A while back I came across Alexander Kjerulf’s blog (where he calls himself ‘The Chief Happiness Officer) and downloaded his book “Happy Hour is 9-5”. He claims to be the world’s leading expert on happiness at work.
With a lot of work being done in the HR space on employee engagement because we know about the benefits of having engaged employees (i.e. better business results, growth in employee productivity, reduced recruitment costs etc), this book is based on those same premises. Happy employees get more work done, are more creative and create more value. This is then a significant competitive advantage for the organisation.
The book starts with this:
I want you to imagine waking up early on a Monday morning.
Picture yourself as you turn off the alarm clock, and lie in bed for a moment before getting up. Your bed is comfortable and warm and you really want to enjoy that feeling just a little bit longer, but just thinking about the workweek ahead of you is making you smile and get ready to jump out of bed.
You just know it’s going to be a wonderful week. You will get to do great work you can be proud of. You will get to make a difference, as you did last week and every week before that.
You look forward to having fun with your co-workers. You will help them whenever you can, and they will help you whenever you need it.
When you are happy at work you’ll be more motivated, enjoy better relationships, experience greater success, energy, health and more fun.
Feeling a bit cynical? Yeah I was too, but part of me was thinking, wouldn’t that be cool if it were possible?
So what is happiness at work? It’s when you:
● Really enjoy what you do.
● Do great work you can feel proud of.
● Work with amazing people.
● Know that what you do is important.
● Are appreciated for your work.
● Get to take responsibility.
● Have fun at work.
● Learn and grow.
● Make a difference.
● Feel motivated and energized.
● Know that you kick butt.
The Scandinavians even have a word for it- Arbejdsglæde (pronounced ah-bites-gleh-the).
The author then goes onto suggest six everyday actions that create a good mood and make us happy at work.
What do you think? I personally think that anything that encourages positivity, openness, and learning is a winner in the workplace.
The book also has lots of great information about motivating and rewarding employees, and how to deal with things that make you unhappy at work, such as work stress, burnout and bullying. I like the fact that it additionally talks about health and wellbeing, and then walks you through an action plan to get happy at work.
Feeling a bit bummed about work at the moment? I recommend you check out www.positivesharing.com – you might get some great ideas for your workplace and spread the happiness around.