The final week in September has been declared the International Week of Happiness at Work, this year it lands on the 20th to the 26th September 2021. We spend so much of our lives at work so prioritising employees’ happiness within the workplace is so important! Plus if we are happy at work then this boosts morale, general happiness at home and helps to create happier people.
During this week, it is absolutely key to put the theme of happiness at the top of your agenda and to help make a happier workplace a priority. The International Week of Happiness at Work movement is not run or coordinated by any organisation but was created in order to help raise awareness and encourage employers to develop their own ‘do it yourself’ movement to recognise their employees' happiness.
Why celebrate this week?
It is common sense that having a happy workforce has a lot more advantages and creates a positive impact on your business than having an unhappy team. Being happy in the workplace ensures employees’ produce productive, creative and flexible results and also leads to a higher satisfaction rate amongst final customers, as this positivity reflects directly onto them. Celebrating International Week of Happiness at Work is almost a no brainer, right? Being happy in the workplace leads to being a better person, parent, friend and neighbour as well as working well with fellow colleagues to boost team morale.
How can you celebrate International Week of Happiness at Work?
There is no doubt that your company already has some measures in place to encourage employee happiness and wellbeing, however this week is a great time to review this and see what else can be done. There is no better time to analyse what is currently in place to establish whether the employees are receiving full support in the roles and what improvements can be made in their working conditions to improve their happiness.
Here are 10 practical ideas you can use to increase the happiness and wellness of your teams.
1. Running a gratitude programme
Gratitude or recognition programmes in the workplace can create a really positive environment, especially when given out regularly. The benefits include improving day-to-day morale and driving success in the organisation. If an employee receives thoughtful and regular recognition, then more often than not, this will lead to higher levels of individual employee engagement. There is a noticeable difference in happy workers and it is clear that a simple ‘thank you’ can really go a long way.
2. Taking a wellness approach
Generally, those who exercise on their work days tend to be happier and more productive as well as having lower stress levels than those who don’t. Now, this does not have to mean going all out and building an on-site gym, as brilliant as that would be, most companies will not have the space or budget to do this. Taking a simple approach to educate and support a healthy and wellness attitude amongst teams is a step in the right direction. Encouraging walks on lunch breaks and offering discounts on wellness products and gyms will help towards this.
3. Encouraging social activity
Social events involving the workplace, whether these are set up by the company itself or the employees, can provide a really positive outcome - boosting happiness by creating friendships at work. 57% of employees say that having a best friend at work makes their job more enjoyable. This not only improves general happiness but also boosts innovation and efficiency and inspires more creativity. When the company sets up these social events themselves, e.g. sponsored work functions, then this will reflect positively on the company in the eyes of the employees.
4. Create a career pathway
Many workers who do not believe they have attractive career opportunities within their workplace end up leaving sooner than expected. So how can your business help prevent this? Providing developmental support such as career mentoring and training opportunities will not only result in your employees’ improved satisfaction and happiness in their role but will also keep them engaged and involved within your business. Make sure they are aware of the different kinds of job opportunities and career paths within the company.
5. Set an example
A happy boss will more often than not lead to a happy employee. It cannot be underestimated the importance of leading by example and walking around the office with a smile on your face. Positivity is contagious and if the leaders in the office are happy and creating positive energy then this reflects well onto the rest of the team and will give everybody else a boost.
6. Frequently reward and recognise good work
Employee recognition is a fail safe strategy that has been growing in popularity in recent years. Reward and recognition programmes, whether they are small or large scale, allow team members to feel appreciated and it is only natural for people to react positively for any appreciation that comes their way. As long as your team is respected and rewarded for their efforts and contribution, they will feel a sense of achievement and will keep trying to reach this goal.
7. Use positive messaging
The way we communicate and how we express ourselves will impact how others perceive us and whether our approach will come across as positive or negative. The words that employers choose to use in the workplace plays a massive role in the happiness of the rest of the team. Using positive messaging basically means to use communication and words that would bring out positive interactions. The best approach to take when speaking to employees’ should be passionate, personal, encouraging and empowering when interacting.
8. Employee benefits
Is there any way that your list of employee benefits can be enhanced or increased? There are a number of ways that your company is able to boost employee happiness through company benefits. Do you offer more paid holidays than other companies? What kind of retail discounts does your company offer? Offering deals and discounts will not only help to attract and retain talent but will also keep them satisfied and happy as well. For example, helping your workers save money on their weekly shop will always reflect positively.
9. Providing flexible workplaces
It is no secret that your employees’ will have their own lives outside of work and therefore have obligations and commitments to work around. An increasing number of employers are exploring flexible work arrangements to not only acknowledge employee freedom but also increase happiness levels due to the flexibility and respect they are receiving from their workplace. Some great examples include, allowing your workers to choose their start and finish time, possibility of working from home and even the potential to offer a compressed workweek.
10. Raising awareness of happiness at work, where do I start?
Make a plan! How do you want to celebrate International Week of Happiness at Work? And what kind of week do you want this to be? Review your company’s measures and ask yourself how happiness at work is already implemented and how this can be improved. Organising workshops and meetings is a great way to generate awareness on this topic and will encourage discussion amongst others. Setting up company events and gathering feedback from teams to gain their views on how work happiness can be improved are great ways to start.
If you'd like support in creating happiness at work or need help with employee reward and recognition, or want to find out how we can support your employee engagement program, give us a call on 0330 111 3030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org