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Happy International Day of Happiness!
Officially in its 6th year of celebration, March 20th was decreed as International Day of Happiness by the UN General Assembly and to hold its first celebration in 2013. This official day was the outcome of the recognition by the UN General Assembly, in 2011, that “happiness is a fundamental human goal”, calling for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples” which lead to the first ever UN conference on Happiness in 2012 where the official day was marked.
Each year this day has held a theme, encouraging people across the world to come together to showcase how their actions support this day. The theme of the first year of celebration in 2013 was ‘happy heroes’. In 2014 it was ‘reclaim happiness’; 2015, ‘relationships’; 2016, ‘people and planet’; and 2017, ’10 steps to happiness’.
This year’s theme is ‘share happiness’ – focusing on the importance of relationships, kindness and helping each other. And in the spirit of the day, we’re going to contribute by sharing with you ideas on how to bring your employees together to make your workplace happier!Happy International Day of Happiness! This year’s theme is ‘share happiness’ - focusing on the importance of relationships, kindness and helping each other. Click To Tweet
First, here’s a brief on why employee satisfaction and workplace happiness matters: a recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”
Not only that, professor Oswald of the Warwick research team stated that ‘Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%, they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.’”
And we completely agree! Happy employees are immensely important and crucial for a business to be successful. But how can employers take action, not only on the International Day of Happiness, but every day? Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can really bring your employees together and encourage a happy environment. Here’s a few activities to try:
Show and tell
Yes, just like in elementary school, show and tell is a great way for employees to learn about each other (and it’s really fun!). Have employees bring an item from home that showcases the interests or hobbies – like art, a book, photos, etc. – that makes them happy and give them the floor to share why.Show and tell: Yes, just like in elementary school, show and tell is a great way for employees to learn about each other (and it’s really fun!).Click To Tweet
Team building activities
Not only are team building activities healthy for your own department (Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, etc.), but cross-functional team activities are also an excellent way to boost motivation and well-being. When employees from different functions get to share their knowledge and professional expertise with one another, it not only offers insight into what others are contributing to the company, but helps to give a bigger picture of how everyone works together to achieve success. Having a sense of purpose is a fundamental element of happiness and well-being.Not only are team building activities healthy for your own department, but cross-functional team activities are also an excellent way to boost motivation and well-being.Click To Tweet
The power of food
Not surprisingly, food is another common way to bring people together. Offer a catered lunch for your staff, or have your employees sign up for a potluck where they can bring their favourite dish. Having lunch together not only helps employees bond with their colleagues, but encourages the exchange of information and sharing of ideas.The power of food: Offer a catered lunch for your staff, or have your employees sign up for a potluck where they can bring their favourite dish. Click To Tweet
Happiness & well-being workshops
Hold a department, or company-wide, workshop dedicated to brainstorming ways to improve the workplace. During this time, encourage conversations about what challenges are being faced, and what specific actions could be put into place to increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Getting everyone on board in making positive changes is a great way to strengthen commitment to own and company goals.Happiness & well-being workshops: Hold a department, or company-wide, workshop dedicated to brainstorming ways to improve the workplace.Click To Tweet
All in all, International Day of Happiness is about sharing your experiences, passions, and thoughts with others. Happiness is contagious, so be sure to share the things you do to make the world a happier place in your social media channels, using hashtags like #HappyDay #BeHappy #Smile #InternationalDayofHappiness.