Happiness at work
Successful leaders know happy employees contribute to better profitability. Here are two easy steps to a happier corporate culture.

It’s been a sad month, with the death of three American icons: Elaine Stritch, Lauren Bacall, and of course, Robin Williams. I grew up a little late to follow Lauren Bacall, but I’ve loved Elaine Stritch for years, and Robin Williams has always ranked in my top three funny men (along with Billy Crystal and Steve Martin). There’s a version of Robin that lives in my head–a sweet, sensitive, funny man I feel like I know from so many movies–and I think he (the Robin in my head) would want our focus now to be on happiness and laughter. I’m dedicating this article to him in gratitude for all the ways he’s made me laugh over the years. Rest in peace, Robin.

Barbara Corcoran spoke at the National Association of Professional Women’s annual networking conference this year and said the No. 1 reason her employees are loyal to her is because “fun” is office policy.

Alexander Kjerulf, chief happiness officer and founder of Woohoo inc (based in Denmark) says that happiness is the “ultimate productivity booster,” because happy people:

  • work better with others;
  • fix problems instead of complaining about them;
  • have more energy,
  • are more creative, optimistic, motivated, and healthy (i.e., they take fewer sick days);
  • worry less about making mistakes (and then actually make fewer mistakes);
  • learn faster; and
  • make better decisions.

Teresa Amabile, researcher and professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, has found that creativity is vital to business success and (as anyone who’s ever tried to be creative on a bad day knows), creativity cannot thrive in a negative environment.

The research shows that small daily events (habits, routines, interactions) directly influence your feelings, which has a profound effect on your job performance.

So when Gallup tells you that “only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work worldwide” (29 percent in the U.S. and Canada), and that in order to grow your business you must “win the hearts and minds of [your] employees,” it makes you wonder why happiness isn’t a higher priority.

If a culture of happy, healthy employees isn’t the norm in your world, ask yourself why.  Read More>>>