International Day of Happiness is a global celebration that is observed on March 20 every year. The day shines a light on human joy and wellbeing as a basic human goal, honouring our shared humanity and advancing the development of more inclusive, equitable, and balanced approaches to economic growth.

Given the current state of our world, discovering joy in simple things and creating a work environment for well-being is more important than ever. With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to remind leaders, managers, and organizations to stay calm, be empathetic, accommodating, flexible, and maintain your sense of hope and positive thinking. How you support your employees during challenging times is the ultimate measure of company culture and employee experience.

Happy employees are necessary for a growing business. Yet, nearly half of Canadians are dissatisfied in their current job, resulting in poor engagement, plummets in productivity, and a higher risk of turnover.

Does creating a happy workplace matter?

The short answer is…yes! The happier your employees are, the more successful your company will be.

Research shows that happy employees work faster, are more productive, achieve goals and exceed expectations. On the flip side, when team members are unhappy, they become disengaged, and complacency is costly.

According to Gallop, disengaged employees have:

  • 37% higher absenteeism
  • 18% lower productivity
  • 15% lower profitability 

Arbedjsglæde, does your team have it?

“Arbedjsglæde” is a common Danish term that relates to the positive emotion that results from “doing” something. You know that feeling you get after achieving a goal or completing a job well done? Isn’t it satisfying? That’s arbedjsglæde.

Our happiness and self-worth are greatly impacted by how comfortable and confident we feel in professional settings.

According to Positive, workplace happiness comes when:

  • We enjoy doing the tasks assigned to us
  • We feel right about the people we are working with
  • We are happy with the financial benefits we get from the job
  • We have the scope of improving our existing skills
  • We feel respected and acknowledged at work

If you’re looking to cultivate a happy workplace, build it into your company culture. 

Here are some expert tips from our HR professionals:

1. Make Work Fulfilling

Communicate why your work matters and, more importantly, why your employees’ contributions matter. When work is meaningful, and employees feel connected to the mission, they’ll be more motivated to achieve shared goals. When goals are accomplished, be sure to celebrate and recognize your team, no matter how big or small the win may be.

2. Foster Meaningful Relationships

High-performance teams are built on excellent working relationships. If you’re working from home, find ways to stay connected virtually. Close work friendships have been shown to boost employee satisfaction by up to 50%, and people with a best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully in their work.

3. Be Flexible

The more you can help your employees manage the pressures concerning work-life balance, the happier they will be. Flexibility in the workplace can improve employee engagement, retention and performance. We cover some examples of flexible work arrangements in a previous blog post: How to Create a Family-Friendly Workplace.

4. Incentivize Wellness

Promoting wellness in the workplace will help your employees adopt and maintain healthy behaviours. Whether you decide to livestream a corporate yoga session or host a step or fitness challenge, making wellness part of your corporate culture can be an effective and proven way to increase happiness and health.

5. Hire Happy People

Environment and culture can have a profound impact on your employees’ moods. When recruiting, skills, qualifications and experience are all essential factors to consider, but you can’t ignore attitude and cultural fit. It only takes one bad hire to sabotage an otherwise happy department or company. When hiring, be mindful of the target attitudes and personality traits needed to maintain a positive culture and team dynamic.

For further support on understanding and building a positive organizational culture that promotes employee happiness and well being, contact Cenera!

For the past 20 years, Calgary’s top employers have trusted Cenera to solve their most pressing challenges. From leader, employee and team development to recruitment and human resources, contact us today to learn more about our diverse service offerings and professional expertise.

About International Day of Happiness 

This campaign is a global celebration to mark the United Nations International Day of Happiness. It is coordinated by Action for Happiness, a non-profit movement of people from 160 countries, supported by a partnership of like-minded organizations. For more information, visit