Happiness at work – more support for the application of positive psychology

Happiness at work – more support for the application of positive psychology

Editor’s comment: you can reap the rewards of positive reinforcement

07 August 2007

This article first appeared in Personnel Today magazine.

by Karen Dempsey

The person who conjures up a magic solution that instantly achieves employee engagement will be worth a fortune. In the meantime, we have to keep trying different methods to see what works for our own organisations.

But boosting levels of engagement is a mission that’s well worth HR taking on. The more engaged people are, the more likely they are to come up with better ideas for reaching their goals, and ultimately keep the business competitive. This point is argued by the Rialto Consultancy’s Peter Mills in our opinion column.

If you’d like some inspiration and ideas, or an insight into how other organisations are lighting their employees’ fire, our features section this week looks at a variety of ways of boosting staff morale. One of the hottest and fastest-growing areas of employee engagement – so occupational psychologists tell us – is the ‘strengths-based’ approach. This basically means focusing on what people are good at – hiring them for roles that fit, and developing them according to what they’re competent at and motivated by – then stand back and watch the results.

In case you think we’ve gone all fluffy, there is a point to all this feel-good stuff. Organisations as diverse as councils and banks say that, by using positive psychology in the workplace, they have reduced their absenteeism rates, increased their profits, and have created a value-add role for HR.

You might also like to check out the five organisations shortlisted for the RBS Group Employee Engagement Awards in this year’s Personnel Today Awards, as their methods could offer a few tips for engaging your own employees.

Congratulations to all the organisations on our Awards shortlist that made it to the final. No mean feat, given the high calibre of entries this year. Previous winners tell us what an honour it is to win one of our trophies. We look forward to cheering on this year’s winners at the Awards ceremony in November.

For more information about The Happiness Institute’s happiness at work programs call 61 2 9221 3306 or email info@thehappinessinstitute.com.