Five Ways to Make Your Employees Happier For Free.

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There are five simple actions that Shawn Achor suggests we can do to be happier including meditating, writing down what we're grateful for, and simple acts of kindness. This post suggests five exercises leaders at an organization can implement to help their employees be happier.

Key Take Aways:

- Taking time to think about things we are grateful for actually changes the patterns in the brain to make us happier.

- As a leader you have the power to help your employees be happier.

- Making time at work for meditation, exercise, journaling, and simple acts of kindness can go a long way in helping your team.


Over at Big Think Shawn Achor shared his list of five things people can do to be happier, all of which are based on the science behind how our brain processes our life experiences. Max Miller, interviewer, quotes Shawn as saying, “We discovered about five things so far that we know create a positive “Tetris Effect,” this pattern in which the brain diverts resources to actually scan the world to not only make us happier, but actually to raise our levels of performance as well.”

Shawn’s five tips are to write down five things you’re grateful for each morning, journal for five minutes a day about a positive experience, meditate, do a random act of kindness, and exercise.

If you manage a team of people imagine the positive impact you can have by finding creative ways to integrate each of these tips into the lives of your employees. By encouraging them to change their thinking patters you can literally change the way they see the world. And if your employees are more positive about your company, you, their teammates, and their jobs imagine how much more successful your organization can become.

Below are just a few examples of exercises  you can encourage your team to do:

- Write down five things they are grateful for every morning and post them somewhere on their desk. Better yet, is there a common area where employees can choose to post their five?

- Get each of your employees a journal and encourage them to spend five minutes at some point each day writing in the journal. If your team is close enough or employees feel comfortable maybe they are willing to share some of their positive journaling at a team meeting.

- Teach employees how to meditate from their desks. I’ve heard of companies having meditation rooms or meditation spaces where employees could go for a few minutes of uninterrupted quiet time.

- Have little thank you notes around the office that employees can grab if they want to thank someone for doing something nice for them. They don’t have to be fancy. At my last company they were squares of cardstock that we’d printed random funny pictures on.

- Exercise throughout the day. At my last company we had random bursts of exercise where an employee would crank some music to get people moving. Sometimes we’d do squats, or jumping jacks, a conga line or push-ups. It always ended up being funny and unexpected which got everyone moving and laughing.

There are thousands of ways to help support your employees in integrating Shawn’s five tips into their work life. What are some of your ideas for doing this?

Photo Credit: Flickr, Moyan Brenn

Marisa Keegan is a leadership coach, trainer, and HR consultant for quickly growing organizations who are passionate about strengthening their employees, their brand, and their culture. She has helped lead the HR, culture, and engagement initiatives at two nationally recognized great places to work; Rackspace as Culture Maven and Modea as Talent Manger. She is an author at Fistful of Talent and Culture Fanatics. Marisa has her Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology and currently lives with her husband and twin boys in Richmond, Virginia. Marisa can be found on Twitter @MarisaKeegan.

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Marisa Keegan


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