How to increase your index of happiness

Have you noticed how often the topic of happiness began to appear in social networks, media, scientific research, and in usual conversations  with friends?

Management gurus write books about increasing employee satisfaction, and intellectuals define the theme of happiness as the main one at the last YES forum. Friends admit that they decided to be happy and consciously notice the reasons for joy every day (and thus rebuild the neural connections of the brain). Someone puts on a hand a unique bracelet that must be worn for 21 days and form the habit of not complaining and not criticizing. Someone else is ordering briefcases for employees with a half-joking inscription “Stop moaning if it’s not sex.” And the author of these words is enrolled in distance courses on the Coursera platform on the science of life satisfaction.

Skovoroda knew a lot about Hygge

Happiness as a concept has worried only individual intellectuals for centuries. This is not surprising: humanity was primarily concerned about food, safety, and procreation (yes, yes: eat, pray, love). Only in the 18th century did European philosophers take it up (including our Gregory Savich Skovoroda with his most crucial science of happiness).

Now countries and large companies are trying to “measure” the happiness index. The best indicators in the global happiness index are among the Scandinavians. It is based on the “economic miracle” in these countries in recent decades and on such cute and simple things as the Danish huge, which means the ability to appreciate the ordinary joys of life. (And here the followers of Grigory Savich would have something to tell the Danes).

However, happiness did not automatically fall on the Scandinavians. During a visit to Kyiv in the fall of 2019, Finn Saule Niinisto, the president of the happiest country in the world, when asked, “how did they get to such a life,” replied that his country had started of poverty and civil war. And the first place in the ranking is the result of hard, painstaking work to establish the rule of education, law, and civil liberties. And most importantly – in this country, people do not expect “manna from heaven” from the state but must take responsibility for their life, well-being, development.

… and at the first lesson there will be a lotus position!

staff satisfaction indexOf course, if the development and well-being of people depend on the index of citizens’ happiness (and the satisfaction of company employees), then this wisdom has already begun to be taught in schools. For example, in the German city of Heidelberg, they started lessons of happiness. The first exercises and methods were developed by the famous teacher Ernst Fritz-Schubert. Basic for the subject are:

  • explanation of the index of happiness;
  • motivation and development of abilities;
  • a sense of community;
  • self-confidence and an active life position.

One of the exercises that students perform is called the Suspension Bridge. The student must walk along a light, unsteady blackboard that is held on two sides by classmates. Of course, he’s scared, because what if suddenly they won’t hold back? But the teacher explains: set goals, trust the team, and take a step towards trials!

Since 2018, the subject “Happiness” has been included in the schedule of almost a thousand public schools in the Indian city of Delhi. Its initiators hope that the new program will help students become not only the “best specialists” but, more importantly, the “best people.”

Lessons of happiness are held every morning. They practice yoga, meditation, storytelling (instructive stories with role-playing scenes that children play), and others. The program helps to understand and master their own emotions, interact in a team. One of the tasks: to teach children what to make mistakes is typical. The main thing is not to be upset and not to give up.

Mood and wallet

in what happiness is measuredHappiness, as researchers have quickly realized, depends not only on money. But the amount of money (profit) directly depends on whether employees of the company feel satisfied. The fact that happy employees bring more money to the business is evidenced by the study of the famous economist, American Noel Nelson. She estimated that the shares of the best Forbes employers are growing at 14 percent a year, although the average growth in the stock market is 6 percent.


A lot of smart goals from the best corporations are now arguing: how can happiness be measured? There are many ways to determine staff satisfaction index. Loyalty can be measured, for example, using eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score). The employee is offered the most sincere answer to several questions. Would he recommend the company to friends? What rating would he give the company on a ten-point scale? What does he propose to improve? How an employer could improve the assessment? An analysis of the answers, in particular, makes it possible to find proactive employees and enable them to move forward.

Happy, Track your happiness applications, and others are also used to determine employee satisfaction index in European corporations.  Some devices (for example, Beyond Verbal) can even resolve the mood by the intonation of the conversation. IT people joke that according to the testimony of such devices, the level of wages of service workers should be adjusted. The better the visitor’s mood at the exit, the higher should be the employee’s salary (and vice versa).

How to prevent the default of happiness

However, the satisfaction index after a worldwide “house arrest” during quarantine is undergoing a major crisis. People admit that the lack of social contacts turned out to be one of the most significant quarantine trials. And it is he who threatens to “bring down” our internal index of happiness.

And here the HRs can come in handy. As the experience of happy European countries and the best employers shows, one of the factors that affect the index of happiness is a joint activity in some good cause (volunteering, community service, etc.). Thanks to teamwork, people feel happier, and, accordingly, their key performance indicators (KPI) are growing.

It’s not too difficult to come up with simple and effective ways to normalize the “happiness index” in a company. You can invite colleagues to arrange a joint flash mob, organize a club of “scary stories.” During the club’s meetings, people could tell how they taught trigonometry with their daughter in a distance school, how they went on a “partisan walk” in the park, experimented in the kitchen, etc. in a funny way.

The main thing is to talk, listen, communicate, a joke. And everything will get better!

Author: Svitlana Halata