There is a ton of research out there demonstrating that happy people are better innovators, negotiators, team players, they are more creative, productive, engaged … The maths does itself here ! It’s not rocket science that investing in the Happiness of your staff is a great move.
And even though we all know it, not so many companies take the jump. Why ? (by the way, the wellness Wednesday lunchtime yoga class and Friday night in the pub is not what i am talking about)
Some will say “Is it really a company’s role to ensure that their employees are happy or is it each and everyone’s responsibility to look after their own happiness” ?
This question is pointless ! The point is that making Happiness your business model is highly profitable, so go for it !
Some have already taken the jump and they would never look back for all the money in the world (Zappos, Eileen Fisher…). Because the benefits are not only on the bottom line, they are in the contribution they are making to society, they are on the values their brand communicates to the world, they are in the prestige it actually is to work for them. On top of bringing more value to the business, people are more engaged, more loyal, they stay and they become real ambassadors of your brand. What a cool virtuous circle, right ? Imagine, running a business talents fight to work for ?
So, how do we do this ? How do we inject Happiness in the workplace ?
It is a rather simple 3 step approach and each company will find the one step that they feel more comfortable to start with. But at the end of the day, they will complete the 3 steps. I always advise organisations to pick one and see what happens, I am confident that the results will be there and know that they will come for the other 2 steps.
So, in no specific order :
1. TOP LAYER : Define your happiness values and bring them to life through experiences.
All businesses have defined their values, nicely printed them on flyers, exposed on their websites …. Are they alive ? No! Test your business, ask your staff what your happiness values are and how they have experienced them in recent months. If there is an ounce of hesitation, you are a “flyer value” type of company, sorry ! Don’t worry, this is still the case for most businesses.
The idea here is to give employees the opportunities to experience these values, throughout the year, regularly, day after day, month after month, year after year. Your happiness values must run in your blood, if they do, they are never taken for granted and they are real !
2. BOTTOM LAYER : Teach your staff, all of them, from the CEO to the receptionist, how to approach life with a happy mindset.
The science of happiness has now defined tools, habits and practices to rewire our minds for happiness. Yes, Happiness is a mindset. It has very little to do with what life throws at you. It has all to do with the way you react and respond to what life throws at you. Our brain ensured the survival of our species but it is not adapted to the challenges of our times, the pace of change, the psychological stress triggers we encounter each day, the constant need for change and innovation. With these practices, we all have the ability to rewire our brain, to download a new software that allows us not only to enjoy the rollercoaster but also to respond in a more creative manner to our challenges. That’s called Neuroplasticity and science has only just discovered that. Teach your people how to download human 2.0 for more happiness in a pressure cooker environment and - collateral benefit - more positive impact on the bottom line.
3. MIDDLE LAYER : Make sure your middle management are mindful leaders.
This will allow them to prepare for or support step 1 and step 3. Being a mindful leader is a bit like having an extra antenna, picking up more information than others. They are able to enter a board room, filled with people with different agendas, from subordinates to shareholders, clients, suppliers … and craft a message that resonates with every single one of them. Because of this extra antenna. They are able to listen in a different way and pick up much more information. Make sure your middle management leads the way in a different way, with authenticity, understanding, compassion, gratitude, kindness … and your people, customers, partners will always be on board!
There you go! That’s my recipe for Happiness in the workplace and my recipe for success too !
Food for thought ! Want more food? Send me an email at [email protected]