As the most successful global companies continue to prove, it’s no secret that a happy employee is a productive employee and that happy employees equal happy customers.
Sunny Grosso, Co-founder of Delivering Happiness, a global workplace culture coach-sultancy [hybrid coaching + consulting] that uses the science of happiness to inspire meaningful happiness and elevate business results, has spent years studying the culture at Zappos and consulting with companies around the world in the matter. She describes happiness as ‘a range of positive emotions, from joy and pleasure to passion and purpose’ and says it has an impact on everything we do, from our mindset to our relationships to how productive we are at work.
The happiness coach, culture expert and thought leader began her journey on a mission to answer one question: How do we create a different workplace? In this Q&A, Ms. Grosso gives us a sneak peek into this year’s Happiness Effect Conference, the importance of creating a culture of happiness and its impact on business in a simple way that makes human sense and business sense.
What is the Happiness Effect Conference and why is it relevant for workplace happiness and wellness?
In its 2nd edition, The Happiness Effect Conference, which has been developed to highlight the importance of Happiness and Wellbeing at work, will focus on developing positive attitudes, emotional wellbeing and fostering an environment of happiness as leaders, teams and organizations.
An initiative by Hadi Clinic, the 1-day conference will comprise of a series of interactive sessions with some of the best Mental Health & Happiness Experts in the world who will share their wealth of knowledge and experience on positivity and wellness at work providing participants to adapt the skills and tools learnt and put it into effect in their organizations immediately.
The conference will be held on 12th September 2017 and is organized by Vigor Events, co-organized by ALGAS Events & Delivering Happiness.
Can you share your own journey into the theme of Happiness at work and why it means so much to you?
After following the formula, working hard at university and getting a good job, I found myself surrounded by grey cubicle walls and soul-deadened co-workers that only seemed alive when they talked about the weekend. They were at work in order to escape work. Was this really the success we were promised? I knew it wasn’t for me, so I went on a work crusade from restaurant manager to wellness researcher to key roles in multiple start-ups. My happiness rose initially with each new venture, but sooner or later I found myself working for the weekend as well. I questioned myself, and our approach to work, in many ways but I hadn’t found a better way. That is, until a young CEO gave me the book ‘Delivering Happiness’ which answered so many of my own questions.
I was asked to join the founding team of consultants and realized I could use my own, checkered experience of work to change our larger experience of work.
My mission began by studying Zappos, positive psychology and other companies successfully scaling culture. I knew it was not only possible, but important to create the kind of workplace where people are inspired to do their best, not just for the organization or a paycheck, but for themselves first. From here it could be sustainable.
Why is happiness at work so important to organizations?
As the theme of happiness at work has become more popular and major companies are focusing on employees’ wellbeing, we have seen the positive correlation between happiness and business results increase and become commonly accepted. A shift in happiness can lead to a 300% rise in innovation, 50% increase in productivity and 147% higher earnings per share. With statistics like these, CEOs and leaders across the world overwhelmingly agree that culture and happiness are the new, and really the only sustainable, competitive advantage.
Faced with the challenges of new technologies nearly daily, information overload, the most stressed out generations yet, and fierce competition where adaptability and innovation are the forefront of every CEO’s mind, the question is less why happiness at work is important, but more how. How do we create real happiness at work and realize the business results? Here, we’re talking about meaningful and sustained happiness, not the short-lived pleasures that happiness has been hijacked to mean today.
What is company culture and why is it important?
Culture is the sum of the beliefs, values and behaviors that define how things get done. Simply put, it’s how we do what we do. It affects everything from what information is shared, to how meetings are run to who is promoted, and ultimately, how successful a business is. Companies that focus on culture see three times the shareholder returns — that’s 580% higher returns and 22% higher profitability.
The theme of happiness comes into play when we consider the simple formula: happy employees = happy customers = successful company (and more meaningful lives).
The next question is usually, how? That’s where the science of happiness comes in. There is a massive body research from the past 20 years available to help our employees, teams and organization thrive.
For example, purpose, or having meaning in life, is one element of happiness from the science. When we join a team or an organization, we are co-creating a shared sense of purpose. If alignment exists between employees, you can expect higher productivity and an elevated sense of accomplishment by members of the team. You see motivation beyond compensation, status or power kick in, which is far more sustainable as it is driven by emotion and heart.
What is Delivering Happiness doing to build cultures of Happiness in organizations across the world?
When Tony released the book Delivering Happiness, it went from an underdog (a business book about happiness?) to a global hit. It gave voice to a flaw in our approach to happiness that many individuals, leaders and employers around the world already felt. It offered a different path, where the individual and the organization both win.
After the book, we launched the company Delivering Happiness based on the demand to help people, companies and communities become happier and more successful with this approach. We saw time and time again that people show up to places they believe in, and continue today to help businesses uncover and align people’s beliefs to the organization’s, so they can do their best work, raising their personal success and that of the business, all from the intrinsic, self driven level.
We’re now seeing some of the world’s largest organizations consciously designing culture and spending considerable resources to do so. Yet, the failure rate for culture change remains high at around 75%. That’s where we come in. With a simple roadmap any organization can use, and our unique coach-sulting approach, we’ve seen results like 30-year record sales, 60 to 600 applicants per month, and massive rollouts of happiness across government entities. I look forward to sharing these stories, along with our simple formula, some secrets to happiness, and a good dose of inspiration in September.