Do We Need More Happiness at Work?

Recognize This! – Serious research is building a compelling business case for a positivity-filled workplace.

I have been in Berlin this past week speaking at the Pan-Euro HR conference on a favourite topic — new social technologies that can drive a high performance culture and workforce.  No prizes for guessing one of these new technologies is Social Recognition, the other is the Social/ Crowdsourced Performance Review.

Conversations with attendees quickly reminded me of the hard time employees in Europe are continuing to have, with much talk of continued recession on the continent and the need to do more with less.   Then, the same day, I picked up the Financial Times…and read the solution (well, part of it at any rate). We need more happiness at work!

In this great article, Della Bradshaw summarizes how serious research and study are proving the link: Happy employees will overcome all sorts of challenges, think more creatively and be generally in much better shape to tackle everything a reluctant-to-leave recession can throw at them.

“Happiness makes good business sense. Moreover, employers and policy makers need to consider the happiness factor if they are to promote strong economies and profitable companies…

“Triggers for individual employees, too, are about more than just financial gain, [Michael Norton, associate professor at Harvard Business School,] says. Indeed there is real evidence that doing things for other people makes you happier. Prof Norton cites his research in Europe with a company bonus scheme. A sample group from the company were told to spend their €15 bonus on other employees rather than themselves. Those that did so were much happier than the control group, he says.”

This is no surprise to me really, as for the past decade, time and again I’ve seen how employees will walk on coals (well, almost) if given genuine, positive feedback and encouragement for their daily work.

Europe, it’s time to pause the negative button, let’s focus on the positive!   Bring more positive feedback and recognition into the workplace, and we could lift the mood enough to tip us out of this recessionary cycle.   Celebrate the small wins, the progress made – it’s happening  every day.

Are you happy at work? What does your organization do to help encourage happiness?

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