With the recent appointment of Ohood Al Roumi as the United Arab Emirates' first Minister of State for Happiness and the policy made by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become the happiest nation in the world, happiness is becoming an increasingly important focus in the region.
The goal for the UAE to be the happiest nation in the world isn't something that is being taken lightly, with organisations creating new roles and employing Chief Happiness Officers and Happiness Managers to start the process of increasing people's happiness.
Science of Happiness
Positive psychology has often been called the science of happiness and a tremendous amount of research has been carried out into how people can be happier. One of the key studies of happiness looked into the link between happiness and success. The study concluded that rather than success creating happiness, the tendency was for happiness to create success. This finding can be of particular interest and benefit to individuals and organisations if they wish to be successful in achieving their goals and ambitions. For organisations in the UAE, this can have the dual advantage of having a successful business and also meeting Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's desire for the UAE to be the happiest nation on the planet.
How to be Happier
We recently visited Dubai to meet with academic institutions and organisations about what they are doing to meet the goal of increasing the happiness of people. Whilst we were encouraged to hear that organisations had been quick to appoint Happiness Managers and Chief Happiness Officers, we were surprised to discover that people had the positive intention to improve the happiness and wellbeing of others, but were struggling with how to go about implementing it.
Fortunately, the studies into happiness from the field of positive psychology have generated a number of techniques to increase people's happiness, which are both simple and effective to implement. At Positive Psychology Learning, we can speak from personal experience of the techniques' benefits, when working with individuals and organisations, as we have applied them and noted the positive impact in our own lives. It's important to point out that understanding and applying the techniques from the happiness research doesn't mean that people will be happy all of the time, more that they afford us the opportunity to be happier on a more regular basis.
- Employee engagement
One of the key challenges that organisations are currently facing is to improve employee engagement, where employees are committing their time, effort and expertise to the organisation. When organisations are able to increase employee engagement, they are also able to increase the happiness of their employees.
In the current climate where it appears that an increasing number of employees are suffering from stress, anxiety and burnout, being able to boost a person's resilience can be critical to both and individual and the organisation. Studies have shown that happier people have higher levels of resilience and are able to cope more effectively in times of adversity.
Productivity of employees is always a key contributor to an organisation's success and managers and directors are often keen to find ways to increase productivity. Fortunately, it has been found that there is a positive link between happiness and productivity, in that happier employees are also more productive. This is a great incentive for organisations to find ways of increasing the happiness of employees.
To re-emphasise the earlier point, by implementing a happiness policy in the workplace based on scientific evidence-based interventions, organisations in the UAE can have dual benefit greater success for the business and also to meet the UAE's goal to be the happiest nation in the world.
Now that is something to make you happy!!
Original article published on Positive Psychology Learning