Five tips for a happier workplace and workforce on International Day of Happiness
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Today has been designated International Day of Happiness, and with most adults spending half their waking hours at work from Monday to Friday, being happy at work should be as important as being happy at home.
Sandra Flanagan, director of wellbeing at East Tuddenham-based Prosper Wellbeing and former deputy chief executive of mental health charity Norwich Mind, shares her top five ways to make your workplace, and workforce, happier.
1. It's not all about the money
Employees who identify as being happy at work are usually those that perceive their role to have real meaning – as a manager, employer or business owner you can show this in a number of ways. Sharing your vision for the business and explaining how you think it can be achieved, inviting input from staff and giving it due consideration are all key to fully engaging with employees. Not forgetting that a simple thank you can go a long way to ensuring that employees feel appreciated, and therefore motivated to continue.
2. Foster common interests
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Instigating an office-wide fundraiser for a local charity, or simply taking it in turns to bring in cakes once a month can work really well to foster common purpose and shared goals, all of which contribute towards increased overall happiness. Different staff will have various opinions on which charity they wish to support and how, so make sure that you ask for, and listen to, suggestions before making a decision.
3. Make your environment work for you
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You may not be in a position to install a slide at your office, or convert the meeting room into a chillout space, but there are other ways to improve the office environment and keep everyone happy. If you have a shared kitchen, encourage everyone to take ownership of keeping it clean and tidy – no-one really wants the job of clearing all of the out-of-date food out of the fridge!
4. Pay it forward
Don't forget to pass on positive feedback from customers and clients, acknowledging the work of everyone in the team. Open up a 360° feedback loop by accepting constructive feedback in return and work together to find improvements. And if one of your colleagues has helped you out with a particular task or project, try to remember to return it in due course.
5. Remember the little things
We're all busy people, but we should remember that it's often the little things that can make the biggest difference. Taking two minutes at the start and end of each day to greet your colleagues (even better, with a smile!), and say goodbye, is a good habit to get into and one where managers and business owners can easily lead by example.