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Sheona, Sarah and Tia, in 2020 Canada and in 2021 the USA joined the movement of the International Week of Happiness at Work. Why?


We are all trained Chief Happiness Officers from Canada & The US, and are really excited to expand this movement to the North American market. It’s such an important topic, and with all the upheaval and challenging times for individuals as well as workplaces in the last few years – creating a happier workplace is more important than ever.


What’s on the program in North America this year?

This is the second year we have hosted something in this area, but we are really excited to be launching our flagship week long inspiration & networking event:

Attract, Inspire, Retain: How to turn the great resignation into your competitive advantage

Each day during the IWOHAW we will host an inspiration session, taking about what’s happening around the world and an interesting topic, then host a speaker or fireside chat, and then finish up with a networking & brainstorming session. So people can share ideas and really get the best actionable ideas out of the day.

We’re delighted to be joined by speakers like Nic Marks, CEO & Founder of FridayPulse and the UN Happy Planet Index, Fireside Chats with Jane Dzielski & Nima Oftadeh of Google, Alex Genov from Zappos, and a closing keynote by Rich Sheridan from Menlo Innovations, we also have two great pre-recorded videos from Asad Ahmad of Hyatt Hotels, and Karen Guggenheim & Sandro Formica, PhD will host a discussion on positive organisational culture.


Is Happiness at Work widely adopted in NorthAmerica?

We see that it is starting to be something that organisations are more and more conscious of. It has taken a little longer, perhaps than in Europe, but we now see companies wanting to put their people firmly at the centre of their organisations. This has been backed up by the Davos Agenda from 2021, and the SEC ruling to include human capital in their reporting.


Do you have some practical tips to increase happiness in the workplace?

First we think talking about it – finding a language in your organisation is key. Then putting together a team of people who can “run the experiment”, try different things, find out what works, and what doesn’t. Every organisation is different and so it’s important to create a happy workplace through trial and error.   After that I would say taking 5 minutes to thank someone every week, genuine praise and recognition is key, and then booking in intentional time to connect on a personal level with people is also critical. Ensuring that job roles, and workload are fair, and not overworking people is a key way managers can help workplaces at the current moment. Ensuring that everyone knows where they fit in the organisation, is able to connect their work to what matters, and also so that people have an easy way to know which work they should be doing.


What is the best thing you ever heard someone had organized during the IWOHAW?

Some of the best ideas are small, meaningful things in organisations. Like hosting a team lunch where you learn something new about each other. Hosting “workplace Ted talks”, where people get to present on their zone of genius. Or companies taking time to really listen, and start the conversations going to help create happier more meaningful workplaces.




Author Fennande

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