Blog archive


Max St John

Get happy at work with Meaning

We’ve just launched this year’s Meaning conference and last year Alexander Kjerulf, Chief Happiness Officer at WooHoo inc, blew everyone away with his talk on happiness at work (you can watch it here)

This year, he’s back, but instead of speaking he will be running a one day workshop so that anyone can learn how you can start to make your workplace a happier (and more productive) place to be.

To book your place, and to get a free ticket to Meaning with it – book here

In case you’re wondering why we think this is so important, here are a few quick things to remember.

Happiness is your bottom line

Happiness at work is sometimes seen as a bit frivolous. Work shouldn’t be fun, right? But most of us will spend roughly a third of our life at work – the idea that we should expect one third of our entire life to be unhappy sounds pretty inhuman to me.

But it’s not just about improving our quality of life; sickness, absence, presenteeism (being at work and not contributing) and staff turnover costs business in the UK £26bn a year and stress-related sickness has become the main source of absence. Happy workplaces support the bottom line.

Many workplaces are built to be unhappy

Stressful or unhappy workplaces aren’t necessarily those in which people have too much work but where they do it in negative and controlling environments.

Sadly, the traditional approach of driving results through ‘performance management’, tends to focus on problems, weaknesses and failure. This has the opposite to the intended effect – it not only creates cultures based around fear and anxiety, but puts people into a defensive state where motivation and performance goes down.

This is where we’ve had it wrong for so long. Research now shows that the reward and punishment model of managing people is flawed. Neither the lure of a bigger salary, or the threat of a poor performance review are good long-term motivators.

Things can and should be better

Thankfully, the world seems to be going through a bit of a happiness revolution and we’re beginning to understand how we can create happier, and more productive workplaces.

What links most of the theories and studies together is the idea that intrinsic motivators – the things that matter to us at a deeper level – are the drivers of long term happiness and productivity, not extrinsic motivators like status or money.

A global study of thousands of employees on what motivated them most at work showed money was low on the list. First came respect (how trusted or valued people feel), then the type of work they’re doing, feeling like they’re providing a good service, the people they work with and a good work/life balance. Then came money.

Alex Kjerulf, a world expert on happiness, boils it down to two factors: results and relationships. The work that he’s done with businesses of all sizes world-wide has shown that a clear and felt connection to the results of their work, and how well they get on with their managers and colleagues are what really motivate people.

Your chance to make a change

Alex will be in Brighton, less than an hour on the train from London Victoria, to teach others how to do this for themselves. Things he’ll be covering include:

  • Find out what happiness is and what it’s not. Learn how happy workplaces are more effective and profitable than unhappy ones.

  • Find out more about your own ‘happiness style’ and how different personality types influence happiness at work.

  • Discover the relationship between exercise and happiness.

  • Get tips on how to motivate a team through tough economic times.

You’ll return to work with an immediately actionable plan to create a happier and more productive workplace.

There are a very limited number of places – to get yours along with a free ticket to Meaning – book here

This post was filed under Digital transformation, Events, Internal comms, Meaning Conference, Training, Working culture and tagged , , Comments are currently closed.