Celebrating International Week of Happiness at Work

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Health Assured team

15 September 2021

Happiness at work shouldn’t be a nice thing to have. After all, we spend almost two-thirds of our waking lives in the workplace¹. When we’re happier we feel more alive, we thrive in everything we do, and it even boosts the mood of those around us. Happiness at work improves office morale, brightens the days of others, and energises performance. Happiness at work isn’t a nice to have. It’s essential to employee wellbeing and business success.

The last week of September (20th-26th September) is dedicated to International Week of Happiness at Work. This cheerful awareness day aims to raise the nation’s happiness levels, promoting happiness at work as a necessity—not just something to look forward to at the weekend.

Why happiness at work matters

Happiness at work isn’t just in the interest of employees. Employers can benefit from a joyful work environment too. Here's how:

Retention

Attracting and retaining good employees can be a challenge for employers. Without productive, hard-working staff, targets go unmet and morale takes a dive. A successful business depends on its staff and that’s what makes employee retention crucial.

Happiness at work and employee retention might not seem connected. But figures show that the 20% least happy employees are twice as likely to leave their job in the next quarter than the 20% happiest employees². Happy employees stick around longer. Don’t let the best one’s get away.

Productivity

Research shows that happiness at work also impacts productivity. An Oxford University study found that workers are 13% more productive when happy³. Happier employers make more sales and stay on top of their workload. Success flows easily and the workplace becomes a more enjoyable place to be.

Making an impact during International Week of Happiness at Work

It’s easy to keep waiting until a future time to tackle the issue of happiness at work. But there’s never an ideal time. Make International Week of Happiness at Work the start of your journey to a happier workplace with the ideas below:

Spread the positivity

Gratitude increases self-esteem and enhances positive emotions. It can shift perceptions and release mood-boosting chemicals in the body. So it’s a good way to get the positive energy flowing between employees. Encourage employees to give thanks to each other throughout the week. Receiving appreciation from other colleagues will make employees feel valued and respected. You could even dedicate a day to spreading gratitude at work to encourage employees to join in with the initiative.

Set up a happiness group

A dedicated happiness group will raise awareness about the importance of happiness in the workplace. The group can share happiness boosting tips and look out for ways to raise happiness levels at work. Participating in a new project and learning new skills can be a mood booster itself for everyone involved.

Invest in training and development

When employees have purpose, drive and goals, their sense of worth and life satisfaction will be on the up. Training and development opportunities at work offer employees a chance to learn new skills, overcome challenges and contribute to a greater purpose. Dedicate some time this week to looking at different ways you can offer employees a chance to develop their skillset.

Team time

A good team can take on the world. But good teams take time to build. Aid this process by spending time together outside of your everyday work setting. A team lunch or after-work drink is a great way to get conversation flowing and build trust between colleagues. Connecting with others helps to contribute to mental wellbeing. Time together as a team gives an instant happiness hit and improves connections in the long term too.

Make happiness in the workplace the goal this week and see if you can spot the difference in the workplace.

¹ Quirk, H. et al., 2018. Barriers and facilitators to implementing workplace health and Wellbeing services in the NHS from the perspective of senior leaders and wellbeing Practitioners: A qualitative study. BMC Public Health. Available at: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-6283-y#Abs1 [Accessed September 2, 2021].

² Zeidler, L., 2018. Happiness at work – so what? CIPD. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/news-views/changing-work-views/future-work/thought-pieces/happiness-at-work-so-what#gref [Accessed September 9, 2021].

³ Bellet, C., Jan-Emmanuel, D., N., and Ward, G., 2019. Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity?. Saïd Business School WP 2019-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3470734 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3470734

 

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