Google uncovers the secret weapon to workplace happiness

And it doesn’t cost a thing…

Maintaining employee happiness can be tough, especially with workers who’ve been around a while. We all know the score - once the novelty wears off, enthusiasm and engagement often follow.

Nobody minds putting in the extra hours when they’re new and it takes a few weeks to figure out which finicky tasks you’re going to hate most but, once you’ve been in the job a while, satisfaction levels inevitably start to sink.

But what about the well-seasoned employees who always seem to have a smile on their face? What’s their secret?

According to Laszlo Bock, head honcho of HR at Google, “being grateful – and expressing it – can be the secret weapon to workplace happiness and to warding off the malaise that can come with routine.”

Bock’s comments come on the back of recently published research which indicates expressing gratitude makes you happier and may even make you live longer.

The research, conducted by Google’s People Operations Analytics team, found that employees who self-identify as more grateful are largely immune to the sinking effect ongoing employment has on satisfaction.

The findings fly in the face of conventional wisdom which suggests people are either naturally happy or naturally grumpy. Apparently, you can train yourself to be happier – here’s how.

“Take two minutes each day to express your gratitude,” says happiness expert Shawn Achor. Whether that’s writing down a few things that you’re thankful for or taking time out to praise a person you know, it doesn’t matter but, according to Achor, if you commit to it for 21 days you’ll see a significant improvement in your overall happiness.

So, the key to improving your (and your employees’) happiness could be as simple as stopping to say thanks for two minutes each day. Share this story with your workforce and see if it makes a difference. 

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