International Happiness to the rescue

Happy International Happiness Day!  Today, 20 March 2017 is International Happiness Day, a United Nations global celebration coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries, supported by a partnership of like-minded organisations.

The campaign believes that people are now recognising that ‘progress’ should be about increasing human happiness and wellbeing, not just growing the economy. Because of this growing interest, many governments, communities and organisations are using happiness data, and the results of subjective well-being research, to enable policies that support better lives.International-Day-of-Happiness

Happiness as a fundamental goal

When we think about human happiness, economists tend to emphasise the role of personal income; libertarians espouse personal freedom and autonomy; sociologists talk of social capital and trust in society; and political scientists look to constitutional order and control of corruption. Yet none of these disciplines do justice to the concept of happiness

In 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”.

At 10Eighty our motto is “work hard, do good and along the way have fun”. We firmly believe that the smart way to organise your career is to play to your strengths and if you find a role you love and it won’t even seem like working.

A workplace where people love their work and are calm, stress-free and happy is more likely to be productive. Laughter brings people together; we like to be with those who are having fun. Creativity, agility and flexibility are key to organisational success and a fun workplace is more productive, so it attracts people and profits.

Taking happiness seriously

Beyond a basic point, increasing economic growth loses the ability to lift happiness levels but there is a lot we can all do to make the world a better place.

Happiness is creative, proactive and constructive and is a state best achieved when shared. When you contribute to the happiness of those around you, you improve your own chances of happiness.

At a workplace level it may sound unfair, or even unprofessional, but it is nicer to work with people who are happy, likeable, positive, enthusiastic, and energetic. It is at least in part a function of our intention to be collaborative, appreciative, positive and self-aware.

Famously Bhutan measures the Gross National Happiness of their population. Traditional economic theory measures growth but doesn’t really look very hard at what is being grown. If you ask people what really matters to them and offer them alternatives such as family, spirituality, pleasure, responsibility, generosity, material wealth and career you will materialism ranking at the bottom of the list and family at the top. We know what makes us happy but that doesn’t necessarily stop the chase after money, power and status.

We can’t legislate for happiness but we can provide the conditions that help the growth of happiness. In the workplace this would mean an organisational culture that values and promotes, inter alia, trust, openness, collaboration, fairness and diversity.

The Action for Happiness pledge is: “I will try to create more happiness in the world around me”.

Michael is Chief Executive of 10Eighty. 10Eighty is a career and talent management consultancy that helps organizations maximize the contribution of their employees by ensuring satisfying jobs and careers for their employees. Michael is a Human Resources professional, having worked in the National Health Service, Insurance, Commodities and Derivatives industries. He has worked within the career coaching business for fifteen years, both managing a £7 million business and delivering bespoke, one to one career coaching. In the last 15 years Michael has run businesses that have helped 75,000 people make successful career transitions. He is a frequent commentator in the press/media, which includes a range of topics on “successfully managing your career” and talent management. Most recent media mentions have included BBC South, CNBC, Radio4, Financial Times, City AM, Financial News, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times, The Grapevine and HR Magazine, to name but a few. He writes a careers column for People Management, a blog for the Human Resources Magazine and is a regular contributor to The Thompson Reuters HR Portal. Michael is known as a thought provoking speaker in the HR industry. In the last 18 months, Michael spoke at the Careers Partner International Conference, NHS breakthrough conference, NHS North West Leadership Academy, London School of Economics, University of Westminster’s Talent Management Conference, ICAEW Finance Directors Conference, CIPD learning and development conference and CIPD branch seminars. He is also Chair of the CIPD’s Central London Branch. Additionally is a non executive director of Marshall ACM, an e-learning company and the Total Reward Group, a compensation and benefits consultancy. Michael plans to publish his book “The guide to everlasting employability” in the Autumn 2012. He has just launched an iphone app “careers snakes and ladders” and an online interactive version of the book in collaboration with Marshall ACM to coincide the launch of his new business 10Eighty. Michael has a degree in Economics, a MBA from Warwick Business School and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He holds an accreditation from the British Psychological Society for the use of psychometrics. Michael has completed the Fairplace Internal Accreditation Programme, the training element of which is externally recognised by the Association for Coaching. Michael Moran was until January 2012 Chief Executive of Fairplace and a main board director of Savile plc, the career and talent management consultancy. Fairplace is part of the Savile Group, an AIM listed plc. The Savile Group was placed 16th in the Sunday Times top 100 small companies in 2010.

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Michael Moran – CEO 10Eighty

A blog about career and talent management, things that might help you with your career and in your job.