Happiness at work is 12 questions away

16th March 2007 at 00:00
My father had a question he asked people all the time. "Are you happy at your work?" he'd say. Sometimes he was serious, sometimes ironic, and sometimes it was just a version of "hello".

Now it's my signature question, too. And I have the same conviction my father held: to relish your job, to know that whatever happens you can handle it and be appreciated, are things to be cherished. And these things - it's been proven - are more important than money.

This should encourage school leaders: while they have only limited powers to remunerate, they do have plenty of opportunities to make their colleagues' working lives more pleasant. I thought of that when I read about the Gallup organisation's 25-year-long investigation into what makes "a strong workplace", one in which people are content and effective.

Gallup interviewed a million workers and asked them hundreds of questions.

It came up with just 12 key questions which by massive agreement measure workplace satisfaction. As you read them, consider whether you, as a leader, feel that these are areas in which you could make a difference if you tried a bit harder.

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4. In the past seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?

5. Does my supervisor seem to care about me as a person?

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7. Do my opinions seem to count?

8. Am I made to feel that my work is important?

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?

10. Do I have a best friend at work?

11. In the past six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?

12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?

The questions come from First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (Simon Schuster)

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now