Every person on earth has the right to the pursuit of happiness. But how many people are actually able to achieve contentment? When you travel to Dubai, you’ll see they’re much happier now than before.
According to one survey done in 2015, Dubai residents feel happy, proud and safe. There was an overwhelming increase in happy citizens from 2011-2013 to 2015. Those surveyed ranked their happy levels at “extremely happy.”
And the happiest of them all seems to be the elderly, followed by the younger generation between 18 and 29.
But why? Could it be due to the Minister of Happiness in Dubai?
Back in 2012, a study showed a whopping 4% of the UAE population were considered clinically depressed. And in another study, it showed 95% of government employees in Dubai held salaries as their top priority.
It’s no surprise pay is a top concern for workers and plays a major role in happiness.
To help develop a culture revolving around happiness, the UAE is doing the following:
- Harmonizing government plans, programs and policies to promote a positive society
- Giving incentives to private and public companies to promote happy workplaces
- Creating strategic policies to ensure projects and programs are geared towards positivity and happiness
- Raising awareness about instilling a culture of happiness and positivity and why it's important
- Measuring happiness within government entities to ensure people are happy
In places like the UN, there’s a holiday called International Day of Happiness. This takes place on March 20th each year.
So far, there are 160 countries that take part in this movement. The idea is to spread happiness throughout the world. And to ensure the UAE does its part, there is a government appointed official called the State Minister of Happiness.
The Minister of Happiness Spreads Joy
How can you not root for a government that puts happiness as a priority?
In the UAE, that’s exactly how things are done. You can find events like a happiness festival, which has family activities and parades. Then there’s a planned city in Dubai South, which is the first to be centered around purpose and happiness.
Other ways happiness is being promoted is by ensuring children are educated, good hospitals are accessible, government services are available and job security is offered. When citizens have these perks, they are more likely to be positive and empowered to choose happiness.
While things seem to be looking up for the country as a whole, what does the Minister of Happiness have to do with business?
How Happy Employees Improve Business
Many European companies have already used happiness as a tool to maintain successful businesses. They go as far as to allow two-hour lunch breaks, offer organic meals and unlimited vacation time. It’s a simple model – when your employees are happy, they work better.
And when your employees are more productive, your business increases profits. It’s a win-win scenario for businesses and employees.
Countries that have the happiest populations and corporate leaders with highly engaged employees are happy every day. It seems that when happiness is kept a priority, then life is better overall. Profits are increased for everyone, which plays a big role in security and contentment.
Businesses Using the Happiness Model
There’s one business already using the happiness model with great success – Zappos. This shoe and clothing company decided to create a positive work culture. This is why many businesses consider Zappos to be the golden standard for employee happiness and engagement.
The CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, stated he cared more about building a happy culture for workers than the shoes he sold. This model extends past his employees to the customers. Their e-commerce business offers free returns, free shipping and happy employees who are empowered to make customers happy.
It always seems to circle back around tenfold.
In business, investing in making a happy workplace can yield a high financial return. So why wouldn’t CEOs want to implement this model into their own companies?
To learn more about creating a positive and productive workplace, check back often for the latest tips on customer experience management and more.