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Happiness in the workplace is a necessity. Research shows time and time again that happy people are healthier and lead to more positive outcomes. Happiness is also contagious. Happy employees delight customers. Read more about the 5 ingredients for work happiness.

As it turns out, many of the 'Fortune Best Companies' really make an effort to balance strategy, commitment and personal development well. So it is no surprise that these companies have achieved consistently better results over the past 15 years than companies that didn’t. A good reason to focus on creating happiness on the work floor. But how do you do this?

The benefits of happiness

Figures show that nearly 75 percent of people feel only moderately connected to their work. That is a lot. Companies that pay attention to the job satisfaction of their employees see average sales figures rise with 37 percent. And innovation and creativity even go up 300 percent. In addition, there is less turnover, so the costs of recruiting and training new employees decrease by 60 percent. More and more companies understand that people only function properly if they feel good. Putting the happiness of employees first, achieves better business results.
These are the 5 ingredients for more happiness on the work floor.

1. Trust, comfort and connection

People are happier at work when mutual relationships are relaxed and there is an 'open' working atmosphere in which everyone feels free to say what he or she really thinks. This is achieved when people not just work together, but also are given (and take) the time to establish mutual relationships. They do not have to become your best friends, but you connect better when working and having fun are in balance. For example, go on a 'workcation' every two months with your team: a combination of a short vacation and work. Or have a look at the environment your team works in. Can you make this more informal and sociable? All this creates an atmosphere of trust and comfort within the team. Some valuable conditions to grow together.

2. Room for passion and talents

Why do you do what you do? What makes you happy (also outside your work!)? What are you curious about? These and many other questions lead you to your passion, your talent and your qualities. You can find all kinds of questionnaires about this online. But you can also ask your colleagues what your qualities and talents are. Are you able to express those in your work? Are you challenged enough? If not, discuss with your team or supervisor how you can make better use of your qualities and talents.

3. Influence on work and decision-making

There is nothing more motivating than coming up with ideas yourself, carrying them out and making progress. People are happier when they feel they are trusted and are given responsibility. Ricardo Semler, an advocate of self-organization, once said in an interview: "Why do people who make decisions about a $ 300,000 mortgage for their new home, but they have to ask permission at work to spend € 1,500? They are grown ups after all."

Set clear goals

This is not about whether or not people can be self-organizing, but about giving people a clear goal. Preferably a challenging assignment with a clear result. And then you have to rely on their expertise and cooperation skills. Whether you are a manager or a team member, happiness increases when you do this.

4. Contributing to a higher goal

People who pursue long term plans or goals are often happier. Mostly it is the values they aim for with these goals causing this feeling of happiness. Values indicate who you are. Or who you would like to be. Therefore, try to find out which values are important to you. Questionnaires can also be helpful with this. Or, the question: "what would you put into the world if you win 1 million dollars tomorrow?" can make clear what you really want or what your deepest desires are.

Know your values

Is there a big difference between your core values and what you actually do for work? Then ask yourself whether your work suits you and what you think is important. In addition, organizations also have core values and a vision for the future. Make sure you know what these are. Check whether they correspond with your own values and vision. And make sure that you and everyone can express these values with their own talents in their own way. Because shared values increase happiness!

5. Satisfaction and gratitude

It is important to not just ‘do’ things. A moment of reflection can considerably increase your happiness. Especially when you do this regularly. Take a moment to think about those people who are less fortunate than you are. That immediately puts your own situation into perspective. It does not solve your problems and irritations, but it does place them in a bigger context. And it allows you to look again at your situation from a more open heart and a more open mind. Then take 5 minutes to make a list of things you are grateful for, both at work and at home.

Take responsibility for your (work) happiness  

The most important thing is that you choose personal leadership instead of being guided by your environment. The challenge is to take your own responsibility for your career and your satisfaction about this. Of course you cannot change everything, but don’t be the victim. Show a positive attitude in which you try out things. So you can experience what does and does not work. Then adjust your ideas about how you function and your work environment. People often regret the things they did not do, instead of the things they did do but went wrong. Commit yourself to your own happiness, your colleagues and your customers!

De Baak is dedicated to the human side of enterprise. Our aim is to enable leaders and entrepreneurs to make a positive, long-term impact on the lives of individuals, society, planet and profit.

We offer tailor-made training courses and an open program, Transparent International Leadership, for leaders in intercultural (international) organizations. Please contact us for more information: +31(0)343-556369 or advice@debaak.com.

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