When I was in The Bahamas last week, I did a radio interview and a newspaper interview with some really smart, passionate people.
10 people have already signed up for he first Woohoo Academy training, which will take place on June 16-19 in Copenhagen – and which will be awesome :)
The training is meant for:
Have you ever done work that you now know was, on balance, mostly harmful?
Let’s say you did payday loans at ridiculously high interest rates, worked in a slaughterhouse where the animals clearly suffered, worked for a company that made land mines or something similar.
Here’s what I’d like to know: Did you think at the time that your job was harmful or did you ignore it or rationalize it somehow? How did it affect you and your coworkers? Did the company address it in any way or was it ignored inside the workplace?
I’m a featured expert on World HR Net, with an interview where I talk about what makes us happy at work.
I’m also in the papers in Denmark today:
I stumbled on this interview with Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines and it is all kinds of awesome.
From the interview:
Well, I think people should have fun at work. It should be an enjoyable part of their life. They should gain psychic satisfaction from it.
I think most of us enjoy fun, and why not at work as well as at play? And so we’ve always encouraged people to be themselves, not to be robotic, not to be automatons. We don’t expect you to surrender your natural personality when you join Southwest Airlines. We want you to have some fun, we want you to have psychic satisfaction from your job. It’s not just about money, it’s also how you feel about what you’re doing.
We want people to be recognized, participated, diligent and creative. And you can’t ask people to be someone other than themselves and have that kind of creativity and dedication and participation. So, we liberate people at work.
The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not.
That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.
– Warren Bennis
In June I’ll be speaking at the 5th International Conference on Happiness at Work in Coruña in Northern Spain.
Considering that I’m also speaking in Chile later this year and possibly in Colombia, I should probably get cracking on learning Spanish :)
If you can not honestly say that your job is overall making life better for someone somewhere in some way that is meaningful to you, then you should be doing something else.
A short while ago we announced our new Partner program.
The basic idea is simple: You can get access to all of the materials that we have created and refined over the years with clients like LEGO, Microsoft, IKEA and Shell and use them to go create happy workplaces.
You can use all of these materials as an external consultant with your clients or you can use them internally with employees, managers and teams inside your organization to make it a happier workplace.
And we just reached a cool milestone: We now have partners in 10 different countries. There are now partners in Denmark, Norway, Turkey, Australia, Argentina, Colombia, US, South Africa, Bulgaria, and the UK.
That is AWESOME!
Would you like to join us? Read all about Woohoo Partners here.
My business card. Does your workplace have a CHO?
I think every company should have a CHO – a Chief Happiness Officer. Here’s why.
The CHO title is modelled on all the other CXO titles. The CTO is in charge of technology, the CFO is responsible for the financials, the COO is head of operations, etc. And once you realize that employee happiness may be the most important success factor for a business today, it becomes essential to have a Chief Happiness Officer, someone who is the main driver in making and keeping the workplace happy.
I see more and more CHOs which is fantastic because this is one of the most important roles in the organization. They may not always be called Chief Happiness Officers – it can be the HR manager, it can be the CEO, it can even be a regular employee. The important things is that it’s a person who sees themselves as responsible for making and keeping the organization happy.
Why do companies appoint CHOs? For one simple reason: Because they are realizing that happy workplaces make more money.
Studies show that happy employees are more productive, more innovative, more motivated, more energetic and more optimistic. They are also less sick, stay with the company longer and make the customers more loyal. For those reasons (and many others) happy companies make more money.
Also, companies are starting to see that there is an ethical dimension to running a workplace, and that a corporate culture that is toxic and stressful will slowly wear employees down and can ruin their careers, their health and their private lives. This is wrong and more and more leaders understand that a workplace should have a net-positive influence on employees’ lives.
So what does a CHO do? The job is both inspirational and practical. First, this person should (of course) be happy him- or herself. It should be someone who can inspire happiness in others by their nature, and someone who is fun, likable and has a lot of energy. It should also be a person who genuinely cares about the well-being of people in the workplace.
Secondly, the CHO’s job is to spearhead different initiatives to make people happier in the workplace, like celebrations, trainings, events and similar activities in the workplace that help people do great work and see the purpose of what they do.
The important thing is that the CHO has the support of top-level management. They may not require a huge budget but if the CEO does not give a crap abut the employees, all the efforts of the CHO will be wasted. Or worse, they may come off as a a cynical attempt to keep people content in a toxic culture.
Some people hate the very idea of a CHO – they find it creepy and weird. And there are absolutely some pitfalls. The role is not to be a corporate clown or a happiness enforcer, constantly checking if everyone’s happy. That would be horrible.
But having a great CHO, a person somewhere in the organization who has the skills, the knowledge and the passion to help create a happy workplace and who has the unconditional support of top management makes perfect sense. It will not only make employees happier, it will also most likely make the company money.