Happiness at work, a new fashionable HR buzzword, or a key success condition for high performing organizations?


Hedonistic happiness is very much last century. Happiness is not laying in a hammock on a tropical island sipping from a cocktail forever… It looks very tempting, but most of us would get bored after a couple of days I guess.

If you look at the latest ranking of the happiest countries in the world, Denmark is now number 1 …and I’ve been in Denmark on several occasions but didn’t see many tropical beaches. For long lasting happiness finding “intrinsic value” is central. Happiness derived from meaning, self-awareness and personal development will make a truly happy and performing company.




Researchers from the University of Warwick (UK) found that happy people are 12% more productive than unhappy people.

Happy organizations with happy employees don’t happen overnight, it’s something you actually have to





is the absolute key-factor in happy organizations as only environments were people have freedom and autonomy can provide the right habitat to be successful.

Besides trusts or key elements for happiness at work are:

  • Common goals
    For goals to be common, listening to staff is crucial. Very often employees are overlooked and feel left out of the process of growing and continuously improving the business. When working with common goals, it’s crucial to work with clear milestones, expectations and goal tracking review meetings.
  • Enough space for creativity and initiatives 
  • Well trained staff 
  • Empowerment
    Many recent studies show that happier people are better in problem solving and bounce back faster. Therefore organizations should consider empowerment as a critical factor for success.
  • Decision making levels as low as possible 
  • Clear sets of rules and procedures 
  • An environment where people can make mistakes and say “sorry”
    Accepting and even celebrating mistakes is a great way to handle them in a business environment. When you celebrate mistakes, you learn more than when you try to hide them, which is too often the case in fearful organizations. If less time is spent on CYA (Cover Your Ass) creativity and innovation get a boost and fewer mistakes will be made.
    Saying sorry is a good start to let things go. We are all humans, even at work which means that it is inevitable that we are going to screw up things. When that happens (and it will) apologize, learn and do better next time.
    Showing vulnerability is nowadays a positive rather than a negative quality of grown up professionals.
  • Managers that don’t manage but facilitate 
  • Processes that are based on a genuine customer centricity

In happy companies people are no longer considered resources that can be squeezed, thrown away and easily replaced but as human beings


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