By Liane McGowan, Happiness Guru and Founder of Happy Monday CC

According to top “happiness at work” researchers, Deci and Ryan, fascinating data exists about the value of a company’s culture, and the role that culture plays in employee satisfaction. The Business Dictionary defines company/organisational culture as; “The values and behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation” -but how do these behaviours and values affect employee happiness?

Deci and Ryan used a measure called

“Total Motivation” to evaluate the employees of four major airlines, analysing the relationship between total motivation and customer satisfaction. The results showed a high correlation - that is, the higher the employees’ total motivation, the higher the levels of customer satisfaction. This correlation also played out in the retail, banking, telecommunications and fast food industries. Essentially this means that happy staff will result in happy customers.

International research has proven that the benefits of focusing on employees’ emotional wellbeing within the workplace can no longer be ignored by South African employers – creating a happy company culture is part and parcel of this approach. Happiness isn’t just a good idea, it is extremely good business -and extremely good for business.

The ideal wellness approach focuses on all areas within the organisation, promoting happiness, motivation and a dedication to achieving a different outcome to that of the traditional Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP). As good as the physical wellness strategies have been, a key factor which has gained global recognition is the focus on proactively targeting mental health.

The elements that employees seek at work are becoming increasingly obvious. Backed by science, psychology and philosophy,it is evident that the employees’ basic needs must be addressed. This requires a unique and innovative approach.

After years of implementingrepetitive and reactive EAP campaigns,some of the top companiesrealised that something was missing. Employees were still suffering from depression, teamwork was still poor, interpersonal relationships were being ruined and staff turnover was increasing. A shift was needed, and as a result, happiness was explored. Google, one of the most successful and influential companies in the world, features a fun-filled office, complete with slides and ten-pin bowling aisles. It encourages laughter and strives for total happiness for all employees; from the CEO to the security guard.

Whether moulding a team of one or 1 000, there are essential happiness principles that can be appliedfor a more successful business. Happy employees enjoy being at work -  that in itself is enough to ensure productivity and a high level of customer service. Employees need to feel that they operate within a happy environment and that their emotional needs are being met.


Management should consider various vital components when it comes to keeping valuable members of staff. Don’t pamper employees, engage them. Listen to them. The belief that remuneration is the only motivator will have employees heading for the door. Happiness is an individual responsibility but it can also be learned by observing others. Don’t overwork good employees; it can make them feel like they are being punished for great performance. Always communicate, recognise achievements and show care – people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers. Encourage creativity, encourage laughter and, most importantly, to be a great boss - pay attention and smile.


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Happy Monday CC offers the first South African wellness campaign that focusses on mental health and happiness at work, delivering employee wellness campaigns that make the difference! For more information, please visit or contact Liane McGowan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Liane McGowan Biography:  

Happy Monday CC was founded by happiness guru, Liane McGowan. She obtained a degree in Psychology through UNISA in 2012. Liane has worked as an operations manager with Currin’t Events for over 12 years, working directly with medium and large corporates in South Africa. During these years, Liane identified a need for a mental wellbeing focus and began researching the topic of happiness within the corporate space. Liane conducted her honours research report in 2010 on the prerequisites for successful retirement for adults over the age of 60; where she found that happiness in retirement was linked to happiness in the workplace.

Issued by Perfect Word Consulting (Pty) Ltd