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The Best Leaders Know Happiness Works

by HardTalk™ Team | Perspiration

Happiness at work wasn’t always top of the agenda for company leaders, but with the rise of a mil-lennial workforce studies have shown that not only is happiness a major factor in job selection, but it is beneficial to the organization.  Happy people are more productive, more efficient, more loyal and produce better results.

So what makes a happy workplace?

People are happy when they feel valued, when they can make a contribution, when they believe they’re making a difference of some kind.  Whatever their job role, if they feel part of something important, they take more pride in their work.

A rather infamous example of this comes from a visit President John F Kennedy made to NASA during his presidency.  Whilst touring the building, he passed a janitor cleaning and asked him, “what are you doing?” only to get the unexpected reply “I’m helping to put a man on the moon”.

The most successful leaders, at all levels and in all industries, are those who understand that part of what it takes to make people happy is to treat them like human beings. To understand that they want to contribute and to make it easy for them to do so.

Leaders who develop this culture not only get to hear the best ideas and to see these implemented effectively they also get to see their people bloom as their productivity grows.

Google’s project Aristotle identified the key to high performing teams.  It wasn’t the ones filled with the best and the brightest, it wasn’t the ones who were paid better.  The teams that performed the best were the ones in which the people were happy and comfortable enough to speak up.  By fos-tering an environment of inclusion, in which employees feel happy, valued and comfortable enough to have open discussions; leaders can get the most productive results.   

If you want a happy workplace help your people learn to hear and be heard.


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Dawn Metcalfe is an executive coach, facilitator, trainer and leadership advisor. She is also the author of Managing the Matrix (published in both English and Arabic) and HardTalk™. Dawn is the founder of Dubai based PDSi, which helps individuals and teams get even better at what they do, and has worked with business leaders around the world to change the way they see the world, their behaviour and their impact on others.