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.
International Day of Happiness in the Workplace
Workplace happiness is crucial to employee longevity, company productivity and effective customer service, yet as a 2010 Gallup study revealed, just three in 10 employees are fully engaged and happy in their jobs.
Pursuing workplace happiness as a singular goal is problematic, but as we’ve discussed here before at Celebrating Work, there are steps companies can take to build happiness among employees. (Read more: 4 Simple Ways to Improve Workplace Happiness and Secrets to Building a Happier Workplace)
Whether your company has actively been working on happiness-related goals for a while, or you’re just starting out, International Day of Happiness is the time to step back and honor where you are right now.
Worry about engagement statistics and study results later.
On Friday, celebrate what’s working for you and your coworkers here and now. Share your gratitude for each other! After all, as the International Day of Happiness website points out, “your happiness is part of something bigger.”
Resources to Help You Celebrate
That International Day of Happiness website, by the way, is an excellent resource for anyone looking to organize a workplace happiness celebration this Friday. It offers a downloadable pack of info and inspiration, ideas for taking action and a series of great posters you can print off and post around your workplace.
Even more resources are available at the Action for Happiness website. Here you’ll find links to in-depth happiness research and related news stories, information on upcoming seminars and ideas for participating online in International Day of Happiness.
Keep up-to-date with what others around the world are doing to celebrate International Day of Happiness on Twitter and Facebook. Encourage employees to share photos and words online about what’s making them happy today — it could be a fellow coworker, an interaction they had with a customer or simply feeling awesome after finishing a good project.
Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness, reflected in a Huffington Post article last year:
“It’s really inspiring to see so many people sharing photos of what really makes them happy. In a world where we’re bombarded with fake images of happiness in the adverts and the media, these more authentic pictures remind us that the best things in life aren’t material things. Above all it’s clear that our relationships and the natural world are big contributors to our happiness.”
It’s true: our relationships are big contributors to our happiness — maybe the biggest! So, on this International Day of Happiness, celebrate the relationships that make you happy at work.
For a comprehensive guide to growing a sustained workplace culture of respect, trust and appreciation, download our FREE eBook: Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude.
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