Happiness is not a topic that comes up enough at work. Many companies and leaders have the sense that it’s not professional to talk about “happiness”. We need to change that! Multiple studies have proved that our well-being and positive emotions have a huge impact on us at work. We are more creative, engaged, productive, motivated, open to new things as well as more likely to stay with our companies longer- the list goes on! If we practice enough, we can train our brains to see the positives before the negatives. By becoming more mindful of our own happiness, we can take action to increase those feelings of positivity.
In celebration of the International Week of Happiness at Work (September 19th-25th), we asked Happiness at Work Expert and founder of Happitude at Work in Switzerland, Aurelie Litynski to share 10 simple ways to boost your happiness at work and that of your colleagues.
1. Reflect on what you need to be “just” a little bit happier
Your happiness is your own responsibility. You need to know your own drivers of happiness at work. Take the time to ask yourself some introspective questions:
What motivates me at work?
What really makes me happy in my job?
What was I doing the last time I was truly happy at work?
Once you understand these things, you will know what you need to do in order to improve your happiness. If you’re not sure how to get started, check out Aurelie’s 100k-views TEDx Talk where she explains the whole process on figuring out your drivers of happiness at work: “How to Be Truly Happy at Work”.
2. Show more gratitude at work
Expressing gratitude at work improves your happiness, relationships and boosts self-esteem. It’s important to spend some time thinking about what you have and what you’re grateful for – especially the small things you normally take for granted. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for at work, start a gratitude journal and share what you are grateful for with your colleagues.
3. Spread happiness – emotions are contagious!
Surround yourself with positive people and inspire others to be happier. Maybe that means smiling more at your colleagues, spending your coffee break with your favorite team mate, organizing a surprise get-together for your team or giving more positive feedback. We’ve all experienced a positive energizer around us: these people that walk into a room and make it glow. Everyone becomes energized, enthused, inspired, and connected.
Try to be a positive energizer and inspire others to follow you on your happiness journey. But please don’t get me wrong: the goal is not to fake positivity but rather be authentic in your behaviour.
4. Start a meeting with positivity
Did you know that starting a meeting with positivity will make your meeting more productive? Participants will feel positive emotions and will be more creative, motivated and engaged. Here’s a few ideas to kick start your weekly meeting: organize an ice breaker, start with a recognition round, celebrate small wins or play a quick game.
5. Show your appreciation and send your encouragement to someone who needs it
Simple words can make a huge difference. Let your colleagues know you appreciate them by thanking them and recognizing their contributions. You could say:
“Thank you for your hard work.”
“I really value your contribution.”
“You did great today.”
“I appreciated your help during the meeting.”
If you see someone is struggling or facing a hard task, offer some words of encouragement such as:
“You can do it!”
“I believe in you!”
“You’re going to be great!”
“You’ll rock it!”
Try happicards. It’s a quick and easy way to show recognition, give positive encouragement and give feedback. These cards are a fun way to surprise your colleagues.
6. Celebrate your regular wins
Ask your colleagues to share their recent wins and create a ‘success wall’ to post them on. These successes can be big or small, but encourage them to keep it simple. This is a great way of getting your team to realize how many amazing things you’ve actually achieved, even if you haven’t really thought about it lately.
7. Ask yourself: What's the one thing I am looking forward to at work right now?
It’s a powerful question to kick start your day or your week with positivity. It could be that you are looking forward to:
a get together with your team
a specific meeting
a 1:1 coffee chat with your favorite colleague
the end of a project
By expressing it out loud and with others, you might enjoy it even more when it happens.
8. Ask your colleagues to share their highlight of the week
Try this with your colleagues in meetings and do it by yourself at the end of the day. It can help you to reduce your negativity bias and remember all the small things that have made you feel good today or this week. We have a tendency to remember more negative experiences than the positive ones, that’s why we need to hack our brain to remember the positive things that happen. It’s a wonderful question to ask at the end of week team meetings.
9. Take care of YOUR happiness at work
Happiness is a skill we can all learn and there is always potential to work on it. We can all do something to improve our happiness and make our workplace better. Like any other skill, you need to practice it to maintain it.
Make sure to work on your own happiness. Do things that make you happy, ask yourself the right questions, surround yourself with people that make you feel good. Take action to improve your happiness if you need to.
10. Spread awareness about Happiness at Work within your team
Companies need to create a safe environment where the employees happiness is part of the company’s culture and not just an exception. Luckily, there are many ways to implement strategies to maximize happiness at work. Start by sharing this article or organizing a webinar, workshop, or a complete program on this topic.
Help increase your happiness and job satisfaction at work with a mentor, apply for the female factor’s mentoring programme here.
about Aurelie Litynski
Aurelie is a happiness at work expert, Tedx speaker and founder of Happitude at Work. She is passionate about employee engagement, positive psychology and transforming the workplace through happiness. You can also get in touch with Aurelie Litynski directly, to see what would work best within your own organization. More information about the International Week of Happiness at Work can be found here.