Happiness Workshops Lift Employees' Spirits

MEC is a media agency with an office in Manhattan that is committed to keeping their employees happy. The company recently offered happiness workshops for a small group of employees who work out of the Manhattan offices.

Twenty-four of MEC's employees had the opportunity to participate in the six-week workshop. Every Monday, they would gather in one of MEC's conference rooms for a lesson from Helen Mumford Sole, a former executive at LexisNexis UK and Gartner, through a course titled "Inspiring Happiness."

Sole insists that every person has the ability to be happier, it's just about learning new behaviour. During the workshop, she covered topics like gratitude and finding purpose for relaxation tools like meditation. She also shared research from happiness studies and gave participants the tools they need to learn how to lead happier lives.

"It's irrefutable. We know happy employees are the most successful employees, so happiness brings success, and that brings success to our organizations," Sole told Fast Company. "This is a win-win all around."

In fact, studies have actually shown that happy employees do contribute to a company's success. Shawn Achor's book "The Happiness Advantage: Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work," takes a look at research conducted about happy employees in the workplace in last 10 years. He found that happy workers can actually boost sales by 37 percent. Happiness also boosts productivity by 31 percent and has employees producing more accurate work (19 percent).

This idea of happy workers driving a business' success is something MEC North America CEO Maria Kaplowitz strongly believes in. Before providing the workshop, MEC attempted to foster employee happiness through other means, like catering to individual employees' needs. They even host fun workplace events that mimic that of a high school Spirit Week.

Kaplowitz says she has observed definite changes in the employees who took part in the happiness workshop, which ended in November. Every employee who participated said they found it useful and it has since boosted their overall productivity. And, a major upside, Kaplowitz found that the employees who participated in the workshop are now better able to manage stress.

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(Photo credit: Candie_N (Welcome Spring)/Flickr)

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