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“Companies can’t solve the happiness equation alone. Employees have a part to play.”

Smiling restaurant manager sitting at table and talking with chef. Restaurant owner having a friendly conversation with employee.

Samantha Clarke is a passionate advocate for happiness at work. It attracts and retains better talent, and makes employees more engaged and resilient.

Great interview from CharlieHR:

We met her to talk about what makes a happy organisation, how employees should meet their employers half-way in the quest for happiness, and why she thinks the idea of Work-Life Balance is bad.

Samantha Clarke has made it her work mission to bring more happiness into the workplace.

Since 2013, after leaving her last role as Chief Happiness Officer at Dadi, a technology company, she has been something of a company therapist. Business leaders call her when they feel that their employees are not performing at their best. They wonder what they should do to keep things more fun at work. Often, it’s questions like “we currently do Friday drinks, is that enough?” or “how can we help our team cope better with stress?” that start Samantha’s journey into the organisation’s subconscious.

And more often than not, the underlying issue turns out to be something very different and not solvable by just Friday drinks.

The framework to assess happiness

Samantha has identified four pillars that hold up a company’s happiness roof:

  • Head and Heart – These are traits around resilience, confidence and tenacity, as well as problem-solving skills. How is the company equipping employees to bounce back from adversity and give them the autonomy to do it on their terms?
  • Work and Life – What can the company do to reframe the processes and structures that may be inhibiting collaboration? Flexible working and office arrangement are part of this pillar. Another component is work-life harmony: How can employees learn to reflect on compromises made that allow them to stay happy, even if not all the typical work-life balance boxes are ticked?
  • Communicate and Connect – How can employees build better relationships with others? Where do communication breakdowns originate that make life in the office difficult and unpleasant?
  • Digital and Mindful – How does technology impact happiness and wellbeing at work? How can the company help employees find the balance between mindfulness practices and nature vs constant tech stimulation and distractions?

Read the rest article here.

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