Happiness at Work

An Introduction to the Science of Happiness at Work

Why Happiness at Work?

Happiness in the workplace should be at the forefront of every organisation’s strategic priority list. Staff happiness and employee retention strategies are not a Human Resources function or something to focus on when problems arise; rather every organisation’s success and sustainability is built on the foundation of its people. Staff happiness and well-being should therefore play a pivotal role in the organisational framework.

When you first look at it, putting the words happiness and work into the same sentence seems to be a contradiction in terms. But if you think about it, there is a natural symbiosis, an inherent sense of belonging to and influence on one another. Work is the place where you spend two-thirds of your day, so being happy there makes logical sense. It is through our work tasks that we bring our personality and authenticity out into the world. We find fulfilment collaborating with our peers, sharing ideas, and coming up with innovative solutions. Why would you want to go to a place where you are unhappy every day?

Happiness at Work is a shift in mindset which enables people and organisations to bring performance success and happiness into the same sentence. It challenges the debate as to whether success breeds happiness, or whether we need happiness to drive success. In the happiness in the workplace model, we have combined two concepts and believe that they run parallel to each other.

What is the Happiness at Work Model? 

Designed and developed by the iOpener Institute for People & Performance in the United Kingdom in 2005, the Happiness at Work Model is a tried and tested method for improving company outcomes through the increased happiness of its workforce.

Happiness at Work is a proven concept which supports organisations in driving their strategic goals and growth plans with productive, performing and motivated people. It is about instilling a mindset which enables people to maximise performance and achieve their optimal potential. 

The model provides a systematic and systemic understanding of the influence of happiness on the individual, the team, and the organisation as a whole. Let’s break down the model:


    The Three Overarching Elements of Happiness at Work

    Before you can make changes within your team and aim for the happiness of each individual, there are three overarching elements that need to be built.


    In the workplace. In the leaders. In the future of the organisation.


    In the organisation. In the relationships at work. In what they do at work. 


    Of efforts towards goals. Respect is regularly and openly expressed.

    The Five Core Drivers of Happiness at Work

    These five underlying core drivers form the fundamental pillars of building Happiness in the workplace. Each one is equally as important as the next in order to have a balanced, happy, and healthy workforce. 


    The effort we make and our perception of our role.


    Our level of motivation, whatever the circumstances.


    A sense of belonging and how well we feel we fit in at work.


    The extent of engagement in team and individual activities.


    Sense of belief we have in ourselves and our job. 

    Are you happy at work?

    Complete our FREE Happiness at Work questionnaire, and find out if you need the services of a professional executive coach.

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    She made me realise the potential of coaching for people and organisations, and how I could relate to it.”

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