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The Chief Happiness Officer Blog





Updated: 2017-01-17T12:28:21Z

 



Join our first international conference on happiness at work May 18+19 in Copenhagen

2017-01-17T12:28:21Z

Big news: Every year since 2009 we’ve held a conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen. The events have been incredibly popular but also limited in scope because most of the talks were in Danish. That’s about to change, because this year’s conference will be international, with all the talks and workshops held in English. We … Continue reading Join our first international conference on happiness at work May 18+19 in Copenhagen

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Big news: Every year since 2009 we’ve held a conference on happiness at work in Copenhagen. The events have been incredibly popular but also limited in scope because most of the talks were in Danish.

That’s about to change, because this year’s conference will be international, with all the talks and workshops held in English.

We have a great lineup of speakers and sessions. May 18 is a full conference day and May 19 is in-depth workshops. Check out the full program here.

The conference is for leaders, HR people and others who want valuable knowledge and effective tools that they can apply right away to make your organization happier and more successful.

So grab this chance to visit the world’s happiest country for a truly unique, fun, valuable and intense conference experience.

To get a sense of the event, watch this video from our 2013 conference:

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Freedom at work = happiness at work

2017-01-16T11:24:04Z

“You’d be amazed what happens once people are empowered to make decisions.” Here’s a great article from CNN on how Denmark’s happiest workplace became so happy: they gave their employees freedom and responsibility. This is the moment they won first place in the Danish Great Place to Work ranking: Det lykkedes! Danmarks bedste arbejdsplads 2016. #dkfinans #GPTW_DK pic.twitter.com/yxgGjdYbDh — … Continue reading Freedom at work = happiness at work

“You’d be amazed what happens once people are empowered to make decisions.”

Here’s a great article from CNN on how Denmark’s happiest workplace became so happy: they gave their employees freedom and responsibility.

This is the moment they won first place in the Danish Great Place to Work ranking:




Quote

2017-01-12T08:53:40Z

“My father used to have an expression. He’d say, Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community.” – Joe Biden I love this. I also love Biden’s passionate plea for his staff to not neglect their home lives.

“My father used to have an expression. He’d say, Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community.”

– Joe Biden

I love this. I also love Biden’s passionate plea for his staff to not neglect their home lives.




We’re writing a book on Happy Hotels and we want your thoughts

2017-01-10T14:25:05Z

Monika Hilm and I are writing a book on how to make hotels happy workplaces – sadly, many are not. Have you ever stayed in a really happy hotel? Or a really unhappy one? Have you worked in hospitality? How did you like it? We want your best (and worst) stories and thoughts – write … Continue reading We’re writing a book on Happy Hotels and we want your thoughts

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Monika Hilm and I are writing a book on how to make hotels happy workplaces – sadly, many are not.

Have you ever stayed in a really happy hotel? Or a really unhappy one? Have you worked in hospitality? How did you like it?

We want your best (and worst) stories and thoughts – write a comment here or on Monika’s blog.




10 simple questions to ask yourself at the start of a new work year

2017-01-06T09:36:07Z

The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your work life. Were you happy or unhappy at work? What would you like to change? It’s important to evaluate because how you feel at work has such a large influence on you at work AND at home. When you’re happy at … Continue reading 10 simple questions to ask yourself at the start of a new work year

The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your work life. Were you happy or unhappy at work? What would you like to change?

It’s important to evaluate because how you feel at work has such a large influence on you at work AND at home. When you’re happy at work, you have better job performance and more career success. You also have better health and a happier private life.

Unfortunately most people look back and think exclusively in terms of what went wrong. The things they should have done. They goals they ought to have achieved. The progress that didn’t come.

We gain much of our happiness at work (and in life) by appreciating the good things we have and do. Sure, you should also make sure to improve your circumstances and address any problems but it is just as important to be able to appreciate the things that do work.

This is hard. Negativity bias is one of the most well-established psychological phenomena and it means quite simply that our minds devote more mental focus and cognition to the bad than the good. Our thoughts automatically go to problems, annoyances, threats and fears but remembering and appreciating the good in our lives takes effort and focus.

We think you can achieve much more by turning that around 180 degrees, so here’s our suggestion for a little new year’s exercise in happiness at work.

