International Day of Happiness, on 20th March, has been recognising the importance of happiness around the world since 2013.

To be happy we need to be both physically and emotionally healthy. Our physical health is relatively easy to at least be aware of and manage – even if we may choose to ignore it. Hunger, thirst, tiredness are all physical prompts telling us to eat, drink, sleep to be physically healthy.

Emotional health

However, our emotional health is harder to recognise the prompts for, and therefore harder to satisfy. We often confuse our emotional needs with our physical needs – for example, eating high sugar “treats” to compensate for feeling tired, sad, stressed: It is not called comfort eating for nothing.

There is an abundance of research which suggests that we spend 30% of our life at work, which gives a strong argument that to be happy, employers need to take some responsibility for fulfilling employees’ emotional needs.

Emotional health relies on certain interlinking needs to be in balance.


We all need to feel in Control and feel that we have Respect and Community. Involving employees in decision making and ensuring that they understand their contribution is an integral part of the organisation’s success and will encourage those needs to be satisfied. The feeling of self-worth is promoted, and loyalty is not only built but maintained.

When employees can see the impact of their role and are listened to, they will have a sense of Achievement and Meaning. They will get attention and recognition, improving their sense of self-value and feeling of importance.

The resulting job satisfaction brings a sense of Security and encourages supportive relationships to be built within the workplace providing Emotional Connection.

The appropriate work-life balance will provide time for employees to reflect and recharge, a Privacy time which is vital to absorb life’s experiences.

An employee who is having their emotional needs met in the workplace will not only be happy but will be engaged – lookout for our Blog next month on the benefit and importance of an engaged team.

Negative Impact

Stress, Anxiety, Anger, Depression and Addiction are the result of these emotional needs not being met and not being in balance. Suffolk Mind, a mental health charity, reports one in six employees is suffering from a mental health illness: a worrying statistic and great motivation for employers to ensure they are taking steps to help satisfy their employee’s emotional needs, and encourage them to be happy.

If as an employer you can answer yes to the majority of the following questions you can be confident you are starting to develop a culture and environment that will result in happiness:

  • Do you have a coffee area or rest area where employees can mix socially on their breaks, or be alone and away from their desk?
  • Do you include employees in decision making and have open and honest communication channels?
  • Do you have outcome-driven goals identified which are then celebrated?
  • Do you have a mentor system in place to provide support and skill development?
  • Do you have a training programme in place which is easily accessible by all?
  • Do you have up to date, relevant and agreed job descriptions – that actually match the role performed?
  • Do you celebrate success?
  • Do you have flexible working hours?
  • Do you provide access to emotional well-being and stress-related training and support?

Happy Employees = Retained Talent, Low Sickness and Absent Rates, High Productivity Rates.

Can you afford for your employees NOT to be happy?

Please do get in touch on 01473 360160 if you are concerned with promoting emotional health and happiness within your workplace and find out how Make A Difference HR can provide you with the expert HR leader input  that will support your team.

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