Get your calendar out and start scheduling some fun – happiness will follow! March is the ideal month to build workplace happiness – winter is dragging on and for most of us, spring seems a long way off. Luckily this month is FULL of opportunities to share workplace appreciation and inspire some easy fun.Hopefully you have already downloaded our free Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar for 2019 so these celebrations may already be on your radar. If not, click the link above and let’s get started!With an acceptance rate under 7% and ACT scores of admitted students hovering around 32-35, the likelihood of most people having access to an Ivy League education in Yale’s hallowed halls are slim. But we can all benefit from the fascinating and completely practical information that is shared in one of that revered educational institution’s most popular courses, “Psychology and the Good Life.”Psychology Professor Laurie Santos specializes in evolution and animal cognition, but after living among undergrads when she became head of Yale’s Silliman College (think the Houses of Hogwarts), she realized just how stressed out and depressed they were. Reviewing mental health surveys from the National College Health Assessment she learned that the issues Yale students were having were similar to those of college students across the country. Students report already high and increasing rates of anxiety, depression and hopelessness.Santos set out to design a course to convey not just the science behind positive psychology research but how putting those concepts into practice could have a profound impact on students’ happiness and quality of life. Santos did not anticipate the the overwhelming interest in her course from students (1 in 4 students at Yale have taken her class), nor did she predict that it would become a sensation with articles in the New York Times, O Magazine, national television appearances and international media coverage.
Happy New Year!
The celebration-filled holiday season is over, party streamers down, gifts shared and game prizes won. Now what? How will you sustain that workplace spirit and employee happiness into the new year?
If increasing employee happiness is one of your workplace goals this year, you’re not alone.
Organizations big and small are re-evaluating their strategies as Gallup continues to report low employee engagement across industries. Gallup data shows Millennial workers in particular aren’t responding to traditional engagement.
We know workplace celebrations are a reliable way to engage and motivate employees. A celebration honors excellence, fuels innovation and strengthens teamwork. It gives everyone a chance to fully appreciate individual and team successes.
But celebrating employees goes well beyond parties and prizes. Sustaining everyday employee happiness, 365 days a year, takes a comprehensive approach and a cultural shift.
That’s why we here at gThankYou created a “Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar.” It’s a guide to each month, with practical tips for everyday engagement and appreciation, as well as seasonal and holiday-specific employee recognition ideas and inspiration.
Read on for a peek at what each month of the calendar offers and how it can help you build a sustainable culture of appreciation.
What does workplace happiness look like?
It’s different for every company and dependent on a positive culture, engaged workforce, and involved, authentic leadership.
Happy employees share many characteristics — productivity, optimism, creativity, dedication — you can feel when a culture resonates with employee happiness.
Sadly, there’s no magic bullet for building workplace happiness. That’s why it’s helpful to look at case studies of company cultures (and even cities!) that champion authentic workplace happiness. We bet you’ll be inspired to create your own unique engagement program by studying others.
Read on for real-life examples of workplace happiness and the profound effect they have on employees. Does your culture have Arbejdsglæde?
International Day of Happiness is March 20. It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your employees and coworkers and spread happiness in your workplace.
The history of International Day of Happiness goes back just a few years, originating in a United Nations resolution adopted in 2011 that recognizes happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and calls for a “more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples.”
In 2012, the UN created the holiday — to be held every year on March 20 — at a conference called “Happiness and Well-being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm.” The first official International Day of Happiness took place the following year.
Now, celebrations are coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries, supported by a partnership of like-minded organizations that includes The Huffington Post, Just Giving, Project Happiness, Mental Health Foundation, Columbia University and GNH Centre Bhutan.
World Smile Day, held this year on Friday, Oct. 3, is an easy and fun opportunity to celebrate workplace happiness and learn more about the everyday power of smiling.
WORKPLACE HAPPINESS BEGINS WITH A SMILE
World Smile Day has its origins in 1963 when commercial artist Harvey Ball created the smiley face to boost employee morale at an insurance agency in Worcester, Mass.
Ball’s happy yellow “smiley” has since become an iconic symbol of happiness and goodwill around the world. Ball thought everyone should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts, and – in 1999 – declared the first Friday in October World Smile Day.
“The smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion. Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we,” explains the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation, founded after Ball’s death in 2001.