Category Archives: Happy At Work

How to be happy at work

Free webinar: How to build a better business (and a better country) with happiness

Mush Panjwani is on a mission to serve great coffee AND make his home country of Pakistan better. His company, Coffee Wagera, has 5 cafés around Karachi and is expanding rapidly but the coolest thing is how Mush does all of this with a focus on culture, happiness and positive impact.

Here are just a few of Mush’s pioneering ideas:

  • Inclusive hiring – All ages, all genders.
  • Empowering women – Snacks served in the stores are made and supplied by female home chefs.
  • Happiness training – For all employees.

There is so much more. Join this free webinar and learn from a truly inspiring leader what it takes to build a business from the bottom up that is based on happiness and positive impact.

Meet us online on September 30, 4 P.M. CEST!

Sign up right here.

How CEO Garry Ridge keeps the WD-40 organization happy in spite of COVID-19

How does an organisation get through a huge crisis like COVID-19 safely and happily?

Garry Ridge is company Chairman and CEO at world-famous brand WD-40. I bet you have a can of WD-40 somewhere in your home! He is also a leader who has spent his career creating a culture where people can be happy and do great work together.

In this webinar, he shares how he does that and how he has lead WD-40 through tough times like the COVID-19 crisis.

I’m leaving Woohoo Inc

I started Woohoo Inc back in 2003 so we have been spreading happiness at work for over 16 years. Our keynotesworkshops, articles, conferences, videos and books (download them for free) have reached millions of people all over the world.

But something is wrong. For the last couple of years I have been unhappy at work and that won’t really do for someone in my business :)

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why work stopped being fun for me, but here are three reasons that have played a role:

  • There are too many people in this field who attract attention by saying either platitudes or unverifiable nonsense. For instance, some recent bestselling books have claimed that positive feedback is bad for you, that we should resist growth and development, that we should ignore emotions at work or that work should be duty – not passion. It’s frustrating to have to refute dumb claims like this over and over again.
  • For a long time business has been steady and we’ve been doing the same kind of work. I usually have more fun developing new projects rather than managing existing ones. This just doesn’t tickle my entrepreneurial funny bone.
  • My previous longest stint in the same job was 5 years, so this has been 3 times as long. Maybe 16 years doing the same thing is simply enough for me.

Simply put, it’s time for me to take my own medicine. I took 6 months off (starting January 1st) to get some distance and think about my future and that helped me come to a decision: I am leaving the field and will no longer do speeches or workshops about happiness at work.

I still believe that this field is incredibly important. Workplaces and employees face huge problems, not the least of which is COVID-19, and still need inspiration and tools to create and maintain happiness at work.

Fortunately we have built a fantastic international partner network over the last 3 years who have all been trained in our methods and  who are doing amazing work around the world. They are ready to step in while we’re gone.

So if you’re looking for a speaker or consultant to come in and make your organization happier and more profitable, don’t hesitate for a second to book any of them.

In Denmark, Arlette Bentzen will carry on our work – she is awesome and you should book her for a speech or workshop.

I will still be involved with Heartcount, because it is the best tool currently available for measuring employee happiness.

Apart from that, I have no idea what’s next for me. I’m waiting for inspiration to strike me. If you have any ideas or suggestion for what I would be awesome at, let me know :)

Free webinar June 30: Leadership in the time of COVID with Garry Ridge and WD-40

How does an organisation get through a huge crisis like COVID-19 safely and happily?

Garry Ridge is company Chairman and CEO at world-famous brand WD-40. I bet you have a can of WD-40 somewhere in your home? He is also a leader who has spent his career creating a culture where people can be happy and do great work together.

In this webinar, he will share how he does that and how he has lead WD-40 through tough times like the COVID-19 crisis.

Sign up right here.

Video: How to keep your workplace happy despite COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken workplaces in so many ways. Remote work, social distancing, and staying home is the new normal. Companies are affected, and many of them switched to “survival mode”, trying to keep their business afloat.

In the video above I talk to to visionary CEOs about how they handled the COVID-19 crisis and how to maintain your company culture and keep your employees happy in spite of COVID-19:

If you want more information on Menlo Innovation you should read Rich’s book Joy Inc. Sasa hasn’t written a book yet, but he mentions using Heartcount to measure workplace happiness and check in with employees and you can read all about it here. You can even try it free for 3 months in your organization.

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Get free tools to keep your workplace happy in spite of COVD-19

I’m taking a brief break from my sabbatical to offer some free tools to workplaces who want to keep their employees happy despite COVID-19.

Here’s what we’ve got so far:

And if you’ve been spending some of your lockdown watching The Last Dance (like I did), make sure you don’t take the wrong lessons from it.

Free webinar June 11: How to keep your workplace happy in spite of COVID-19

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world in so many ways. Remote work, social distancing, and staying home is the new normal. Businesses are affected, and many of them switched to the “survival mode”, trying to keep their business afloat.

During our Webinar, we will talk about the COVID-19 crisis, in what ways it affected businesses worldwide, but also how to maintain your company culture and keep your employees happy in spite of COVID-19.

In this webinar I will talk to the CEOs of two very happy and very innovative organizations and get their best tips:

Meet us online June 11 at 3 PM CEST (9 AM EDT)!

