- Why should I learn about happiness?
Happiness is not something you have been taught about. Period. The ‘H’ in university stands for happiness. What we have been mostly taught is “not to be unhappy”. Hence all our efforts are directed towards how not to become unhappy. True happiness is not relief from suffering – whether from an illness or a problematic situation, nor it is in the achievement of a goal – whether personal or professional.
“The skills of becoming happy turns out to be almost entirely different from the skills of not being sad, not being anxious, or not being angry.” As told by Martin Seligman.
- Does it cost money to be happy?
You will be amazed to know how easy it is to implement even the most profound happiness strategies at absolutely no cost. What you need is intention and effort, but not money.
- Is it possible to make employees happy? I thought it is genetic.
One of the frequently quoted facts about happiness goes as follows:
- One’s genes determine 50% of happiness.
- The circumstances one is surrounded by determine 10% of happiness.
- 40% of happiness is defined by your actions, your attitude or optimism, and the way you handle situations.
There is a famous 50-10-40% formula for this in the prominent works carried out by positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. Based on research in this field, Sonja and her colleagues proposed that one’s genes determine approximately 50% of the variance in happiness, and circumstances around them determine 10 % of the variance in happiness. Automatically, that would leave 40% that a person can influence.
With 40% of your happiness in your control, you wield a lot of power over your happiness.
- How do I attract talented employees to my organization?
Earlier, it was organizations who choose employees. But today, talented employees are choosing the organizations they want to work with. Only those organisations who are extremely lucky with their hiring process or into a business that enjoys monopoly can say that they have noticed this trend.
Employees want to be engaged, and want to be rewarded for their innovation and creativity. They want an environment, which will help them evolve and grow. They need a workplace, where everyone is collaborating with each other to do their best.
In other words, they are looking for a happy workplace to grow and be productive.
- Is there any secret formula for happiness?
“And they all lived happily ever after.”
The end of almost all fairy tales is always about happily ever after. This beautiful end is actually the beginning of a real life, and this is from where we pick up the tale.
Fairy tales assume that happiness is an automatic state of being and also a right for the protagonist of the tale.
Undiluted happiness in a blue sky with none of the problems of everyday life to cast a shadow. This is the world of fairy tales. Such a world does not exist in reality. The fairy-tale version of happiness does not match reality as most of us know it.
A lot of us want to imitate other people and have the things they have. We think having those things will make us happy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every one of us is an entirely unique being. This means that each person will need to find their own secret formula for happiness.
- Why do we prioritize Money over Happiness?
Imagine, you have a choice of eating Pizza that comes for Rs 500 and Salad that comes for Rs, 100. You want to eat healthy and would like to opt for Salad.
Now imagine there is a huge discount of Rs. 400 on Pizza, and now it is also available for Rs. 100. What will you choose now? Even though we know that Salad is healthier. most of us will opt for Pizza as we see the perceived benefit of saving Rs. 400 on pizza and not the real benefit by eating the Salad.
We think that by doing so, we saving 400 rupees in the discount offer, and fail to realise that its merely a perceived benefit.
This way, we pick having money over our happiness and health.
- How to Measure One's Happiness?
The first part of this evaluation will require you to take note of your emotions. Since your emotions often change with each moment, you will have to track them often. At the end of each day, review the emotions that you experienced during that day.
Note them down in a journal or notebook, and do this across different points in the entire day. Repeat this for thirty days. Over time, the day to day variances in your emotional state will be eliminated. When the month ends, you will have a good understanding of your emotional state and actually how happy you are. This might take you just about five minutes each night.
Becoming aware of how your emotions work is a much more accurate way of measuring your happiness than thinking about how you feel.
- If I get a promotion, I will be happy anyhow. Why should I put effort into learning about happiness?
Happiness cannot be measured by possessions. Your argument cannot be “I will be happy when I have this or that.” This is a destructive mentality. Unfortunately, we often tend to use such arguments in our personal and professional lives both. Employees associate or link their happiness with statements like “If I get a promotion, then I will be happy,”, “When I get a raise, I’ll be happy.” Unfortunately, more often than ever, the happiness that we expect to have when the “if” happens, lasts only for a few days. As stated earlier, external factors influence our happiness for very short periods of time. The “if…then…” strategy doesn’t translate into happiness. The deeper reasons and factors that impacts a person’s happiness need to be understood, and then happiness can be achieved without any conditions attached to it. A person who is thinking of a promotion as a driver for happiness is actually not craving for a specific job title or promotion. Instead, he/she is for recognition, and that’s their driver. Recognition can come by getting involved in an extra job or working with a team, or even outside of work. The same way, challenges, and responsibilities can be found in our current job or involvement in other areas of our work. Promotion does not get in the way of getting recognized or any of these things. A promotion in itself doesn’t guarantee you a sense of fulfilment or recognition.
