Originally Published at Harvard Business Review, Bringing the science of happiness to life. If a co-worker seems to be suffering from loneliness, what can managers and colleagues do to support them? The solitude of the ivory tower seems to be a real phenomenon, as well. They are more likely to work for the government. Crum, Alia, Peter Salovey, and Shawn Achor. The biggest differentiators on the spectrum of loneliness showed up in specific demographic profiles. Helping others find the meaning in their own work magnifies the meaning one experiences personally. Developed for wounded soldiers at the behest of the United […]. In 2007, Achor founded GoodThinkInc.,[4] and then later co-founded The Institute for Applied Positive Research with his wife, Michelle Gielan. America’s Loneliest Workers, According to Research Harvard Business Review, Shawn Achor, Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, Andrew Reece, and Alexi Robichaux March 19, 2018 A hundred fifty years ago, poet Emily Dickinson described loneliness as “the horror not to be surveyed, but skirted in the dark.” Dickinson concluded her poem by hinting that there are, in fact, two approaches to coping with loneliness: one can either “illuminate” it, or shut it away.

Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. [10] Achor also frequently writes for the Harvard Business Review, with other thirty five articles in both the online and print versions of the journal.

Understand what makes their work meaningful to them, and then connect that to what makes it meaningful for you. In this kind of high-pressure situation, many leaders pester their deputies with frequent meetings or flood their in-boxes with urgent demands. Watch, share and create lessons with TED-Ed, Talks from independently organized local events, Short books to feed your craving for ideas, Inspiration delivered straight to your inbox, Take part in our events: TED, TEDGlobal and more, Find and attend local, independently organized events, Recommend speakers, Audacious Projects, Fellows and more, Rules and resources to help you plan a local TEDx event, Bring TED to the non-English speaking world, Join or support innovators from around the globe, TED Conferences, past, present, and future, Details about TED's world-changing initiatives, Updates from TED and highlights from our global community. This is perhaps not surprising, given the known high prevalence of depression among lawyers. [13], Achor co-authored the children's book Ripple's Effect with his sister, Amy Blankson, as a way to bring positive psychology concepts to children. and "Happiness doesn’t necessarily lead to increased productivity. Knowing which populations are most at risk of loneliness, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into knowing what to do about it. Shawn has 3 jobs listed on their profile. In a breakdown of loneliness and social support rates by profession, legal practice was the loneliest kind of work, followed by engineering and science. Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology. Shawn Achor is the CEO of Good Think Inc., where he researches and teaches about positive psychology.

Simple adjustments to workers’ daily routines can make a big difference — going for lunch with that new connection, for example, instead of alone. Little such data exists, however, leaving them to take their best guess. ", Andre Spicer and Carl Cederström [17] state "Sure, there is evidence to suggest that happy employees are less likely to leave, more likely to satisfy customers, are safer, and more likely to engage in citizenship behavior. After many decades of opting for the latter strategy — politely ignoring this taboo topic — scientists and HR leaders alike have come to see the wisdom in the former. Ever since the 18th century, people have been pointing out that the demand to be happy brings with it a heavy burden, a responsibility that can never be perfectly fulfilled. Over time, these prosocial nudges can steer a workplace in the right direction, creating a healthier, more supportive culture. What’s the worst kind of praise you can give? Browse the library of TED talks and speakers, 100+ collections of TED Talks, for curious minds. Workers in our sample reported many of the same troubling side effects of loneliness that others have already observed. America’s loneliest workers are single and childless.

When workplaces become more supportive, performance and retention improves. Our study found that employees who experienced above average levels of workplace social support were more likely to have received a raise sometime in the past six months. The most troubling finding we encountered concerned sexual orientation.

", Poor Ash's Almanack [16] states "My much bigger disagreement is with Achor’s anti-defensive-pessimism stance: for all the good that Before Happiness did me (and believe me, it was a lot), abandoning defensive pessimism was a painful and emotionally damaging mistake. A hundred fifty years ago, poet Emily Dickinson described loneliness as “the horror not to be surveyed, but skirted in the dark.” Had she been running a modern company, she might have felt differently. Not all forms of social support, however, are equally impactful. Wrong. These are the employees at greatest risk in this epidemic. While more attention has been given recently to sexual orientation in inclusivity initiatives, these results suggest there’s still much to be done in this area.

Our profile analyses covered a broad range of demographics and work-related variables, trying to spot groups of workers who are particularly at risk for feeling lonely. Lonelier workers perform more poorly, quit more often, and feel less satisfied with their jobs — costing employers upwards of £2.5 billion ($3.5 billion U.S.) in the United Kingdom alone. America’s Loneliest Workers, According to Research

Government employees were lonelier than for-profit and nonprofit workers, and reported slightly lower levels of social support on the job.

For example, loneliness and social support were unrelated to geographic location. Our survey found that this approach translates into demonstrable improvements on key human resources metrics. Focusing on happiness can actually make us feel less happy.". One hint: it often ends with the letters “est.” And it can lead to competition and disappointment, says psychologist and workplace researcher Shawn Achor. Nor were gender, race, or ethnicity good predictors. Yet we are often blind to this hidden drain on health and revenue. This reinforces social cohesion through a shared sense of accomplishment, and avoids leaving some left out in the cold. For our survey of 1,624 full-time employees, all participants in a longitudinal study of 4,000 American workers, our goals were two-fold: First, to identify those employees most at risk for feeling lonely at work; and second, to identify key drivers that maximize the benefits of increased social cohesion among employees. Loneliness should be as important to managers, CFOs, and CEOs as it is to therapists. Why you should listen Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. [5], Achor presented at TEDx, and his talk is listed as one of TED's 25 most popular[6] with more than 20 million views online. [2] He authored The Happiness Advantage[3] and founded GoodThink, Inc.[4]. Workers in our study who reported having both high levels of social support and a strong sense of shared meaning with colleagues saw the likelihood of getting a raise jump up another 30%, and intent to leave fall by an additional 24%. Staying in the same job longer also didn’t shield against loneliness, as we observed only a small decrease in loneliness related to tenure.

As employers digest the business impact of this epidemic, they’ve become hungry for a more granular understanding of who’s at risk for loneliness, and what they can do to help. TED.com translations are made possible by volunteer Respondents who worked in a for-profit industry reported feeling the least lonely and most supported out of all the employment sectors.

translators. Below, some newsy highlights. Graduate degree holders in our sample reported higher levels of loneliness and less workplace support than respondents who had only completed undergraduate or high school degrees. In other words, a sense of shared meaning seems to amplify the positive effects of social support. Use collective wins as an opportunity to celebrate the entire team. "Rethinking Stress: The Role of Mindsets in Determining the Stress Response."

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