The 12 Steps to Worker Happiness, and beyond!

What does it take for you to get up every morning and go to work? For millions of people all around the world, Happiness at Work is a myth and getting up and going to work every day, just plain sucks.

Others consider job satisfaction is as good as it gets; after all getting paid at the end of the month isn’t something to scoff at. But there is a big difference between job satisfaction and being motivated, engaged and genuinely happy to get up and go to work every day in your organization.

At the end of last year, I came across a post on Facebook announcing the position as Content Writer for a project called Happy Melly. The message was intriguing and I headed off to find out more.

The Happiness of Workers

What I found fascinated me even more. A project dedicated to making people be happier at work. Wow! Here was a group of people that actually care about how happy we are at work, and want to do something to help the poor souls who feel unhappy in their organization.

After 28 years of working for dozens of companies – some with an excellent employee awareness culture and others who just didn’t care about who or how they made a profit, just so long as they did. I decided I wanted to get involved with Happy Melly, so I could learn for myself what makes people happy at work and how I could help others adopt a happier work regime.

In January 2015, I was one of eight lucky people who got picked to work on the Happy Melly project and it makes me proud to say, that our work does make a difference to the happiness, motivation and engagement of so many employees around the world.

None of us knew whether the idea would work, or was just completely insane, yet all of us were up for taking part and believed in the purpose. I have learnt so much in the last six months. I have discovered that when I felt unhappy at work, it often wasn’t my fault. Just that the powers that be in the organization, were not heeding the needs of their employees.

Worker happiness linked to employee engagementMuch research has gone into benchmarking Worker Happiness and how it affects engagement and productivity of the workforce.

Does worker happiness increase employee engagement. Or does employee engagement create worker happiness?

The founder of Happy Melly and creator of Management 3.0, Jurgen Appelo, decided to create a whole management module on the Happiness of Workers. I was lucky enough to collaborate with him on the book chapter, which will soon to be available for download.

We decided it doesn’t really matter which comes first. What does matter is that increasing worker happiness and increasing employee engagement, directly increases productivity, innovation and profitability.

To help organizations around the world focus on the happiness of their workforce, and as part of the Worker Happiness module, Jurgen created the…

12 Steps to Worker Happiness (all backed by science we might add)

Worker Happiness - ThankThank someone and be appreciative towards your colleagues, every single day. Showing gratitude for the great work your team have done, plays a big part in their motivation and cultivates a culture of employee connection and motivation.

Worker Happiness GiveGive something to another person or make it possible for others to give gifts. You could show your appreciation by using a Kudo Box and Kudo Cards.

Worker Happiness - HelpHelp someone who needs assistance, or enable colleagues to help each other. It’s not easy for everyone to hold their hand up and ask for help. Pairing coworkers can often help less confident employees find the help they need. And be a more accessible boss!

Worker Happiness - eat wellEat well, and make good, healthy foods easily available for everyone. A healthy diet stimulates the mind and body, and improves productivity.

Worker Happiness - Exercise regularlyExercise regularly and make it easy for people to take care of their body. Love it, or hate it, exercise stimulates mind and body. Healthier workers are happier and more productive workers!

Worker Happiness - rest wellRest well, sleep sufficiently and enable colleagues to refresh their minds. Working long hours without taking sufficient breaks, actually decreases productivity.

Worker Happiness - experience new thingsExperience new things, try stuff out, and let people run all kinds of experiments.  Real innovation comes from employees, not management.

Worker Happiness - hike outdoorsHike outdoors, enjoy nature, and allow people an escape from the city. Organize a group trip to the countryside on a regular basis. It will do you and your team the world of good!

Worker happiness - meditate and mindfulness in the workplaceMeditate and get people to adopt mindfulness practices in the workplace. We’re often so busy being busy, we forget our brain needs love and attention too.

Worker happiness - socialize with coworkersSocialize, relate to other people, and make it easy for colleagues and coworkers to interact and develop a deeper connection.

Worker happiness _ aim for a goalAim for a goal and get people to understand and realize their own purpose. Involving your employees in the company objective will give them purpose, which in turn increases motivation levels.

worker happiness - smile moreSmile whenever you can, appreciate humour, and get colleagues to engage in fun activities. Because work doesn’t have to be serious to be engaging.

In this day and age, we can no longer leave management solely to the managers. We must all be champions of our workplace transformation; from office apathy, to an engaging and happy environment, in which we’re all as productive as worker bees!

If you want to be the difference in your organization and get people jumping out of bed to get to work, we recommend you share the 12 Steps to Worker Happiness with your coworkers and management team.

You can download the download the 12 Steps to Happiness poster and send us photos of it stuck up on your office wall. Tell us what steps you’re using to make your organization a happier place to work 🙂

What’s more we produced a Slideshare presentation on The Happiness of Workers, go check it out.

Support Happiness in the Workplace!

Happy Melly launched a Supporters Network for people like me, and maybe you, who want to support Happiness in the Workplace. It makes me happy to say I was the very first supporter! I was actually testing the system, but I wanted to follow through with my support for the long-term.

It’s amazing how many people from around the world also believe that Happiness is the Future of Work and are joining our Happy Melly Movement. Why don’t you join us? You get to share your experiences and experiments and find out what the world is doing to create happier organizations!

The wonderful illustrations that you see in all the Happiness of Workers visuals were created by our super illustrator, Chad Geran. Watch out for Chad’s story, coming soon on Happy Melly.Blog Footer


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This article is written by Louise Brace on July 2nd 2015.

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