Category Archives: Happy At Work

How to be happy at work

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.

We JUST announced our 2018 International Conference on Happiness at Work

I could not be more excited – we have just announced our ninth annual conference on happiness at work and this year’s program is better than ever.

We have 11 international speakers and experts to share the theory and practice of creating happy workplaces.

See the full program and get your tickets here.

And you can see 5 of the best speeches from our previous conferences here.

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.

10 important questions to ask yourself at the start of a new work year

The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of your work life. Were you happy or unhappy at work? What would you like to change?

It’s important to evaluate because how you feel at work has such a large influence on you at work AND at home. When you’re happy at work, you have better job performance and more career success. You also have better health and a happier private life.

Unfortunately most people look back and think exclusively in terms of what went wrong. The things they should have done. They goals they ought to have achieved. The progress that didn’t come.

We gain much of our happiness at work (and in life) by appreciating the good things we have and do. Sure, you should also make sure to improve your circumstances and address any problems but it is just as important to be able to appreciate the things that do work.

This is hard. Negativity bias is one of the most well-established psychological phenomena and it means quite simply that our minds devote more mental focus and cognition to the bad than the good. Our thoughts automatically go to problems, annoyances, threats and fears but remembering and appreciating the good in our lives takes effort and focus.

We think you can achieve much more by turning that around 180 degrees, so here’s our suggestion for a little new year’s exercise in happiness at work.

Think back at your work life in 2017 and answer the following 10 questions. It works best, if you take some time to do it and if you write down your answers:

  1. What went really well for you at work in 2017?
  2. What did you do that you were proud of?
  3. Who did you make a difference for at work?
  4. What new skills have you learned professionally?
  5. How have you grown and developed personally at work?
  6. Who has helped you out at work in 2017?
  7. Who have you admired professionally?
  8. Which 5 things from your work life in 2018 would you like more of in 2018?
  9. Which 5 things from your work life in 2017 would you like less of in 2018?
  10. What will you specifically do to become happier at work in 2018?

Some people think that they must work hard to become successful – and that success will make them happy. The truth is the opposite: being happy makes you more effective and successful at work.

So this year, make happiness at work your #1 career goal – because being happy at work will make you more successful in your career.

And that may require some tough decisions. If you find that you’re just not happy at work, maybe it’s time to find a new job. Fortunately, International Quit Your Crappy Job Day is just around the corner.

I wish you a very happy new year at work!