This morning I was browsing Laurie Ruettimann‘s blog, and this post caused me to start thinking about the role jealousy plays in influencing employee engagement – and what the implications of that are to our efforts in HR (and as managers) to keep our talent happy.

…So most people get jealous about things. Setting aside (for the purposes of this blog) the countless matters that drive jealousy in people’s personal lives, in a professional context people can be jealous of their co-workers pay/title/office/work assignments/parking spaces/job performance/insert-whatever-here. And that jealousy can and does adversely impact job satisfaction – in occasionally significant ways – that employers can’t control. Further, such negative feelings can not only impact retention (if an employee feels the need to go elsewhere to find more of what he/she doesn’t have compared against peers), but – if acted out – also the work environment.

I suppose as a practical matter people need to really address such issues on an individual (personal) level – finding a sense of inner peace that allows for one t to find happiness that’s not contingent on what others are doing. Conversely, I also think employers can (possibly?) play a role in this process by making the workplace a more fun place to, well, work, and by further encouraging their people to invest in rich experiences (because employees enjoying a rewarding personal life are more likely to be productive at work).

I am not sure of what exactly this looks like yet – or even if such engagement / happiness efforts should fall in the space of HR – but I like the idea that we can improve the bottom line for our businesses by actively helping our workforce be happier people.

Just a Wednesday morning thought stream…

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.