Guest Column: The ‘HappINKness’ Principle
When you have been running a business for 18 years, you develop a habit of questioning everything, including your own happiness. Having been challenged personally with the subject, I set about reading and studying everything from behavior and psychology through to best practice on how it could be best implemented into the workplace.
Once I was clear what "happiness" really meant, I went about sharing the knowledge internally. It became clear to me that if we could develop a truly happy team, our productivity would increase.
Happiness was not to be a saying or a buzz word, but an integral part of our business strategy. This is something that is led from the top, but enjoyed and employed throughout the business. The reason for this is that happiness is contagious!
However, this is not just about having everyone sitting at his desk with a smile on his face. A happy company is a more productive and efficient company. We have therefore built this into our company ethos, basing our culture and the events we do around this.
Commencing on June 1, 2011, we set about the education process. It was a difficult thing to introduce, with much resistance and refusal to accept this as real without some hidden agenda.
However, the penny finally dropped on December 22 when every employee received a copy of "HappINKness," the story of what makes our employees happy. Whilst on the face of it, it was a success, only 121 employees actually contributed to the book; but many of the cynics were suitably impressed by the product and came round to this new way of thinking.
The "HappINKness" book is all about what makes our people happy both in and out of work. The beauty of the book was the impact it had. When you get a group of so many people all coming together under one subject it becomes infectious.