Happy employees more productive, innovative, and receptive, says Canadian researcher

Virtual master class looks at science of happiness – and how it can help in the workplace

Happy employees more productive, innovative, and receptive, says Canadian researcher

This article was produced in partnership with UKG.

Happiness is so much more than a smiley emoji, says Canadian researcher and happiness expert Dr. Gillian Mandich.

“It has a meaningful impact on our life in terms of longevity and quality of life.”

“Years of research show that when we compare happy people to unhappy people, happy people have low rates of cardiovascular disease and stronger immune systems. They also heal faster from injury. In addition, when we talk about workplace outcomes, happiness leads to better productivity and teamwork.”

Recently, the pandemic has moved the conversation forward to where it’s become a priority to understand the science of happiness and what to do about it, says Dr. Mandich, who is leading UKG’s 90-minute master class on “The Science of Happiness.”

“It's exciting to know that, just like if we want to learn about nutrition, for example — we can study it, apply basic research principles and the scientific method to learn more about it — we can do the exact same thing with happiness.”

The science of happiness

First, it’s essential to understand what makes us happy and what contributes to happiness. Three main factors come into play.

The first? Genetics. “Our genes do affect our happiness,” she says.

Secondly — and this has become more apparent with the pandemic — is our environment, says Dr. Mandich.

“Where we are and what we surround ourselves with, who we surround ourselves with, and where we can or cannot go impacts our happiness.”

The third contributor to happiness is our thoughts, actions and behaviours. This aspect is important because we have more control in this area than we do with genetics or environmental factors, she says.

“It’s something that each and every one of us has some control over.  What we know from research is not only can we increase our happiness short term, but we can actually sustain it at higher levels.”

Benefits to happiness

Happiness has also been linked to greater innovation. This is true because it helps people be more creative and to communicate more effectively, says Dr. Mandich.

“When we have happy people in a workplace setting, they are more open to the conversation. Participants are also more receptive to ideas that are shared by others.”

She says that happier people also tend to be rated as better-liked than others, more intelligent, and more competent.

To hear more from Dr. Mandich, sign up for UKG’s exclusive master class, The Science of Happiness: Evidence-based practices for Canadian employers.

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