What makes people in FE happy at work?

What makes people in FE happy at work?

What makes people in FE happy at work?

Employee happiness has become an interesting topic in recent times. The reason for this is due to the expanding research evidence indicating that when employees are happy, organisations thrive. 
Most of us seek happiness in all areas of our lives. Since we spend approximately one-third of our lives working, happiness in the workplace is greatly sought after. Working in the FE sector can often be challenging when it comes to finding consistent happiness. Roles and responsibilities can be complex. Lack of social interaction, deadlines, retention rates, and work-life balance, amongst many other things can hinder contentment and happiness. So, what actually can make people in FE happy at work?

The Importance of Happiness in the FE Sector:

FE employees who experience a high level of job satisfaction are likely to remain in their roles. Satisfaction and happiness may come down to feeling respected, valued, and regarded as being an excellent asset to the department within the sector. A happy workplace can also assist in attracting new and vibrant employees. If an organisation is recognised as valuing employees and their values, ambitions and responsibilities it will naturally develop an excellent reputation of being a great place to work. People will be drawn to an employee-focused job opportunity within FE if they are aware of the excellent reputation the sector has as regards the dedication to employee happiness, satisfaction and contentment. 

A Supportive Workplace Culture in FE

An employee’s workplace within the FE sector should be a secure space where difficulties and anxieties can be discussed. This will allow employees to feel heard, and valued and be worthy contributors to the life and development of the department. Employee health and well-being are a vast contributor to happiness at work. If the employer makes third-party support available, as, and when necessary, such as financial consultants, mental health specialists, health and well-being advocates, the employee will feel supported and valued. 

Social Interaction 

The global pandemic has changed the way we work. The hybrid work model appears to be very popular in the FE sector. Although this works well for the majority of the time, some FE departments have adopted fewer in-person team interactions, which can leave employees feeling socially distant. Face-to-face workplace interactions allow team members to form and develop meaningful and long-lasting relationships. An in-person weekly team meeting can afford employees the opportunity to discuss an array of topics with their colleagues as well as get an array of collaborative work completed. To build on this, a monthly team lunch and/or a termly team experience allows colleagues to grow closer, work more effectively and be happy in their roles. Therefore, discovering ways to help colleagues bond can enhance overall morale, workplace collaboration and engagement and ultimately, happiness. 


Everyone likes to be praised for their efforts. If an FE employee works consistently hard in his or her role it means a lot to this person if there is recognition no matter how small. Praise adds a sense of happiness to our lives. If our efforts are recognised and celebrated we continue to work hard and strive for success, happily. One way to recognise and reward excellent work within FE is through a department’s celebration of progress and achievement, or publicly sharing praise on an internal communications platform. Initiatives such as “Employee of the Month” can help make employees feel valued and engaged. Verbal appreciation, gestural language, and small tokens of gratitude work wonders for an employee’s mindset.

Take Control of your happiness at work

Life can be hectic and demands at work continue to mount. We can all get stuck from time to time in routines, relationships and habits that do not serve us well and even limit our happiness. Frequently, we are oblivious that this is happening because we do not have the energy to focus on what is, and is not, making us happy. Even when we recognise what makes us happy, many of us don't know how to find the energy and logic to bring about change. 
Tips to build happiness at work

  • Cultivate meaningful relationships. Who you work with is important. Close, collaborative work relationships can enhance employee satisfaction. Scaffold teams that develop friendships and use your current team members to tap new talent. If a member of your team has a strong working relationship with a former colleague and friend, don't hesitate to bring that professional on board. 
  • Engage with happy, positive people. Some people are happier than others. It is worth the time and effort to find them within your department.  A happy, positive attitude and mindset alongside laughter can make a workplace a bright and thriving place. 
  • Be responsible for your happiness:  Take control of your own happiness and avail yourself of health and wellbeing programmes within your workplace. Concentrate on the little things that make YOU happy at work and be certain to build such activities into your daily roles and responsibilities. Practice mindfulness, exercise your body, be kind to yourself, be kind to others, challenge yourself, do not take yourself or your work too seriously, reward your efforts, do your best, and smile lots. This all contributes to being happy at work. 

Employee happiness within FE can help the organisation flourish and expand. A positive work environment with high levels of colleague collaboration, dynamic and cooperative working leads to great performance levels. A good workplace is also likely to attract and retain top talent. The FE sector should remember that employee happiness is, and should always be a priority. 

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