Culture Change – How The Happy Business School Can Help

The Challenges of a Modern Workplace

Being a business leader is tough. You often find that you are being pulled in a million different directions. You’ve got goals, objectives and KPIs coming out of your ears. Priorities change, focus needs to shift. Fires need to be put out. And amongst all this you need to keep your people engaged and on board so they can perform at their best and help you deliver for the business. 

Sometimes we are great at remembering to put our people at the heart of our operation and see them as the oil that keeps the machine running. Sometimes, however, we get a bit caught up in other stuff, or don’t quite know how to meet the needs of those we work with (or how to help them meet ours). Sometimes ripples of disquiet grow, maybe there is a lot of change happening that is resulting in feelings of uncertainty, or maybe people are just feeling a bit disconnected from the organisation’s purpose and goals. Maybe teams aren’t working together as effectively as you’d like, or line managers are struggling to support some of their team. 

Why You Might Need a Culture Change Consultant

There are lots of reasons why organisations need to take some time to focus on their workplace culture. For some, it’s the reasons outlined above – trying to fix some issues and steady the ship. For others, it’s a desire to take their culture to the next level – to go from ‘yeah, we’re doing ok’ to ‘wow, we are absolutely smashing it.’ 

Whatever the reason, trying to change an organisation’s culture from within isn’t always easy. Sometimes you need the help of an external voice and pair of eyes. And that’s where a culture change consultant can help. 

The Happy Business School has a unique take on culture change – putting joy and happiness at the heart of everything we do. You see, when your people are truly happy at work, everything else improves. But it’s not as easy as coming in and sprinkling some happy dust over everyone and sending you on your merry way. Creating a happy workplace takes effort. Happiness, after all, is a serious business. 

What Working with a Culture Change Consultant is Like

Working with an organisation for the first time, it’s important to understand what’s going on and what has motivated them to reach out and seek help in the first place. Often this involves chatting with the HR Director (or equivalent) and other members of the senior leadership team to take a temperature check. Looking at any data you have from staff surveys or other sources that give a snapshot of how people are currently feeling is always useful. Getting in amongst the business, however, is the best way to add colour and depth to the data and start to build up a really clear picture of what’s going well, and where there is some room for improvement.

Once the areas needing some focus are identified, we can develop a plan of action. We’ll do this together so it’s just right for your organisation. Often the plan involves an element of training – this might be a programme for your leaders, a series of company-wide workshops, or often a combination of both. The exact content can be tailored to meet your specific needs but the running theme will be creating a happy, thriving workplace where people feel valued, supported and inspired to do their best. Common themes we often explore are the power of mindset, building strong connections, adjusting our attitude to failure, building trust and respect and leaning into kindness, curiosity and vulnerability. As well as training and workshops, there might also be some one-to-one work involved, coaching leaders to help them develop their skills, find joy in their work and create a positive energy in their teams. 

Getting Results 

Shifting culture takes time, but if you’re up for the challenge you might be surprised at just how quickly you can see the seeds of change take root. The aim is to create a buzz and an excitement amongst people – by showing that you are truly committed to their happiness and wellbeing, and actively doing something about it. The Happy Business School’s approach is two-fold – equip people with the tools and techniques they need to invest in their own workplace happiness and help leaders create a people-centric culture where happy people can thrive at work. By committing to this you will see a difference. You’ll start to realise that people are more willing and able to look after their own wellbeing needs, and in turn that they are better able to do their jobs. They work more collaboratively, they have a renewed passion and energy to deliver their best work, they communicate with others more openly and effectively, they are more resilient in the face of adversity. Leaders will have a clearer vision of how they can support their teams to thrive, they’ll be equipped with the skills and confidence to communicate with their people, even on the toughest subject matter. 
If you’d like to find out more about how The Happy Business School might be able to support your organisation and help you create a happy, thriving workplace culture then get in touch.

5 myths about happiness at work

Wrong. The absence of disease isn’t health and the absence of misery isn’t happiness. Just because we might do enough as leaders to not have our people crying at their desks doesn’t mean we are invested in their happiness. Just because an employees comes in every day, does a good job and leaves without complaining about anything doesn’t mean they are happy.

Wrong. It’s right that some some people are more naturally optimistic but, with practice, you can become happier. There is a wealth of science that shows, when we know how, we can train our brains to be more positive. Asking someone to write down three good things that have happened in the last 24 hours may appear glib but this is about training the brain to spot positive things. When we learn to look for things we see them more easily.

Wrong. In fact blind optimism is a bad thing. Who wants to be in a plane where the pilot never believes anything bad can happen so doesn’t bother doing all the safety checks (not me for sure!). Just like in the world of work we don’t want to fail to look out for the risks and dangers, we just don’t want to be overwhelmed by the fear of them.

Wrong. The science tells us that being happier at work makes us more productive, more resilient, more creative, more accurate, more analytical, less likely to take time off sick, leave or burnout. Who doesn’t want those benefits? Yes, what a great wellbeing initiative to be able to say we are interested and investing in your happiness but it goes much further than that. There are real business benefits to helping people increase their happiness.

This one is only a half myth. Yes, people need to be invested in working on their own happiness but as a leader it is for us to help them with that, to show them we value their happiness, to allow them time to work on it, to give them the tools they need to become happier at work. Importantly we need to help them understand why being happy at work is important. As a leader if you can show you are invested in your own happiness it will show your people they should invest in theirs too.

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Forget gimmicks like ice cream van visits or ping pong tables – let’s work together to build a positive culture where people feel valued and encouraged. Let’s help your people find purpose and meaning in their work.

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