'The Happiness At Work Program' Brings Team Bonding Back To Basics

04/05/2016 12:59 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Woman working in a coffee shop

While there is much joy to be found in four weeks annual leave, loving your job has never been cooler.

We know this from the countless motivational quotes that flood our Instagram feed: “Be the energy you want to attract!” they preach, while urging you to “do what you love” -- no, that doesn’t mean quit your job to live on a beach in Bali -- unless, it’s coupled with a solid start-up plan.

It’s all very romantic. But the truth is for the majority of us at least, leaving our 9 to 5 to embark on a lifelong love of candlemaking just isn’t possible. Though, that doesn’t mean it should be at the expense of your workplace happiness.

Enter Alexandra Blakemore the co-creator of The Happiness at Work Program which aims to reclaim the joy of genuine connections on the job and encourage happier, more productive staff.

The concept is simple. For six weeks employers implement a daily exercise, whereby staff are tasked with answering a question around gratitude and wellbeing which they write down, the goal being to mindfully set a positive outlook with which to start their day.

“It’s about training people to take a few minutes to seek out the positive moments in their day. Your staff members are your biggest assets and they benefit as individuals by taking control of their own wellbeing,” Blakemore told The Huffington Post Australia.

Increasingly studies show in order to achieve happiness in the workplace, it actually has very little to do with the job itself rather, the company we keep as we do.

Team bonding activities like “trust fall” and “toss me some feedback” were a no-go zone for Blakemore, who knew that the success of her formula depended on taking it back to basics.

happiness at work

Instead, employees are given a personal copy of the program to hand write their answers in each morning.

“Handwriting responses rather than typing them has been proven to solidify learning, and adds a personal touch to the exercise,” Blakemore said.

Unlike regular staff training, Blakemore said her program is about staff personally, not their work skills.

“One of the biggest challenges to creating a positive work environment is technology. While we are connected, we are not, and this can result in people behaving in an insular and selfish manner,” Blakemore said.

The program is not industry specific and Blakemore said the ultimate goal is for the daily exercise to become a daily ritual, where employees form a habit of bringing mindfulness into their everyday work life.

“When individuals experience appropriate positivity, they perform better, and when individuals perform better, employers and organisations achieve more,” Blakemore said.

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