Why do you love your job? The American Psychological Association wants to know.
The American Psychological Association dedicated the month of February to find out why you and the rest of America’s workforce love their jobs.
Launched in 2012, APA’s “I Love My Job” campaign asks people the reasons they love their work as a way to focus on the psychological factors that improve employee well-being, performance, and job satisfaction.
“We tend to talk about how work can spill over into your home life or your non-work life in negative ways, but people don’t realize often that work can also spill over in positive ways into your life,” said Dr. David Ballard, head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence, which runs the campaign. “So, if you have a good day at work or a good experience at work, that can carry over into your home life and non-work life and be a positive influence on that as well.”
The program collects submissions from all professions, then the team shares their favorites through their newsletter, social media, and blog. The chosen participants also receive a treat to share with their coworkers.
Participants’ reasons for loving their jobs range from their ability to help people or their sense of accomplishment to the pay and benefits or the work environment. But overall, job satisfaction boils down to an employee’s opportunity to do something meaningful to them, Ballard said.
When people have a good experience on the job, that improves their overall well-being and life satisfaction.
The campaign is connected to APA’s psychologically healthy workplace program, which promotes how psychology—or human behavior—can play a key role in creating a positive work experience. It does so by emphasizing the importance of employee-involvement opportunities, training and development, work-life balance, flexibility, health and wellness initiatives, and reward and recognition programs in the workplace to increasing job satisfaction and organizational performance.
“The reality is all the major issues people deal with in the workplace and that employers deal with, they all come down to human behavior—whether it’s about job performance or being competitive or promoting wellness in the workplace or work-life balance in the workplace,” Ballard explained. “They all come down to human behavior, and that’s psychology’s area of expertise.”
The research resulting from both of these efforts has demonstrated that job satisfaction isn’t necessarily about money, but that it hinges on the connection between what work the employees do and the environment they work in, including the relationships, the culture, and the benefits.
“It’s more about how people perceive themselves in relation to the job, how they see what they do as part of their life,” Ballard said. “The more people have a positive experience at work and enjoy what they do, that’s linked to better work satisfaction as a whole and life satisfaction as a whole as well. So when people have a good experience on the job, that improves their overall well-being and life satisfaction.”