Supporting Happiness at Work

Technology gave us speed and an easier life, but with it also brought more clutter and higher customer expectations and demands. The statistics on the impact of stress on the mental, physical and financial wellness of people are alarming and should not be underestimated. People are asking more frequently: Am I happy?

Media enables an increasingly faster lifestyle  with a never-ending pursuit of material desires in search of our ultimate happiness. Consumerism adds to the speed of our lifestyles, and we think the more we have, the happier we will be. But this comes at a price.

The price is an increase in cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression and anxiety to name but a few. Recent research shows that medical aid claims for stress-related conditions are 4 times higher than non-stress related claims. More frequent medical claims reduce one’s resources, and debt spirals, causing more stress. High-level stress directly influences our mood and happiness at home and at work.

Happiness is defined in psychology as a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by, among others, positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to joy.  According to Seligman, the following factors correlate strongly with well-being:

  1. Pleasure (tasty food, warm baths, etc.),

  2. Engagement (or flow, the absorption of an enjoyed yet challenging activity),

  3. Relationships (social ties have turned out to be an extremely reliable indicator of happiness),

  4. Meaning (a perceived quest or belonging to something bigger), and

  5. Accomplishments (having realized tangible goals).

There are actions that employers can take in the workplace to support employees to deal more effectively with life stresses. These include:

  1. Recognize the importance of work-life balance and engage employees in understanding the factors that drive happiness

  2. Allow employees to focus on their strengths so that they experience their work as stimulating  and have a feeling of autonomy

  3. Develop a culture of recognition, transparency and open communication

  4. Find the right balance between showing care and applying discipline.

  5. Take care of burning issues in such a way as to keep nurturing positive relationships

  6. Keep the company vision alive so that employees work mindfully in achieving targets

  7. Planned mentorship to support a culture of collaboration

  8. Allow constant opportunities for learning and being creative

  9. Use coaching to support senior people and talented in teams

There is a direct relationship between happiness at work and absenteeism. It makes business sense to care for the well-being of employees so that they feel supported by and connected to their work and their colleagues.


Willie Snyman
Life & Business Coach

I assist in the rediscovery of your inner gold, that inner spark of your compass to bring you to the best you can be. I have a passion for people and am a person you can talk to.

Get actionable leadership strategies & growth insights

Every month we send our community a newsletter that aims to challenge, inspire and bring a fresh perspective to those leading in their organisations. We cover the full spectrum of leadership including communication, influence, coaching, transition management and work-life balance.

Thank you and welcome!