Happiness is a core emotional feeling that all human beings spend their entire lives in constant pursuit of. It is an indescribable feeling, yet every person is familiar with the concept of happiness and knows what it is . The state of being happy could best be described as a feeling of joy, pleasure, satisfaction, and the feeling of being content. With this in mind, on June 28, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly announced the inauguration of the International Day of Happiness. Every year on March 20, the world comes together in a celebration for happiness and improving mental well being and to creating a happier and more caring society. One specific area of focus for the International Day of Happiness is improving the level of happiness of employees in the workplace. With the average American spending 47 hours a week at work, improving the happiness of employees has an important role in creating a happier society. Also, improving the happiness of the workplace has the added benefit of increasing the productivity of employees.
With happiness being in the forefront of everyone’s minds, Michelle McQuaid offered her advice on improving happiness and productivity within the workplace. McQuaid, an author and a workplace well being teacher, said in an interview with Fox Business, “taking a strengths focus is a small shift that delivers big rewards for managers. Best of all it doesn’t require an organizational stamp of approval or any budget to execute, managers just need to be willing to start looking for what their employees are doing best and talk with their employees about ways to build up on their strengths.” McQuaid’s opinions towards increasing productivity in the office space focus on manager to employee relations. Her research focuses on the correlation between employee strengths and productivity. Her research, which is available at her site and is also available at Forbes, claims that when employers focus on improving the strengths of their employees, the productivity and general happiness of employees goes up. “Let people know which of their strengths you value and appreciate so they can focus their efforts on them,” said McQuaid in an interview with CMSWire. “Giving people extra feedback like this gives employees more confidence to do better at their jobs.”