “Jargon” is the technical vocabulary used specifically in a particular organisation or within a specific community. Idiomatic language – or management/corporate speak – is a fixed set of expressions used typically in business contexts...

Are Agencies Up to the Task of Managing Electronic Records?

On Dec. 31, federal agencies will be taking a huge step forward in creating a modernized system for records management. As part of the Managing Government Records Directive (M-12-18), agencies must submit records schedules for all existing paper and non-electronic records, and be ready to manage all email records in an accessible electronic format.

Both of these are vital components to meeting the directive’s end goal – managing all permanent electronic records in an electronic format by Dec. 31, 2019. This milestone is important because agencies can leverage these changes to better respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, meet eDiscovery needs and contribute to a more open government.

Currently, an overwhelming majority of agencies are on track to meet these deadlines –  93 percent of senior agency officials reported they would meet the email goal by end of 2016. However, while these requirements constitute a solid baseline for managing records for future formats, they do not encompass the totality of the responsibilities and expectations that will be required of information management professionals as data continues to grow and evolve over the coming years.

Where We Are Now

A new Iron Mountain survey shows that while the majority of federal information...

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