- Who should we hire, a happy employee with little skills, or an unhappy well-skilled employee?
Assuming the motivation/interest level to join the new organization of both the people is the same, the HR manager could try and understand the underlying factor for the unhappy employee’s unhappiness. They might not have the right vibes, but their willingness to join the organization should count. After all deliberations if you feel their vibes do not seem to match with the organization’s vibes, then hire the employee who reflect more positive vibes that align with your organization’s culture and who have the ability to learn the needed skills. Again, this depends on the time, training cost and other parameters of hiring this person. Remember that employee happiness drives productivity. On your part as an employer, ensuring your employees are well engaged and compensated helps create a positive environment. You also have the duty of hiring people with the right vibes.
- What are the signs of a low level of happiness among your employees?
Some of the signs of low Happiness level that you should look out for in your employees include:
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Uncooperative attitude
- No or little commitment to work
- Increasing absenteeism and late arrival at work
- Increasing customer complaints
- Fault-finding and nit-picking
- Staff conflicts
- Long faces
- High staff turnover
- No participation in meetings
- Lack of initiative
- More mistakes
- Lack of ownership
- Lack of engagement
- Can a happy workplace help me in retaining good employees?
The baby boomer generation worked for Survival. They worked for food, medicine, house, education, and clothes. Generation X worked for respect. They tried to give their children the best of education and upbringing. Millennials and Gen Zers are working for fulfilment, and for a bigger purpose. They need a place of work, where they can keep growing their skills to the extent that they start impacting the world. To answer your question, yes, a happy work environment will help you retain good employees. This will also help you ensure you have the right employees working in your organisation.
- How does the Future of Workplace look like? Considering the fact that AI and Robotics have already started replacing transactional jobs.
"In the future, the business functions will blur; probably there will be no separate HR, admin, accounts, or sales functions." Every employee will play the role of HR, accounts, and a sales guy of the organization. This would result in transforming every employee into leaders, each playing the role of the CEO of an organization. And the job of the real CEO will just get limited to that of an HR.
- Can my happiness be compared to other people’s happiness?
Yes, the lowest point of your happiness can be the happiest point for someone else.
- Why is it that it is easier to become unhappy than becoming happy.
Because negative emotions are louder than positive emotions. If you see today’s newspaper, you will find more negative news than positive news. Because Newspaper companies know that negative news sells more than the positive news. We are naturally inclined to be moody. On the other hand staying positive takes conscious and deliberate efforts.
- Does physical fitness affect happiness?
Anyone who has ever hit a milestone in their physical fitness routine, knows that happiness can be found in getting one’s body into shape. The sense of fulfilment that comes from hitting targets cannot be bought. Scientifically, physical fitness activities are linked with the increase of endorphins and anti-bodies. Endorphins and anti-bodies boost the body system making a person healthy, and a healthy person is a happy person.
- Is there a connection between productivity and happiness?
Happy, focused people will have a higher level of productivity. They can be focused because their minds are free from the cloudy, depressing sounds of sadness. And when we are productive, we get a sense of achievement that leaves us satisfied.
- How do the strategies to create a happy workplace differ from large to small organizations?
The working dynamics of a small organization and that of a large organization differ greatly. The level of employee engagement in these places is depended on employee count. When designing a workplace strategy that has employee happiness as its goal, remember to put the employee count into consideration. The strategy for each company will be one that is designed to handle the number of employees in each organization.
- Can I copy the Happiness Strategy of some other organization?
No, because every organization’s demography is different. The current culture of any organization is a result of… The Geographical influences like whether, food etc
- Employees background factors like their upbringing, value systems etc
- Vision of Organization
- Industry in which company is operating, and
- Political influences
Each organization needs to have a different strategy depending on the above dynamics. However, the framework discussed in the workshop forms the foundation that should be adopted to create the strategy.