Category Archives: Happy companies

DHL’s CEO: Increasing revenues is meaningless. Motivate employees by creating a better world.

Solar charging station in Taiwan

Financial Times has a great interview with Frank Appel, the CEO of Deutsche Post DHL the clearly outlines his philosophy for motivating employees: Increasing revenue is a meaningless goal. When company goals are mainly financial, purpose is lost. The best companies are “driven by making the lives of customers easier by highly engaged employees.”

Appel has set up three initiatives for his 522,000 staff:

  1. Go Teach, where DHL staff educate disadvantaged young people
  2. Go Help, where they work with the UN to use the company’s logistics expertise to respond co humanitarian crises
  3. Go Green, where they work to reduce emissions to zero

Appel sums up his message like this:

“We cannot say, listen, ‘Our strategy is to make money and if we have time left then we’ll do something which is good for the society’,” he says.

“Our job is to do something good for the society, and to do that we have to make money, otherwise we can’t continue to invest.”

This is AWESOME. It’s a clear articulation of a philosophy where a company aligns the quest for financial goals with a clear mission to create a better world.

Two of the funniest ways to create a happy workplace

There are many ways to create a happier workplace but this short video has two of the funniest I’ve ever come across: ”Sexy Powersuit Day” and “The Lift of Love.”

This is from our International Conference on Happiness at Work where Tim Dorsett explained how he makes Innocent Drinks a happy workplace. You can see Tim’s full speech here.

If you want more inspiration and tools to promote happiness at work, you should come to our next conference on May 17+18 2018 in Copenhagen – it’s going to be AWESOME.

WD-40 Company keeps growing – and their happy tribe is why

One of our speakers at the 2018 International Conference on Happiness at Work is featured in an article called WD-40 Company Keeps Growing in This $1 Billion Market which lists the phenomenal results they’ve gotten recently:

If you look at the numbers, though, this is a fantastic business with high rates of return well suited for long-term investors.

This past quarter, the company continued to grow both the top and bottom lines and showed that it’s doing well at exploiting its most promising growth opportunity.

WD-40 is in a relatively mature market, so it’s remarkable that management continues to find avenues to grow sales and earnings.

At our conference, WD-40’s CEO Garry Ridge will explain the main reason behind this success: They’ve built a culture that is characterized by a sense of belonging, communication, having shared values, and continual learning between elder tribal leaders and younger tribe members.

Yes – they don’t see themselves as a team but a tribe, where employees don’t just work – they belong.

Garry is a truly inspiring speaker and what they’ve achieved at WD-40 is definitely worth learning from.

See the full conference program and get your tickets here.

How Pret promotes random acts of kindness

I just learned that the Pret cafés have a really cool thing going: They let their employees do random acts of kindness by giving away free coffees.

Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee explains it like this:

A couple of years ago, Pret decided to channel the cash we could have spent running loyalty card programmes into a fund for each shop to spend on rewarding its customers. It was as simple as that. We didn’t tell our team members whom they should favour. We let them decide. They could welcome a new customer, cheer up somebody having a bad day or recognise a regular. They could use it to solve a problem. Like everything in Pret, it’s just about lots of individual human relationships, day after day after day.

I love that. Not only is it likely to make customers happy, it will also make employees happier at work because (as research clearly shows) when you do do nice things for others, makes you happier yourself.

As Schlee puts it:

Pret employees tell me that the freedom to give a free coffee is immensely empowering. It injects a random act of kindness into the day. It gives delight and hurts not.

What an incredibly simple but brilliant policy.

One of our clients won a prize for being happy

I just got an email from Anders Pallesen, the HR director of Danish IT company Elbek & Vejrup. They recently made it to the top of the Danish Great Place to Work list and here’s what he wrote:

Yesterday we won an award as the best IT workplace in Denmark. This journey started 3 1/2 years ago with your workshop.

Thank you very much for helping us and for inspiring us to go in this direction.

The things you taught us back then are very much alive and often mentioned and happiness is still a fundamental theme for us.

Wow. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that the things we teach our clients work and makes them happier and more successful.

Congratulations to Elbek & Vejrup on their continued focus on happiness.

Here’s a Google translation of an article about their award.

See all the fascinating talks from our 2017 Conference on Happiness at Work

We have now published all the amazing talks from our 2017 International Conference on Happiness at Work.

You can watch every single talk from the event above or at this link.

And if you think that looks awesome, join us in Copenhagen on May 17+18 2018 for the next conference. Sign up here to be notified when ticket sales start.

Show investors that you care about more than just profits

I found this researching my next book, Leading with Happiness.

At the 2008 Southwest Airlines Shareholders’ Meeting, CEO Gary Kelly ended his presentation with this wonderful story.

February the 27th we had flight number 1218 preparing for departure from Dallas to Las Vegas via Austin and as the customers were taking their seats our Dallas flight attendant Robin Hopkins was approached by a customer who I’ll refer to as Janice.

Janice was asking for help with her cellphone and she didn’t know how to turn it off. Robin assisted Janice but asked if she was okay because Robin can tell that she had been crying. Janice answered that she was on her way to Las Vegas to identify her only son at the medical examiner’s office.

Upon hearing this Robin informed the two other flight attendants Melissa Smith and Lisa Christian as to what was going on and our flight attendants comforted Janice.

Melissa and Lisa handled the entire flight from Austin to Las Vegas while Robin sat with Janice and she learned about her son and she was there to provide comfort. They talked for the rest of the flight.
When they landed in Las Vegas Candace Robinson and Brandy Fuller who are Las Vegas in-flight supervisors met Janice at the gate and they took over. Brandy handled all of her immediate needs while Candace went on to get her own car to drive Janice. Candace was also able to secure a hotel room next to the funeral home.

There was no one there for Janice except for Southwest Airlines people and this is just one powerful example of our people in action and it happens hundreds of times every single day and most of which we never hear about. But they don’t do it for the recognition, they don’t do it for the money. They do it because they care and at Southwest Airlines we are blessed to find and to hire and to keep people who care.

I don’t know if you can teach people how to care but you can’t encourage it you can support it and when you know about it you can certainly recognize it.

This is amazing story and I love the fact that the CEO told it at the shareholders’ meeting. This clearly shows investors where Southwest’s priorities are and that they can expect the company to continue to treat its employees and customers well.

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 :)