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Employee Happiness

6 reasons why we should teach employees how to be happy?


“What will you ask the genie if he is ready to grant you three wishes?”

Whenever I ask this question to employees in my workshops.

Most of the times, the response is money, Good life partner, fame, promotion or a posh house.

Some ask for a good boss.

I doubt, even Genie may not be able to grant this wish 😊

Can you guess how many ask for happiness?

You are right! Very few.

You want to know why?



You can't always get what you want.
That's not the problem actually.
The problem is, you can't always know what you want.
-Source unknown

1. Because happiness does not mean not being unhappy

  • In universities, we were only taught "how to avoid becoming unhappy."
  • Sadly, they have never taught us "how to be happy".
  • That’s why I say,
  • The letter H in "UNIVERSITY stands for "happiness".

2.Because employees are vulnerable to others' definition of Happiness

  • Have you ever heard about the concept of cognitive fluency in psychology.
  • Generally, people prefer to think about things that are easy to think about rather than things that are difficult. This feeling of ease is known as cognitive fluency
  • Since it's easy our brain thinks it's true ie., Easy = true.
  • It is widely used in many marketing ideas and political campaigns to influence the target audience.
  • Just like Cokes Choosing Happiness campaign which indicates drinking Coca-Cola is choosing happiness
  • Eating pan masala is “unche log unchi pasad”
  • Using deodorant makes you "a playboy"
  • This makes us believe happiness is in consuming or possessing these without ever knowing what real happiness is.

3.Because negative emotions are louder than positive emotions.

  • Just pick up today's newspaper and count how many negative and how many positive articles you can find.
  • You will observe that out of 10 news stories, 9 were negative and only 1 positive.
  • Do you wonder why it is so?
  • They know that negative news sells.
  • That's probably why workplace gossip is so common.

4.Because there is no one formula for happiness.

  • ‘And they all lived happily ever after.` We all like fairy tales, and almost every fairy tale assumes that happiness follows on automatically.
  • The world of fairy tales is one where there is undiluted happiness, without the problems of everyday life. Happiness as we know it is different from the fairytale version.
  • Each one of us is a unique person yet we assume that we all need the same things in life to be happy. We need to recognize our own uniqueness and create our own unique lives that are meant for our fulfillment.

5.Because to measure happiness by “if I have that, then I am happy”

  • We have a tendency to relate happiness with possessing something or achieving something.
  • Your argument for being unhappy is “I will be happy when I have this or that.” This is a destructive mentality.
  • Unfortunately, we often use such arguments in both our personal and professional lives. Employees associate or link their happiness with statements like “If I get a promotion, then I will be happy,”, “When I get a raise, I’ll be happy.”
  • Sadly, more often than ever, the happiness that we expect to feel when that "if" happens rarely lasts more than a few days. We fail to observe that external factors influence our happiness for very short periods of time.
  • We need to realize that a person who is thinking of a promotion as a driver for happiness is not actually craving a particular job title or promotion. Instead, he/she is craving recognition, and that is what drives them.

6.Because we learned to sacrifice happiness for money.

  • Our constant desire to upgrade our lifestyle isn't helping. We are constantly urged to spend more, consume more, earn more, and compete more, which is the opposite of being happy.
  • There was a study conducted on two very disparate groups regarding their level of happiness: those winning the lottery and those who have been involved in catastrophic accidents.
  • The results were quite surprising. The Victims of Catastrophic accidents were found to be happier than the winners of the Lottery.
  • They were only able to enjoy the additional pleasures made possible by their new wealth for a brief period of time. They were eventually concerned about the depletion of their wealth.
  • One needs to understand the deeper reasons and factors that impact a person’s happiness. Then, happiness can be achieved without any conditions attached to it.