Category Archives: Happy companies

My meeting with the Danish healthcare system

Danish hospital wear - stylish AND flattering :)

Yesterday I went in for a very minor planned operation at Bispebjerg Hospital close to where we Iive here in Copenhagen.

So here are 3 reflections on my first major meeting with the Danish healthcare system since I was a kid.

1: The people were awesome

Every single person I met was friendly, cheerful and competent. I felt seen and genuinely cared for the whole time. So many people welcomed me to the hospital. Many said “We’re going to take good care of you,” which I felt was a wonderful touch.

All staff also went out of their way to keep me informed at all times and took time to answer all my questions. Everything they did was explained clearly and with great empathy.

They all seemed very happy at work and were really nice and friendly around each other as well. This is important, because some research indicates that happy hospitals have better patient outcomes.

2: The whole process was highly efficient

The surgery went just perfectly and I was in and out in a few hours, just as scheduled.

It was clear that the different teams and wards had spent a lot of time optimizing the processes and figuring out the best ways to share information between them and how to optimally use the available resources.

These people clearly care about doing their jobs well and efficiently.

3: This is for everyone

I’m wealthy. If I didn’t trust the public hospitals in Denmark, I could easily afford treatment at a private hospital somewhere.

So my main reflection is that this level of care is available for free to every single Dane, regardless of income or social status. This is one of the things that make me proud of my country.

My only worry is that I’ll have to take it easy on the training for a while –  just when the CrossFit Open is coming up. Dammit :)

Is your company’s purpose this clear and inspiring?

Last month I gave a keynote at Danish pharmaceutical company Xellia. While waiting in their lobby, I noticed the sign above, carrying probably the simplest and most inspiring company purpose I’ve ever seen.

As you may know, one of the biggest current medical crises is the increasing risk of infection by multi-resistant bacteria, that are immune to traditional antibiotics.

Xellia produces an antibiotic that is still effective against multi-resistant bacteria. Their research and products directly saves lives all over the world and we are proud to have them as a client.

After the keynote, they sent us this feedback:

“Your speech clearly showed why happiness at work is so important and helped us focus on it and maintain it in our workplace. You gave our entire team a huge and much-needed boost – thank you!”

– Morten Rank, People Manager, Chemical Laboratory, Xellia Pharmaceuticals

A simple (and free) way to let employees share hobbies and passions

Here’s another great and simple tool for creating better coworker relationships from our Czech Woohoo inc Partner Michal Srajer.

In this video he describes how he used Google Groups to help employees at IT company Avast connect around shared hobbies and passions.

This fosters better workplace relationships, cross-team collaboration and better teamwork.

Related posts

How to create happiness at work with 8 Golden Retriever puppies

We are always looking for cool new ways to create happiness at work, and one of our clients just came up with one that is not only fun but without a doubt the cutest we’ve seen so far.

We got this email from Mikkel from Advice, one of our clients in Denmark:

I work at Advice – a communications company with 120 employees. We recently booked a keynote with Arlette from Woohoo Inc. which gave us a lot of inspiration to increase happiness at work with big and small initiatives throughout the company.

One coworker was particularly inspired by the idea of doing random acts of workplace kindness, so she persuaded her team leader to let her arrange a happiness café one regular grey October afternoon.

Here, coworkers found 8 cute Golden Retriever puppies as well as coffee and a huge cake buffet. Everyone got a chance to pet and play with one of the cute little furballs and the event was “the talk of the town” all over the company.

What a cool and fun idea. Here are some more photos to give you a sense of the event:

Would this work in your workplace? Have you ever done something similar? How do you create happiness at work?

Write a comment and share your best ideas.

Freedom at work = happiness at work

“You’d be amazed what happens once people are empowered to make decisions.”

Here’s a great article from CNN on how Denmark’s happiest workplace became so happy: they gave their employees freedom and responsibility.

This is the moment they won first place in the Danish Great Place to Work ranking:

5 lessons you can learn from Denmark’s happiest call center

Call centers are notoriously tough workplaces.

But City Call Center in Copenhagen is different. Very different. They were recently named one of Denmark’s best workplaces in the Great Place to Work Survey and people love working here.

In this interview, their founder and CEO Pouline Mangaard explains how she has created the (nearly) impossible: A happy call center.

 Her ideas are simple, effective and are relevant in any kind of workplace.

Why workplaces should let employees choose their own manager

If you don’t have a good relationship with your manager, you will never be happy at work. But how can a workplace ensure that every employee has the right manager – someone they trust, like, respect and communicate well with?

London-based training company Happy have come up with a radical but simple solution: Let every employee pick their own manager.

That way, anyone who is not happy with their boss can simply pick a new one. Incidentally, bad bosses quickly find themselves without employees, eliminating that particular problem.

In this inspiring speech their founder Henry Stewart shares how they do it along with two other great practices that have made Happy so… happy :)

Podcast with Søren Lockwood – a (very happy) financial CEO

Michal Srajer, one of our Partners in Prague, is currently travelling the world and interviewing many different people for his podcast about happiness at work. His first interview was with me and you can hear it here.

His second podcast features Søren Lockwood, the CEO of SEB Pension in Denmark, who took his company of 300 serious financial professionals in dark suits through a transformation that has resulted in happier employees, lower absenteeism, happier customers and better results.

You can hear the podcast here:

Søren Lockwood also spoke at our conference this year in Copenhagen, where examined the classic question of whether  you can prove that happiness at work is good for the bottom line. He gave the best answer EVER:

 

At IKEA, umbrellas are CHEAPER when it rains

Complete this sentence: “When it rains, the price of umbrellas goes __.”

If you guessed up you’d be right in most places. But at IKEA stores, you’d be wrong.

Here’s how they price their umbrellas depending on the weather:

ikea-umbrella

Yes, on rainy days, umbrellas are cheaper :o) What a nice way to make customers happy.

This is no coincidence – happiness matters at IKEA. Their founder, Ingvar Kamprad, once said this:

Work should always be fun for all colleagues. We all only have one life. A third of life is work. Without desire and fun, work becomes hell.

To me, this attitude only makes sense. Making your employees happy makes the business more profitable and making your customers happy keeps them coming back.

It ain’t rocket surgery, and fortunately more and more companies are figuring this out and committing themselves to happiness at work.