Think back at your work life in 2016 and answer the following 10 questions. It works best, if you take some time to do it and if you write down your answers:

  1. What went really well for you at work in 2016?
  2. What did you do that you were proud of?
  3. Who did you make a difference for at work?
  4. What new skills have you learned professionally?
  5. How have you grown and developed personally at work?
  6. Who has helped you out at work in 2016?
  7. Who have you admired professionally?
  8. Which 5 things from your work life in 2016 would you like more of in 2017?
  9. Which 5 things from your work life in 2016 would you like less of in 2017?
  10. What will you specifically do to become happier at work in 2017?

Most people think that they must work hard to become successful – and that success will make them happy. They’re most likely wrong.

So this year, make happiness at work your #1 career goal – because being happy at work will make you more successful in your career.

I wish you a very happy new year at work!




New Woohoo inc Partner: Plus Consulting in Israel

2016-12-21T10:12:17Z

One more company just joined our international partner program: Plus Consulting from Israel. They have 12 years of experience in organizational consulting and management training and for the last 3 years they’ve worked with some leading local organizations to bring happiness and positive psychology into the workplace. See the full list of partners here.

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One more company just joined our international partner program: Plus Consulting from Israel.

They have 12 years of experience in organizational consulting and management training and for the last 3 years they’ve worked with some leading local organizations to bring happiness and positive psychology into the workplace.

See the full list of partners here.




How one IT company created an internal academy – on little or no budget

2016-12-16T09:47:23Z

How do you best promote learning and development in a company? As Chief Happiness Officer of the Czech IT company Avast, Michal created the Growshop – an internal academy where coworkers could teach each other relevant skills and share their passion. Learn how he did it and how it made coworkers a little happier and smarter.

class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='474' height='297' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/gbvz1PjAgpM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'>

How do you best promote learning and development in a company?

As Chief Happiness Officer of the Czech IT company Avast, Michal created the Growshop – an internal academy where coworkers could teach each other relevant skills and share their passion.

Learn how he did it and how it made coworkers a little happier and smarter.




Try this Jedi mind trick in your next meeting

2016-12-13T08:01:15Z

Just got this awesome message on LinkedIn: Hi Alexander, I have been reading your work for a few days now, and I cannot get enough. We have 4 analysts on our team, who touch many if not all groups in our company, and the insight you provide in your articles is invaluable. Our role often … Continue reading Try this Jedi mind trick in your next meeting

Just got this awesome message on LinkedIn:

Hi Alexander,

I have been reading your work for a few days now, and I cannot get enough.

We have 4 analysts on our team, who touch many if not all groups in our company, and the insight you provide in your articles is invaluable. Our role often means our view is black and white in order to deliver results, which is often received in a bad light.

So, I immediately utilized item 1 of your five weird tips for great meetings. It was like the Jedi mind trick for convincing others to lobby for our interests!

My Sr Analyst was struggling to keep her jaw from dropping. No more than a simple ask of what is the funniest thing your kids have said to you lately. Everyone had a story, and we all laughed for a quick 2 minutes before getting to the agenda.

Just wanted to say, “Thank you,”

All the best,
-Grant

Sometimes the simple things work best.

Related posts

 




