September 23, 2020

International Week of Happiness at Work

This week is International week of happiness at work.  What is this you may well ask?  I have been doing some research on this, so read on to find out what it’s all about together with my 5 top tips to create a happy workplace.

Why & What

We spend so much time at work, so it’s important that we are happy, right?

It has been proven that happy employees are more productive. Research also shows that a happier workplace is a healthier workplace.

Back in September 2018, the International Week of Happiness was born.  We are invited during this week to put happiness in the workplace on the agenda of our organisation.  The International Week of Happiness at Work isn’t owned by anyone; the website informs us that there are no rules and it’s is a Do-it-Yourself movement.

During these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that organisations are doing their upmost to create a happy working environment.

My 5 Top Tips

Here are my top 5 tips to create a happy workplace.

1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Organisations that invest time in creating open lines of communication will gain trust and credibility of their people.  This, is turn, results in a more productive, high performing, happy team.

Increasing numbers of staff are working remotely, so it is imperative that leaders of organisations are doing all they can to keep people informed and connected. 

2. Employee Empowerment

The famous Steve Jobs quote comes to mind here: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do!”

I view my team as the “experts” in their respective fields and trust them to take things forward. This is clearly a positive motivator for people, giving them freedom to get the work done. 

Involve people in decisions and listen to their ideas and suggestions.

3. On Purpose!

Have a clear purpose and vision in place that people understand.  Aligning business goals and priorities to individual KPIs is a great way to do this. 

During our recent Investors in People assessment at DPG, it was clear that including the strategic business goals and priorities within our PDP format and closer alignment of these to individual performance objective and KPIs provides clarity and purpose.

When people have purpose in their work and the sense that they are part of something bigger than themselves, this can be a powerful intrinsic motivator.

4. Authentic Appreciation

People feel good when they are appreciated. 

We should never underestimate the power of a thank you and acknowledgement of a job well done.

In his book ‘Bring your Whole Self to Work’, Mike Robbins says appreciation is about people and their value, making people feel valued for what they are, not just what they do.

An employee who is appreciated is also more likely to pass appreciation to their colleagues, which builds engagement and a happy workplace!

Appreciation can also be giving quality time to individuals, taking interest in their personal and professional development.

5. Have fun!

This is a great way to build a happier and cohesive workforce. There are lots of benefits to having a fun working environment including reducing stress, encouraging teamwork and fostering creativity. As more people are working remotely, organisations need to be creative in their approach to this. 

During lockdown, we introduced various activities for the DPG team such as a weekly lunchtime quiz via Zoom and a ‘Friday Fizz’ which was a social, virtual get together before the weekend. Activities such as these play a key part in ensuring teams stay connected and boost morale.

Karen Cottam—Head of Learning, Delivery & Design; Designated Safeguarding & Prevent Lead at DPG.