Skip to main content

Happiness at Work. We can talk about it the whole day. Every day. About our vision, our ideas, but more importantly, about the research that has been done about the topic itself on how to improve happiness for individuals, in teams and in organisations. What does research say about that? Well, a lot. Many bookshelves are filled with it. There are many different models on what makes people happy. The most important conclusions is that happiness is something else for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all. But we do know that all these models also have a lot in common. From all of that, we extracted the four pillars of Happiness at Work: Purpose, People, Progress and Positivity. We explain them one by one below.

Simply put; the reason you get out of bed in the morning? Purpose is about the higher goal and what you want to contribute to in the world. What is the purpose of your organization? What value does the organization add for whom and how does it try to achieve that?

It is important that the purpose of the organization is aligned with the purpose of the individual employee and should therefore be clearly communicated. A powerful purpose contributes to job happiness in the following ways, among others:

  • it gives direction and streamlines decisions;
  • it motivates and connects internally;
  • it builds a story and creates fans;
  • and it attracts talent.

People is about the connection with colleagues and the way you work together. Can you be yourself and show your vulnerability? Do you belong and is there trust in each other? How do you stimulate connection?

  • By creating a safe culture, where vulnerability, openness, and honesty are shown;
  • by setting a good example;
  • By paying attention and taking time for each other.
  • By expressing genuine appreciation.

Give your colleague a heartfelt compliment today, we often forget to appreciate each other for the work someone does due to the busyness of the day!

Progress is about achieving results in meaningful work and about being able to grow and develop. You experience satisfaction when successes are celebrated and when you have autonomy and responsibility. It is finding the ultimate balance between challenge and your (growing) capabilities that puts you in the so-called ‘flow’. How do you get the feeling of progress?

  • Make results visible
  • Celebrate the big and small successes (focus on what succeeds)
  • Formulate clear and meaningful goals
  • Give autonomy and responsibility

The fourth Pillar of the happiness diaphragm is about Positivity. Laughter and fun create a better atmosphere, more creativity, and more happiness at work. Positivity in the workplace is an important reason to come to work and it even stimulates the learning curve!

What can you do?

  • Create habits, rituals, and an environment where fun is ok;
  • organize fun events such as a beer and pizza session or a football tournament;
  • provide an inspiring work environment
  • be a good example: Have fun yourself!
  • do unexpected fun things
  • Make sure it doesn’t become superficial!

You can do all sorts of things, small and large to encourage each of the four P’s within your organization. Start small and finish big.

If you want to become a real expert in the field of happiness at work, you can of course do the Certified CHO training by Woohoo to become a happiness expert. #spreadhappiness

And remember this: it’s not the cool office with free fruit and good coffee that makes you happy, it’s creating a culture where fun and happiness are key. The office and the coffee are at best the manifestations of the underlying factors and at best create job satisfaction. Embrace the four P’s!


Author Fennande

More posts by Fennande

Leave a Reply