2021 Vision with....Natasha Chatur, The Work Happiness Coach
Natasha Chatur, The Work Happiness Coach, works with individuals and businesses to help find a higher sense of meaningful enjoyment and engagement from our work, delivering value for ourselves and for the businesses we work for. Find out more at www.natashachatur.com
- When did you realise that there was a need for this type of Coaching?
I realised there was a need for this type of support a few years back when I felt a really strong glitch in myself of not being happy at work and not knowing where to start to work it out. I found a lot of support was available if I had known what I was looking to do or what I wanted to my career to be, but I didn’t know either. All I knew was that I needed it to change and that’s a difficult place to navigate through. I think coaching is one very powerful and accelerated way of getting you to a place that is feeling out of reach. It brings perspective, support, challenge and the possibility to transform your life in a way that is always there for you but that you may not be able to see in that moment.
- How many people are in roles that aren’t fulfilling their needs as people?
Lots. The question is how many people realise this. I think that’s what the pandemic has thrown light on. In different ways, people are starting to realise how happy and how unhappy they are at work, how fulfilled they feel, how valued they feel, how much impact they are having, how much they feel like they really want to be doing something else or that they are right where they want to be. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always possible to focus on finding work happiness, sometimes we are driven by much more pressing needs, but it’s not an entirely romantic notion either. And it doesn’t have to be about wholesale change either, it’s about the adjustments and changes that are right for each person. It’s often the smaller steps that lead to big change further down the line.
- In what ways does happiness at work impact Wellbeing?
With the increase in interest in positive psychology, happiness, wellbeing and links to work, we know for sure that work has an impact on our happiness and wellbeing. We also know that happiness and wellbeing have an impact on organisational success. Research has shown that happier employees take 10 times fewer sick days, experience 31% higher productivity and organisations with an engaged workforce can boost productivity by a fifth.
CIPD have identified seven interrelated ‘domains’ of employee wellbeing (the factsheet can be found here) which shows how a range of variables can determine wellbeing.
If you can look after your own wellbeing, and your employer can do the same for all employees, you’re moving in the right direction to be happy within yourself and for employees to be happier overall.
- Are you hearing about more people uneasy in their working lives with remote working due to the Pandemic?
With the type of coaching I do; I am hearing a lot more about how people have come to realisations about work. Sometimes remote working does play a role yes. I am hearing from people who have lost their confidence from a difficult redundancy experience, people who find themselves feeling more anxious and doubting their actions without the informal chats, eye contact, physical energy and reinforcing banter of the office, I am speaking with people who have realised they don’t enjoy work and this is being felt even more keenly without the social aspects and team proximity, people who realise they need to feel like they belong and have lost that sensation.
- What’s the impact of unhappy workforces on productivity and motivation?
It’s significant. Unhappy workforces contribute to lower productivity and motivation and the other way around. Martin Seligman, the pioneer of Positive Psychology, developed the PERMA model - Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment – an evidence-based model that can be used to understand the variables of wellbeing as a starting point for workplaces to enhance employee wellbeing and in turn quite possibly organisational success.
- What are your top tips for people who may be feeling ‘stuck’ in their career journey but want to make a change?
My five tips would be:
- Work out your values and, in the short term, align your environment to your values. In the longer term, use your values as a foundation to create change from.
- Play to your strengths. Work them out, ask others what they believe your strengths to be, and then find ways to expand them and extend the use of them. This might mean some job crafting and getting creative, but this is a great start to work out what you are really good at and what you enjoy.
- Be curious. We can lose this sense as we get older and have more and more responsibilities. Remember what you used to love doing, what you always wish you had time to do or to try. Do it. Try is. Take action. Follow your instinct without attachment to where it might lead or how it could work out.
- Make time to learn. Passion comes from application so try things, learn things, watch TED Talks, listen to Podcasts, take online courses. With a view to learn and nothing else, keep an eye on what gets you into a flow of presence and engagement without much effort.
- Sweat your network. Talk to those in your network and your networks network who inspire you, motivate you, impress you. Ask to have a chat to find out more, to ask for advice, find encouragement and inspiration that is already there for you. Find a coach, a mentor, and ask for a bit of their time. We are all human; it can feel lovely and be flattering to be asked these questions. People love to help people. Get to know new people, different people. Think about how you can learn from them, add value to them, collaborate, make an impact.
- Finally, what role do personal/ organisational Values play when deciding the right direction in your career?
I think the answer to this has to be a much bigger role that most people think! When I start working with new coachees, values often comes up quite early on, and so often people underestimate how our core values really influence how we feel comfort and discomfort. As our internal GPS, our values are our core beliefs – and they change over time, so it’s always good to check up on them. And from there you can start to find more clarity about exactly why something might not be working for you, and what kind of organisational values would be a better fit.