How time scarcity kills productivity – and 5 ways to avoid it

2016-12-07T12:59:58Z

“Your car is having trouble and will need repairs at a cost of around $1,500. How would you handle that situation?” Scientists from the University of Warwick led by professor Anandi Mani stopped customers at a New Jersey mall and asked them that question. Next the subjects took an IQ test and the results was stunning: … Continue reading How time scarcity kills productivity – and 5 ways to avoid it →“Your car is having trouble and will need repairs at a cost of around $1,500. How would you handle that situation?” Scientists from the University of Warwick led by professor Anandi Mani stopped customers at a New Jersey mall and asked them that question. Next the subjects took an IQ test and the results was stunning: For financially well-off participants, this question did not affect their IQ scores in any way. But people who were struggling financially underperformed by 13 IQ-points simply because their money worries had been brought to their attention. This experiment is described in the excellent book “Scarcity – Why Having Too Little Means So Much” by professor of economics Sendhil Mullainathan and professor of psychology Eldar Shafir, in which the two scientists clearly lay out the negative cognitive effects of scarcity. When we have too little of something that is important to us we become a little dumber, less disciplined and we make poor choices. This helps explain – among many other things – why poor people keep taking out pay-day loans, even when they should know better and even though those incredibly expensive  loans just put them deeper in the hole. And this is not only about lack of money; the book gives plenty of examples of how time scarcity has the same kind of effects, making us dumber and worse at managing what little time we do have effectively. So, knowing this, why is it that so many workplaces mercilessly keep putting their employees under massive time pressure? Why do leaders consistently create time scarcity? This happens when: Employees are routinely expected to increase their productivity year after year with little or no additional support, training or resources. A manager commits to their team doing more work with the same staff. A company is growing and taking on new clients/projects without a commensurate increase in staff and resources. An organization lays off staff but expects the reduced staff to the same amount of work. Schedules are filled to capacity with meetings and tasks before the work week even starts, leaving no time for ad-hoc or unexpected tasks. Some leaders think that these situations create a burning platform that pressures employees to work effectively and creatively towards the company’s goals, but the truth is the opposite: Time scarcity reduces employees’ cognitive resources and makes it much harder for them to do their jobs well. And what’s worse, this can become self-reinforcing. Here’s an example: An organizations reduces headcount leading to increased time pressure and scarcity among those left. This weakens their cognitive capacity and productivity drops, leading to even more busyness and scarcity. Is this something you see happening in your workplace? Here are 5 things we can do about it. 1: Take time pressure off employees Instead of giving employees hard-to-reach productivity goals and filling their work week to the brim (and beyond) we need to give them more realistic goals and leave some slack in their schedules so any ad-hoc task that comes along (as it inevitably will) does not topple the whole load. Most employees actually get more work done when they have productivity goals that are reasonable and within their capacity. Here’s a great example: The IT company Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor only lets employees work 40 [...]



5 ways to create some happiness in the office this Christmas

2016-12-07T17:32:41Z

December can be a cold, dark, busy and stressful month at work. Or we can use the Christmas season to actively create some cheer in the office. Here are 5 great ways to do it. 1: Random acts of Christmas cheer Here’s a great example from a Danish company called Solar, where two department managers Carsten … Continue reading 5 ways to create some happiness in the office this Christmas →December can be a cold, dark, busy and stressful month at work. Or we can use the Christmas season to actively create some cheer in the office. Here are 5 great ways to do it. 1: Random acts of Christmas cheer Here’s a great example from a Danish company called Solar, where two department managers Carsten and Karsten toured the entire office and ris a la mande (a traditional Danish Christmas dessert) for all their employees. Here’s a video of them doing it: src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/w12H3eiu784?rel=0" width="480" height="244" frameborder="0" data-mce-fragment="1"> The holiday season is a great opportunity to make other people happy. What could you do? Hand out candy? Sing carols together? 2: Decorate like crazy A few years ago I was flying out of Copenhagen and at the airport I saw this office that had been decorated with with insane amounts of Christmas decorations. Just looking at it put me in a happier Christmas mood. Why not decorate your workplace in a fun, over-the-top way? You could even sit down together and make your own handcrafted seasonal decorations. 3: Stealthy acts of kindness Many Danish workplaces have a Christmas tradition for pranking each other in december. The way it works is this: each person draws the name of a team member and has to lightly prank that person throughout the month without getting caught. Like maybe gift wrapping their office: We suggest turning that on its head and make the game about doing nice things for the other person without getting caught. Maybe hide some candy in their desk, write them a note with positive feedback or send them a slice of cake anonymously. Or maybe even gift wrapping their desk, if you think it would make that person smile. Then on the last working day before the Christmas break you can get the team together and let them try to guess who’s been nice to them all month. 4: The Christmas Dice Gift Grab Game (only opposite) At many Christmas workplace events, teams play the Dice Grab Game. The rules are simple: Everyone brings a wrapped (cheap) present and places it on the table. People take turn to roll a die and if you roll a 6 you get to take a present from the table. Once all the presents are taken, a 6 let’s you take a present from another player. It can get pretty intense :) So change the game like this:When you roll a 6, you get to take a present from one player and give it to someone else. It changes the dynamics of the game completely and makes it a lot more fun and a lot less competitive. Try this version with your family – it works really well when there are children present too. 5: Give each other Christmas presents Some workplaces give all employees a Christmas present, which is nice, sure, but not really something that tends to make people terribly happy. This is mostly because the gifts are not personal, so they’re not an indication of you contributions or how you’re seen as a person. But we’ve convinced some of your clients to do this differently, and get team member to buy presents for each other. Here’s how it works: At the beginning of december, each employee draws the name of one of their team member and get to buy a present for that person. They will of course be reimbursed by the company and there’s a maximum amount they can spend. They are not allowed to just ask that person what they should buy them. They have[...]