“One of the top four drivers of happiness at work is the freedom to take opportunities .. happiness is what your heart needs, engagement is what your brain needs “
A fun conversation with Matt about what happiness actually is, what it means for employee engagement and how we can intentionally leverage our own sense of happiness.
Emotions are generally not spoken about in the workplace but wearing social masks and inhibiting emotions prevents flow and thus performance, and we sophisticatedly disguise/block our emotions using an emotional deflector field.
How can business leaders use data/data science to shift organisational culture? How can technology enable a more human centred approach in organisations ?
The Happiness Index platform looks at the entire EX and allows the company to listen to the employees; it provides an unfiltered view for larger companies to visualise culture and interrogate data.
What could this insight leverage for both employees, leaders and businesses if it was intentionally followed and used for understanding the flow of motivation, performance and well being?
Matt shares his experience, stories and research from working with over a 100 countries and thousands of leaders across the globe.
The main insights you will get from this episode are :
– Happiness consists of joy (fluctuating feeling) and eudaimonia (underlying feeling of how happy you are, spirit) and unlocks the freedom to be human and take opportunities, which is one of the top four drivers for happiness at work.
– Data backs up the neuroscience of happiness: happiness is what the heart needs and engagement is what the brain needs – when employee engagement and happiness are aligned, they achieve the right balance, e.g. happy at home/in life = happy at work.
– The analogy of a car is useful to illustrate the difference between engagement and happiness: engagement is the sat nav (direction, clarity, purpose of journey), and happiness depends on who is in the car with you (relationships).
– There are cultural differences in terms of the happiness index data, e.g. engagement is more westernised, whereas happiness is more global – a human emotion we all experience – and there are different interpretations of it and comfort levels in terms of talking about it.
– In both Canada and the US, the first driver of employee engagement is positive relationships, but the second driver differs: in the US it is clarity (engagement metric), and in Canada it is feelings of acknowledgement.
– In the US, a business case is required to discuss the happiness index, but this is not the case in Denmark, where there is a concept known as arbejdsglæde meaning ‘work happiness’ – in some cultures, the scientific question of ’what makes you happy?’ is perceived as too personal and a reluctance to have conversations can be a huge barrier.
– There are three sources of happiness: flow, meanings and pleasure, all preceded by emotions, e.g. the difference between feeling anger and lashing out – we cannot ignore the emotion and positive relationships require sharing both positive and negative emotions.
– Emotions are generally not spoken about in the workplace but wearing social masks and inhibiting emotions prevents flow and thus performance – we sophisticatedly disguise/block our emotions using an emotional deflector field.
– Purpose and psychological safety feature in the top eight drivers of happiness but number one is positive relationships – this is more difficult remotely, but not impossible – after all, where there’s a will there’s a way, and companies must adapt, unlearn and be creative.
– Companies should have a test-and-learn culture, experiment with a variety of ‘ingredients’ and assemble them to produce the right dish for bespoke tastes; CEOs must have a vision for the dish – how it will look, taste and be experienced – and care about it.
– Most leaders were successful pre-pandemic and have their own bias when it comes to thinking about the future of work, but their personal data is outdated and they must step back, ask the right questions and let things emerge in hybrid environments.
– How can business leaders use data/data science to shift organisational culture? The HI platform looks at the entire EX and allows the company to listen to the employees; it provides an unfiltered view for larger companies to visualise culture and interrogate data.
– ‘Thriving’ often means competitive in reality – when engagement is high and happiness is low there is competitiveness; when happiness is high and engagement is low there is a lack of focus, so both are needed for a thriving environment.
– Brands need to be transparent about their culture and tech platforms provide objective data to drive culture change; companies cannot afford to miss out on employees who might leave and do their own thing instead of bringing innovation in house.
– Retaining happy/engaged staff affects the bottom line, reduces recruitment costs and lowers attrition rates – asking ‘what makes us happy?’ is an important question that can be used as a basis for planning a business.