Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

In the classic model of work, jobs are supposed to be hard, unpleasant and thankless. It is designed to make us suffer as much as possible, because suffering is character building, and because humanity, as a collective whole, has been very naughty and deserves to be punished.

This concept of work ethics which began when rich and powerful industrialists found an easy way to motivate their underpaid, overworked employees: promoting the idea that people at work are supposed to be miserable. These fat cats in top hats knew what they were doing. Making their workers actually happy would have been expensive and inconvenient. Giving them the psychological tools to own their misery was a perfect compromise. People would compete with each other to be as unhappy at work as possible, because this, they had been reliably informed, was the path to success.

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