Well, whilst I don’t have the full answer, I do know where we should be looking for the answer, and that’s Denmark, the happiest country in the world!
So how do Danish parents raise happy, confident, successful kids, year after year and what lessons can we learn from this and apply to our organisations?
Regardless of just focusing on parents, if all ‘grown ups’ applied the principles below, into their working lives, then the potential positive impact to organisations and society itself would be profound.
You may have already guessed, I have recently entered into the world of parenthood, and whilst it’s an amazing experience its not without its challenges but the more I read about the psychology of raising ‘happy’, ‘successful’, ‘confident’ and ‘capable’ children the more synergy I see between how we raise kids and how we should ‘raise’ employees.
The six essential principles that have been working for parents in Denmark for decades are:
- Play – essential for development and well-being
- Authenticity – fosters trust and an ‘inner compass’
- Reframing – helps kids cope with setbacks and look on the bright side
- Empathy – allows us to act with kindness towards others
- No ultimatums – no power struggles or resentment
- Togetherness and hygge: a way to celebrate family time, on special occasions and every day
I would recommend anyone interested in creating a happy workforce (or a happy family) to read The Danish Way of Parenting (Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl) it will remind you of the importance of applying a growth mindset to your own way of thinking and your employees.
It will also ensure that you give praise to employees with authenticity, it will encourage you to see all your employees as intrinsically good (until they prove you otherwise!).
Article by Manny Sandhu, Head of Resourcing, West Midlands Employers