I’m in South Africa this week to do 6 speeches for ICAS and as part of that they set up a twitter tag called #askkjerulf for anyone who wanted to ask me something.
Some questions came in that were really to good to reply to only on twitter, so here goes.
Is happiness in the workplace a product or a process?
This reminds me of the old saying that “There is no way to the Tao, Tao is the way.”
The same thing applies to happiness. You’re never done creating a happy workplace. You can never rest on your laurels. So you can’t look at it as a project with an end goal that, once you achieve it, you can forget about. And that makes it a rather than a product
Some say happiness in the workplace begins at the top, cascades down to the bottom or is it the other way round?
It needs to be both – but that being said, if you want to create a truly happy workplace, you need a leader at the top who is 100% committed to this ideal. Someone like Richard Branson at Virgin, Tony Hsieh at Zappos or Ingvar Kamprad at IKEA.
If such a leader is not present in the organization, you can still create local pockets of happiness in one division or one department, but it will never permeate the entire organization.
Who is responsible for ensuring happiness in the workplace?
That differs. In many companies it’s HR. In many more, no one has that responsibility (and the happiness will suffer as a consequence).
I like the idea of appointing a Chief Happiness Officer in a company – someone who is tasked with promoting the happiness of everyone in the workplace and who is given the necessary resource to do it.
Would you say there is a positive correlation between happiness in the workplace and employee engagement?
There is a massive correlation between happiness and engagement and it’s much easier to be engaged if you’re happy. There’s an interview here, where I talk about this.