Happiness: It’s Serious Business

Happiness: It’s Serious Business

Whilst I believe every employee can look for ways to improve their own positivity and well-being at work (many of which have been covered in previous articles), if you are in a leadership role – from a front-line manager right through to the CEO – you have some additional responsibilities and opportunities to influence positivity at work. Here’s my top three:

Positive Emotion

Look for ways to bring positivity to the workplace. Fun is an obvious option, but fun means different things to different people. What about all the other positive emotions – inspiration, pride, appreciation, gratitude, curiosity, compassion or satisfaction. What triggers these emotions for your staff and how can you help create opportunities to experience them for individuals and teams?


Employees become highly motivated when they can see that what they are doing contributes to something important and bigger than themselves. No matter what job an employee does, it contributes in some way to the purpose of the team, department, organisation and beyond. Sometimes staff don’t realise this. Help your employees make this connection and take every opportunity to reinforce its value. The words of Nietzsche, recounted by Viktor Frankl, are relevant here “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”.


Gallup asked thousands of employees ‘do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day’ and shockingly only 20% of respondents answered ‘yes’. Most of us have grown up in a school system that focuses on fixing weaknesses, and we go to work for employers who maintain this approach to development. But when we help employees identify and use what they’re good at – their talents, character strengths, skills and behaviours – they become energised, engaged, happy and high performing staff. You don’t have to give someone a new job, just work with them to change a few aspects of their role so they are increasing the use of their strengths on a regular basis.

Enjoy experimenting with these three simple strategies, and please do contact me if you’d like some one on one advice on increasing the positivity in your workplace, or if you have a group of managers that would benefit from our customised happiness and workplace well-being programs. Remember, happiness is serious business!