#Nextchat: A Foundation for Happiness at Work



What makes you happy at work? 

What do you think makes your employees happy?

Casual Fridays? 

Complimentary coffee?

Free yoga?

As it turns out, happiness isn’t necessarily something you can give to employees, like a day off or donuts—although these types of rewards are always welcome. Rather, it’s the result of an organization’s ability to create an environment where employees can use their skills and talents to do fulfilling work—and where they feel appreciated. 

Creating this kind of environment requires senior leadership and people managers who understand what it takes to create a culture that is committed to caring for and developing employees. This is important because even an employee who’s happily engaged in the right job will leave a bad boss.

In the Fast Company article Why Being Engaged At Work Isn't As Simple As Being Happy, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, after considering decades of studies about the workplace, says "The only way to make a person happy is to give them a job that matches well to their strengths, a boss who cares about their development, and a mission that gives them feelings of purpose.”

Many will argue that recognition is equally important to building a happy workplace. A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found that employee recognition programs had a positive impact on employee engagement, happiness and workplace relationships.

In her blog post Ten Ways to Make Your Employees Happy, Catalina Andrade, employee happiness director at Retrofit, says that trusting employees to get their jobs done and allowing them to innovate by involving them in decision-making are also great ways to build greater happiness in employees.

Organizations should remove hurdles such as outdated policies, restrictive procedures and slow-moving processes that keep employees from accomplishing their best work.

Andrade advises employers to “Invite employees to have some ownership in finding solutions to remove roadblocks to happiness. Even if they’re happy, find out what drives that happiness and how you can still improve their experience. Every person and workplace culture is different—don’t assume that what worked at one company will work for yours.”  

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on July 6 for #Nextchat with special guest Employee Happiness Director at Retrofit, Catalina Andrade (@catalina718).

We’ll chat about how organizations can create environments that will encourage the growth of happy employees.


Q1. What makes you happy at work?  

Q2. What makes you unhappy at work?

Q3. What types of outdated procedures, processes or policies can hinder trust, innovation and happiness in the workplace?

Q4. What programs do you have in place to encourage employees to offer new ideas and be innovative in your workplace?

Q5. What programs do you have in place to ensure that your employees are regularly recognized for their accomplishments?

Q6. How are you using skills and competency assessments to ensure employees are in the right jobs and are part of a succession plan? 

Q7. Good people managers are critical to a happy workplace. What qualities do you look for when hiring people managers? 

Q8. As an HR pro and/or people manager, how have your own experiences shaped the way you create happiness in your workplace? 


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