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Ronny's Blog

I am responsible for Harvey Nash operations in Belgium

The Science Of happiness - Towards more success at work?

Most people are convinced that the best indicator of wealth or a thriving economy is happiness. Remember Pharrell's song "Happy"? Not only did it top single charts for months on end, it also started an internet movement: everybody wanted to record a movie clip showing how happy the song made them.

So why is everybody always in pursuit of happiness? Happiness, science explains, originates in our brains. The hippocampus is responsible for positive feelings. When we experience pleasurable sensations, the hippocampus releases its happy chemical team: serotonin - which has a positive influence on appetite and mood - and also dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. For human beings, this is a cocktail we just can't help craving for.

And this happiness cocktail tastes even better when others join in. Happiness is contagious. If one person's hippocampus barman gets to work, those of others are incited to join in - resulting in a similar release of happy chemicals. Before you know it, a single smile gets a complete party going.

It should be obvious to employers that investing in employee happiness will bring many positive returns. If we can allow people to be happy, to learn, laugh, move and communicate, they will have more energy, making the more efficient and confident. It will also cause people to respect leadership, work well in teams and reach a higher level of productivity and commitment to their work.

So how can employers create a happy workforce? To be sure, there is no single answer to this question. But the core of any happiness policy on the work floor should be positive psychology. Positive psychology (also named the science of happiness) is the study of well-being, of optimal functioning, of striving towards joy and positive attitude. It recognizes that we cannot change our genes our brains, but we can start by changing ourselves and our way of thinking.

That means adapting our vocabulary by using more words like: optimism, courage, energy, curiosity, resilience, forgiveness and joy. It means looking at challenges as opportunities. It means engaging colleagues, sharing knowledge and building strong relationships. But most of all, it means that every day is an occasion for a smile. You never know what it sets in motion...

Now, go and inspire others, and deliver happiness as a service !