Of all the Cs in the Performance-Happiness model, Conviction is the one that most stands out for me as a consultant. It gives people a lot of clarity to be able to organize their thoughts around their wellbeing at work by separating the concepts of short and long-term motivation.
It is perfectly possible to experience a mismatch between short and long-term motivation. If you have had a disagreement with your boss or a disappointing feedback session, then that can have an immediate impact on your desire to get out of bed the next morning and turn up to work….and yet, you can still feel inspired and motivated by the values of your organization and the positive impact that you know you and your work may have in the long term. To make this distinction gives both understanding and hope.
Conviction is for measuring short-term motivation, which the data identified as taking a big hit during the pandemic and was the first of the 5 Cs to show a distinct downturn in 2021, from which it has not yet recovered. Qualitative research backed this up as during the periods of lockdown and isolation many people found it harder to get out of bed and be motivated for their daily work. At the beginning, connection through a screen posed a huge challenge, and huge mind leaps had to be made to envisage how to become successful virtual teams. Here at iOpener we had become a virtual office at least three years previously, so we faced fewer issues when it became impossible to have our sporadic face-to-face meetings. And were able to share our experience with clients to help them in dealing with the situation.
From the perspective of what we measure when we calculate Conviction in the H@W questionnaire (feeling motivation at work, believing you are efficient and effective, knowing you are resilient when things get tough, and feeling that your work has a positive impact on the world), we were already used to knowing in an independent way what we had to do and somehow finding the energy and desire to do it. We knew we could still be efficient and effective while distance working. We also knew that this was not necessarily easy, so were able to support clients in finding how to do this, in part through developing the resilience muscle. And as for knowing that our work has a positive impact on the world, we took the decision to make the questionnaire free of charge in 2021 because it felt like the right thing to do in this crisis, in order to contribute our own small piece that could add to people’s sense of being able to do something to make their own work lives better. In a locked down world we had a head start which we decided to share far and wide, and our current participation in the International Week of Happiness at Work is part of this same effort.
As Fennande van der Meulen of Happy Office says, how can it be that happiness at work is something that we would all like to have, and yet we don’t spend much time thinking about it? Here’s to boosting both short term motivation and general happiness at work today!