Sign up here – it is of course free :)

There are two cool new features in Heartcount

Heartcount has just added two great new features.

If you’re not already using Heartcount, it is the simplest tool out there for measuring happiness at work – no apps to install, no logins to remember, no nothing. Here’s how it works:

  1. Every Friday, employees get an email with 3 simple questions about their week. They respond to those questions directly in the email – that takes about 30 seconds.
  2. All employees can then immediately see how happy their team or the entire company is and management/HR can immediately access the data and act on any problems or wins right away.

Here’s our article on why this is much better than the traditional annual job satisfaction surveys.

The two new features we’ve just added give employees the chance to give feedback to each other and to management.

Praise your coworkers

Every Friday when you fill out your three questions for the week, you’re also prompted to give positive feedback to your coworkers.

You can praise anyone for anything and that person will be notified that they got positive feedback. You can also see a page with all the positive feedback given.

Here’s an example from one organization that’s currently using this new feature:

I would like to praise my colleague Sladjana. I learned a lot from her in the previous period about communication, good practices on how to lead a team, giving feedback and sharing knowledge with my team and a lot more. Thank you for helping me to be better while doing my job!

I have previously written about how important positive feedback is at work and this is a great way to encourage and amplify it in a workplace.

Give feedback to management

Employees are also invited to give feedback to or ask questions of management. If they prefer, they can give this anonymously, providing people the freedom to air all concerns or criticisms.

Learn all about HeartCount and sign up for a demo here. Right now, your organization can try it free for three months.

Disclaimer: I am a cofounder/co-owner of HeartCount and the one who came up with the idea for it, based on all the frustrations I had with the “regular” way of measuring satisfaction.

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Happiness at work in the time of Corona – back to basics

COVID-19 is a massive challenge for workplaces all over the world as well as a massive challenge for employees’ private lives and mental health.

Knowing that unhappy/stressed employees are less productive and less innovative (right when we need everyone to contribute to solutions to these challenges) it becomes crucial for companies to figure out how to make their employees happy at work.

Paradoxically, many of the traditional perks and activities that companies use are currently impossible or irrelevant, including things like:

  • Office gyms
  • Fancy coffee machines
  • Workplace parties
  • Team-building events

So on the one hand it’s incredibly important to focus on employee happiness right now but on the other hand many of the traditional approaches are completely impractical.

If you’ve followed our work at all, you know that we’re critical of all of those perks listed above anyway. We argue that they make employees satisfied rather than happy and are therefore mostly a waste of time and money.

What do we do in that situation? We go back to basics and focus on the things that really make people happy at work: Results and relationships. I talk more about that in this video:


We all want to get results. We all want to make a difference, know that our work is important, get appreciation and do work that we can be proud of.

One of our deepest psychological needs, is the need to control our environment. If we’re placed in a situation where we have no control, where nothing we do matters, we feel terrible. On the other hand, we love to make a difference. Accomplishment feels great. As Franklin D. Roosevelt put it:

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”


We all need to feel valued as human beings and have a good connection with co-workers and managers or even to customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the organization’s wider community.

Relationships at work matter so much because we will be spending a lot of time with people at work. When you think about it, you’ll be spending more of your waking hours with them, than with your friends and family.

How do we do this

So this is the secret to happiness at work: Results and relationships – doing great work together with great people. This is what we must give our employees every single day.

Figuring out how to do this given current limitations is a crucial challenge. I’m not going to pretend that I have all the answers but here are some ideas that might work.

Online stand-up meetings

IT company Menlo Innovations start all work days with a brief stand-up meeting where all employees share what they’re working on today to check in and coordinate work. This meeting has now moved online and is still a crucial part of making sure that everyone knows what’s going on.

They recently shared how they have managed to create remote work days that almost feel like being in the office.

Online lunches

When everyone is in the office, connection happens automatically and randomly throughout the day. When people are working from home, you have to plan consciously to make them happen. One friend of mine works at an IT company where they have scheduled online lunch breaks where they can relax and chat together.

Check in with people

Similarly, when people are in the office, you can get a sense of how they’re doing. If someone seems worried or stressed you have a chance to notice and act on it. If you don’t see people for weeks at a time, this gets a lot harder, and you need a better way to check in with them. You can schedule regular brief meetings with each employee or you can use some online tool to measure your employees’ workplace happiness.

There are approximately a million different apps and tools for this out there – find one and try it. We are currently offering all workplaces a free 3-month trial of HeartCount which is (in our humble opinion) the best tool for measuring happiness at work. Sign up right here to try it in your workplace.

Online praise and recognition

Praise and recognition is crucial in the workplace but a lot harder to give when you don’t see people every day. Online systems can be a great alternative to let people praise each other and see what others are being recognized for.

Use online systems to highlight and communicate progress

Most work is being coordinated online already, but very often these systems are mostly used to communicate what we still need to do.

For instance: Do you have some kind of online todo list? What happens when you complete an item? In most systems, it disappears from the list and all you ever see is all the stuff you haven’t done.

I think we need to turn that around and use online systems to systematically highlight and overcommunicate our achievements and accomplishments.

What has worked for you?

What has your team or your workplace done that worked well? Please share your best ideas in a comment.

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