happiness in the workplace

5 Takeaways from Webinar Happiness in the Workplace

By Morgan Cruz, MHI Marketing Communications Coordinator | @mhi_morgan

MHI’s Young Professionals Network held a webinar, Happiness in the Workplace: How to Lower Costs, Increase Productivity and Maximize Profits by Making Happiness a Priority, on September 15th. The webinar featured speaker Valerie Alexander, entrepreneur, filmmaker and author of Happiness as a Second Language. Below are five key takeaways that will transform your view of happiness in the workplace.

1. Use accomplishment as a motivator for employees.

“If you’re just good at everything else you do in your job, be great at inspiring, motivating and getting the most from the people around you.” – Valerie Alexander

Unfortunately, there is a giant disconnect between what employers think motivates employees and what actually motivates them. Studies from the Harvard Business School show that the number one factor for employees in feeling engaged and happy at work is making progress on meaningful work. Managers tend to think they are more motivated by fear. This is false; in actuality managers can motivate their employees by expecting excellence and acknowledging their achievements. Higher leadership should judge their managers on the success of their employees.

2. Attach rewards to results.

Employees will feel more important and recognized when rewards are attached to results. For example, when a manager brings in cookies for their employees they should say, “You guys did such a good job this week in reaching your goals, I just had to thank you.” This approach is more motivating for employees because it reiterates that they have made progress on meaningful work.

3. As people get happier they become better at their job.

People who are happy think more positively and therefore will perform better at their job. For example, studies show happier people will give better customer service and think more creatively. Happiness becomes a moving target when you say, “I’ll be happy when…”. It’s not the future target that brings employee happiness, it’s the positive outlook on what’s happening now.


4. Use sticky notes to acknowledge accomplishments everyday.

Create an “I will do that” spot with sticky notes of tasks for the day. As you complete them move them into a “done” spot. At the end of the day, take the sticky notes from your done spot and acknowledge your accomplishments. Enjoy the feeling of being productive. It is important to recognize your own efforts to stay positive and motivated at work.

5. Create an energy shield between you and negative people.

When someone is complaining it is your natural instinct to complain back. If you continue this cycle, you might become negative too. You do not have to participate in negative conversation. Instead, create an energy shield in your mind that blocks negative comments. Respond to negativity with positive comments and the bad energy will deflect right off of your shield.

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