The Enjoyment Theory

happiness, enjoyment

Job satisfaction increases job performance

Dale Carnegie, the famous author and developer of self-improvement training, is quoted as saying “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing”. Is it fun or enjoyment that makes us want to stay with a job or career? Can we really be successful if we don’t enjoy what we do?

I know from personal experience when I was a Store Manager and had to review budgets, spreadsheets full of figures and monthly P&L accounts in great detail, I’d do it because business analysis was an integral part of my job.

Did I enjoy it? Only partially and mainly I tolerated it. If I could delegate it or put off so I could go and walk around my shop floor to talk to my customers, I would. If the bulk of that job was detailed reviewing of figures, I would have been one very unhappy and not only that. It would take me a long time to do because I wasn’t enjoying it and this would reinforce my belief that I wasn’t any good at it.

From science’s point of view, research shows that people who enjoy at least 75% of their job are 3 times more likely to succeed than people who enjoy their job less. It means that measuring factors that relate to job satisfaction could make it possible to predict job success. If someone enjoys their job, it would suggest they are more likely to perform well, deliver great results and want to grow within their role. On the other hand, if there is a lot of workplace stress and a person doesn't enjoy what they are doing, most likely they will underperform and be dissatisfied.

job satisfaction, job performance

Enjoyment Performance Methodology™

Enjoyment Performance Methodology™ is one of the key theories that underpin a tool called Harrison Assessments. It measures satisfaction factors, those things that we like and also those things we don’t. For example do you like precision-type tasks or the opportunity to be creative? Do you require supervision from your line managers or role or want to be autonomous etc.?

Through a simple online questionnaire, Harrison Assessments takes 3 things into account - the degree to which a persons’:

  • Preferred tasks fits the job
  • Interests fit the job
  • Work environment preferences fit the job

When I completed the Harrison Assessment for myself, I was surprised at how accurate it was and I wish I had it when I was managing large teams of people in my career as retail Store Manager. It would have saved me endless time and money in terms of recruitment, selection and training. My frustrations would also be reduced as we potentially lost good people to other companies. I consider myself a good judge of capability and potential but even I got it wrong many times.

There were individuals who were perfectly skilled and knowledgeable for the role, but they lack the enjoyment factor which led to lower job satisfaction. For example, one of my best checkout operators said to me “I just don’t like working with people” after she had handed her notice. She was fantastic with people, had great interpersonal skills and was quick and accurate. However, she didn’t enjoy it and wanted to leave. After a discussion, we decided to give her a go in the stockroom away from customers. She flourished.

Harrison Assessments is not a replacement for ongoing two-way conversations and development with people, but it is a great support tool and starter for a conversation. When used in the recruitment process, it has a high degree of accuracy on predicting a person’s job satisfaction and therefore suitability for a role.

Tips for increasing your job enjoyment

1. Set goals and achieve them

When you achieve small goals, you will feel like you are progressing in the job. This usually leads to the feeling of job satisfaction and further desire to undertake more projects to preserve that feeling.

positivity, productivity, job enjoyment

2. Build relationships with your co-workers

Better relationships with your work colleagues help to build a more enjoyable atmosphere at your workplace. As a result, you will be happier to function in your work environment.

3. Do the tasks you enjoy

Try and ask your boss (or organise it yourself if you are an entrepreneur) to get more tasks that you enjoy doing. This will make you focus on your strengths and also make you more satisfied with your job.

Are you happy at work? What strategies do you use to increase your job satisfaction? Let me know in the comments!

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Christine Coates (4 reviews ) Business Coach, Executive Coach, Life Coach

Looking to improve your career and business? Unsure of your career strategy and need help with finding you way? Look no further! As an experienced business coach I can help you to achieve your career and business goals. Read more