How to keep your employees happy

Written by By Staff Writer

Adam Donachie, assistant professor of astronomy at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management

An average American living in Southern California isn’t likely to consider “wanting to find life beyond Earth” their top home improvement project, but it is one of the tasks corporate executives are most likely to rank as most important. (When was the last time you saw coffee machines or, for that matter, vending machines?)

Companies project a business image on top of the priority list and sometimes the housekeeping items have to come last. While there are people who aspire to find sources of jobs that require actually finding scientists, but that is for a very different purpose than one striving to find life in the universe.

“In 2018, the pace of finding planets outside our solar system led to the second year in a row where it exceeded 90 percent of all new science discovered,” according to Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Despite her extemporaneous use of words like, “buildings, windows, floors, roofs, ceilings, walls, bodies of water, bridges, fish, food, animals, people, tools, weapons, clothing, transportation, TV, movies, sports, and politics,” the remark seems true. And it was explained in more detail in one of the hottest annual journals, Science.

A NASA artist’s rendering of the possible habitability of the surface of a planet around TRAPPIST-1. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

One thing more with a daily reach is the list by the folks at NASA the space agency — believed to be the biggest for identifying planets outside the solar system.

The non-binding survey, which reached 14,400 people, included “100 most important topics of work” from “Refrigerator repair,” to “Office workers allergic to people.”

In fact, it turns out that people have been very willing to put a value on things that are out of their own control. Your boss is a huge factor, even if it is your boss who has to decide if you get promoted.

Apparently, you want your boss to know how important they are to your life, according to the survey. Would you keep a file of “important people”?

Better get a calendar for your review day at the office, and add “enthusiasm” to it. It won’t make you an astronaut, but some say it might be worth a salary.

The challenge for any company eager to keep existing customers and attract new ones, is to come up with something that leaves a lasting impression. It’s a challenge not limited to climate change.

When it comes to your actual work, most interesting employees are very accessible. You can turn to them, real-time, like in the science program on CBS on Saturday nights, or talk to them on Twitter. They will help you in your everyday life, even if it is on a planet beyond Mars.

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