Happiness Is Contagious, So Why Not Pass It On?
The hefty term, “Happy WorkplaceHappy Employees” may reflect the pictures of tech companies located in Bay Area with fat paychecks, refrigerators stocked with macaroons and craft beers, sleeping area, open workspaces, countless vacation days, and light workloads. In order to last in the burnout, absenteeism, and emotional competence companies have discovered that ensuring the grass is greener on their fence’s side is paramount and often it means comprising a few outrageous perks. But as it calls out, these factors don’t necessarily bring forth employee happiness. In fact, higher employee incentive programs, career advancement programs, excellent workplace relationships, great work-life balance, ample benefits, authenticity among employee as well as clients, and chances of employee growth are regarded as the potential factors responsible for boosting the employee happiness. The companies who have started considering these aspects in their workplace culture have remarkably noted the soaring rate of employee happiness. So, why ensuring the employee happiness at workplace is so important? Can we promote more of happiness in our organizations and teams? Are we unconsciously promoting employee unhappiness? Recently, we posed few questions to Alexander Kjerulf, the founder of Woohoo inc., one of the leading experts on workplace happiness in the world. He is the author of ‘Happy Hour is 9 to 5’, an international bestseller, and four other books. Kjerulf tells us about his career, his experiences, how to bring happiness into a company, and much more.
Give us some introduction about yourself, let us know your interests other than this profession.
When I’m not making people happy at work I watch a LOT of movies and read a TON of books – pretty much any genre of both.
I’m also a beer aficionado, a Crossfit fanatic and possibly the only person in the world who does not like chocolate.
How did you choose this career?
I have a masters degree in computer science and have been a consultant and entrepreneur in IT for almost 10 years.
Loving my job has always been a personal value for me. I’ve always felt that life is too short to work at a job you hate and that work AND life are more fun when you love your job.
In 1997 I cofounded an IT consultancy called Enterprise Systems with the primary goal of making it a very happy workplace. It was! We sold it in 2002 and at that point I realized that my true passion in life was not IT, but happiness at work.
So in 2003 I cofounded Woohoo Inc. and since then I’ve been doing speeches, workshops and management trainings for clients like IKEA, LEGO, Pfizer, IBM, Hilton and many others in over 30 countries.
You’ve been working in this industry for a very long time and you’ve worked for some prominent names in the industry. What has been your best experience so far and why?
I always love working with clients where the top leadership gets it and has a genuine interest in the wellbeing of their people. Some of my favorite examples are LEGO and IKEA.
But I also love going to areas of the world where happiness at work is a fairly new idea. My first visit to India was amazing because few people there think in terms of creating happy workplaces, but once they were introduced to the idea, they loved it.
IMAGE: Alexander Kjerullf, Founder of Woohoo Inc., one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work.