We sat down with Emma Bridger, Managing Director of People Lab — an HR consultancy specializing in providing training to improve employee engagement — to discuss happiness in the workplace, how to deploy a happiness strategy, the elements of positive psychology that support the theory, and the positive business outcomes to be had.
It's clear very quickly that communication is really one of the key drivers and levers of how we feel about the world."Emma Bridger, Managing Director of People Lab
An 8-Step Cheat Sheet to Designing a Successful Happiness Strategy:
- Start simple by speaking to the employees themselves. Find out what gives them happiness at work and what could be done to improve it.
- Do this face-to-face, not through a survey. Let them know that someone is taking the time to understand how they feel and ensure that they continue to feel connected to the organization.
- Be prepared to be flexible. Internal Communicators developing a happiness strategy "need to be tech-savvy. They need to be a psychologist. They need to understand how change happens and how people tick."
- If you can't be all of those things, seek help from those around you.
- When taking your proposal to the boardroom, don't immediately talk about happiness. Refer to it as "employee wellbeing" — happiness can often be misunderstood as unproductive, and this is a more relatable and less controversial framing.
- Keep in mind, however, that wellbeing ≠ physical health!
- Use a business case to give clear value to your proposition.
- Establish a clear correlation between your strategy and positive business outcomes, in addition to employee benefits.