Happiness is Contagious – Making the Workplace a Place to Thrive

Think about your work, your workplace, and your life in general and then answer the following questions: Do you want to lead a happy life? Do you want to make a difference? Do you want to work in an environment that’s positive, happy, and sparks creativity? We’re guessing, like the rest of us, you answered yes to all these questions. Well, did you know that the happier you are the more you can make those around you happier?

In his groundbreaking bestseller The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor explains that when we ourselves exhibit “the mindset and habits that fuel high performance we instill these very mindsets and habits in our colleagues, friends, and loved ones too”. That’s right, happiness in contagious. Therefore, it also works that the happier everyone is around us, the happier we become.

Our Behaviors Affect Others

This concept is explored in detail in Connected where authors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler explain how our behaviors – our habits, our attitudes, and our actions – affect those in our social networks, including those who are three degrees away.

Now imagine what this could do for your company teams and workplace as a whole. Not only are happy people more enjoyable to be around, but it’s been proven that happy employees demonstrate greater levels of productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Working as One

The Happiness Advantage describes how when individuals are in sync with one another they think more creatively and efficiently and when teams are in sync, they perform at higher levels with their brains in effect working as one.

Employers can assist in developing a happy workplace by creating a culture that promotes growth, ongoing skill development, opportunity, autonomy, and where employees feel valued and recognized. The real transformation in the workplace occurs when the happiness (along with the increased productivity and creativity) of an individual employee spreads to his or her colleagues, then onto teams, departments, and then onto the whole company.

The Ripple Effect

But it doesn’t stop there. Since our behavior affects our social networks including those three degrees away, if you’re an employer think about the fact that when you provide the tools to help your people lead happy lives, you’re, in fact, positively affecting potentially tens of thousands of people. Now that’s powerful.

The wise Mahatma Gandhi once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” When it comes to happiness, be that change, and you may just change the world. Or at least your workplace.