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However, I stand by my underlying assumption that managers cannot make their employees happy and that should not be their first goal with employees. Managers create the conditions for happiness; employees choose to be happy.
Happiness at work, while unique to each individual, is often the product of:
- Challenging, engaging work. Bored people are not happy.
- Seeing the work as valuable and important.
- Being immersed in a psychologically safe environment, where each person is free to, and expected to, speak his mind even when disagreeing, and where each person's speech and behavior are respectful of others.
- perceiving pay, hiring, and promotion systems as fair
For some people, working with people with whom they have an affinity is also a necessary ingredient for happiness. If you are one of these folks, I recommend choosing your job carefully: be sure to meet as many coworkers as possible before taking a job and if possible, attend a meeting and/or a lunch with them.