Last week I spoke at the CIPD HR conference in Manchester about the science of happiness for motivating and inspiring teams. There is no doubt that there is a thirst for well-being, happiness and humour in the workplace, as the room was packed.
In fact CIPD had to move me into the large room at Manchester Central Conference Centre because of demand for the one-hour masterclass. The presentation was a huge success. Attendees joined in, tweeted key phrases and pictures and one even brilliantly illustrated key points of the session.
At the Q&A session afterwards I was asked a common question. "How do you convince CEOs and leaders that happiness is important?" My answer is usually the same. I ask execs and leaders whether they would prefer a happy or an unhappy workforce. It's a no-brainer. No one has ever replied "an unhappy one". It's obvious that happier people are intrinsic to productivity and positive working practices. It makes sense. If people have the skills to be positive, they are better problem-solvers, are able to motivate others and take less time off.
Talk about happy workforces can sound wishy-washy and fluffy. However the skill sets behind happiness in the workplace are things such as resilience, emotional intelligence, communication skills, and motivation; all vital and tangible. Add to this qualities such as problem-solving and team-building which are also skills that make people happy workers and you can start to see how happiness is a vital component of success. We also know that happy workers, are more likely to stay in an organisation and build a career within it.
Retention of talented staff is hugely beneficial. People generally stay in organisations if they're happy and can see job progression. With such concrete advantages it becomes easy to see why creating happy workforces is vital. Forward-looking HR departments know this and are clearly excited about implementing such strategies. Long-term they see it makes sense to have a happier, healthier more positive employees.