Our awesome partners from Happy Office in The Netherlands have announced the first ever International Week of Happiness at Work on September 24-28. it’s a great opportunity to spread awareness and take action to make your workplace happier.
When given a choice between cooperating or competing, chimpanzees choose to cooperate five times more frequently.
And also that:
The chimpanzees used a variety of enforcement strategies to overcome competition, displacement and freeloading, which the researchers measured by attempted thefts of rewards.
These strategies included the chimpanzees directly protesting against others, refusing to work in the presence of a freeloader, which supports avoidance as an important component in managing competitive tendencies, and more dominant chimpanzees intervening to help others against freeloaders.
This indicates that cooperation is hardwired into humans on a biological level by evolution.
Which makes you wonder why so many workplaces heavily emphasize competition over cooperation.
I have previously written about Vega IT Sourcing, a very happy tech company in Serbia whose vision is to “Create a successful and happy business and use its success and power to create a better world.”
They do that in many ways, most recently by launching Code For A Cause, where individuals or NGOs from anywhere in the world who need a software solution (like a website or an app) can apply to have it created for free.
This obviously helps the organizations who get free solutions but it also helps the IT staff become happier at work because they get to use their skills to help organizations who do good work around the world.
So if you know an NGO who might need a new website, app or other software solution, tell them about Code For A Cause. They are accepting applications until June 30.
WTF are we even doing here - Alexander Kjerulf - Vimeo
A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to give a speech about a brand new (for me) topic: Why are we here, alive, in this universe? What’s the meaning of life? What is a good life and how do you get it?
Based on lessons from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, I make the claim that the purpose of life is happiness – just not your own. I also talk about how to apply that in our workplaces.
How Garry Ridge Made WD-40 a Happy Billion-Dollar Business - YouTube
In this AMAZING speech from our International Conference on Happiness at Work, CEO Garry Ridge gives you a look “under the hood” of one of the world’s most recognized brands, WD-40 Company, where 98% of employees say they “love to work.” This high engagement has resulted in a company that has doubled in revenue in the last decade, and is on a trajectory to double again in the next.
Garry shares his “learning moments” from his journey to transform the company’s culture, beginning in 1997. Lessons and principles covered include:
The personal journey of every servant leader, and why that philosophy is critical
The emotional connection of a greater purpose that creates high engagement
How to carefully and consciously choose values that will be embedded in all aspects of leadership and employee development
The difference between a “team” and a “tribe”, and why WD-40 Company strove to create a cohesive tribe that spans 15 countries where employees work
How company performance results are directly connected to its focus on people
Watch the whole thing – it’s phenomenal!
Here’s my personal favorite quote from his speech:
Leaders are champions of hope. Life is a gift. Let’s not send it back unwrapped. We have only time, talent, treasure, and technology to deal with, and none of them are abundant. So it’s our job as leaders to help people focus on the things that really matter and to take that hope to a real result.
I’m currently taking an online masterclass where Aaron Sorkin, the legendary writer behind The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network and many others, teaches screen writing.
In one lesson, he underscored the importance of feeling happy while writing:
Remember, writing and painting a fence are two different things. Painting a fence may be back breaking work. But first of all, you know what you’re supposed to do. You dip the brush in the paint, and you paint.
But mostly, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light may be a long way away, it may be a really long fence. But you can see where it ends.
What you don’t need when you’re painting is to be in a good mood. You can be in any mood you want and the fence is going to turn out roughly the same.
When you’re writing, you need to be in a good mood. You need to have energy. You need to feel entertaining. You need to feel good. And that’s when you’re going to do the best writing.
So any little emotional helpers, like crossing things off and seeing that you’re making progress. Anything that’s going to make you feel good is good.
Hiring for Happiness at Menlo Innovations - YouTube
Tech company Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Michigan have a VERY different way of hiring and interviewing new employees.
They call it Extreme Interviewing, and it is not only much more efficient than the traditional approach, it also has a much better success rate in hiring the right candidates (and eliminating the wrong ones) AND it’s fun and engaging for everyone involved.