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Bede Crasnich, Elise Harden, Kelly Jubb and Millie Robinson Happiness consultancy report MACS325, “Happiness: investigating its causes and conditions”

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Presentation on theme: "Bede Crasnich, Elise Harden, Kelly Jubb and Millie Robinson Happiness consultancy report MACS325, “Happiness: investigating its causes and conditions”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bede Crasnich, Elise Harden, Kelly Jubb and Millie Robinson Happiness consultancy report MACS325, “Happiness: investigating its causes and conditions” Autumn session, 2011 Media and Cultural Studies, University of Wollongong Subject coordinators: Chris Barker and Brian Martin The happiness consultancy assignment had two parts. For details of the assignment see 1. A report for an organisation, prepared by a team of students. Bede Crasnich, Elise Harden, Kelly Jubb and Millie Robinson, working as a team, prepared a report for Access Community Group, in the form of a handout and a slide show. The handout is in a separate file. The slide show begins on the next slide. 2. Reflections on doing the consultancy, written separately by each member of the team as an individual task. Kelly Jubb’s reflections are in a separate file. This document is located at

2 Access Community Group Engagement & Happiness…

3 Engagement & Happiness So what is Engagement? Engagement can be defined as a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigour, dedication, and absorption. Vigour is characterized by high levels of energy and mental resilience while working. Dedication refers to being strongly involved in one’s work and experiencing a sense of significance, enthusiasm, and challenge. Absorption is characterized by being fully concentrated and happily engrossed in one’s work, whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulties with detaching oneself from work. Bakker and Demerouti (2008, 209–210)

4 Benefits of Engagement include... Having high levels of concentration and focus Feeling invigorated afterwards Losing track of time Using your strengths Living your values Being authentic It helps you manage stressful areas of your life by creating positive emotions that can undo any negative emotions – such as anxiety. Engagement is also referred to as “flow”.

5 How does Happiness relate to Engagement? Scientists have been able to show that happiness can be influenced and managed. People reported more positive emotion more often when they experience a favourable work environment. At all levels, there is evidence that happiness has important consequences for both individuals and organizations. Past research has tended to underestimate the importance of happiness and engagement at work. A comprehensive measure of individual level happiness does include work engagement, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Happiness increases staff engagement, this is highly beneficial as engaged workers collaborate more effectively with colleagues and clients and are more productive.

6 Happiness and Engagement Happiness Positivity Confidence Pleasure Well-being Engagement Concentration Coping skills Meaning Fulfillment Perspective Creativity Absorption

7 How Happy is the team at ACG? We observed from the meetings with team members from Access high levels of staff happiness due to these main factors:  Passionate and positive colleagues  Job satisfaction through meaning and purpose  Opportunity to develop and learn new skills (the flexibility of the workplace)

8 Some of the feedback we received... “I enjoy the people i work with and the programs ACG runs..i am provided with many opportunities here...” “I find my position challenging & stimulating which makes me happy...” “I work with a passionate team in a dynamic community sector” “Work flexibility and an organisation that supports persons into community engagement”

9 Engagement in the workplace For engagement to be present in the business world, there needs to be a balance between skill level and challenge. The challenge must meet your skill level and vice versa. The higher the challenge the more support is needed from colleagues, leaders and managers.

10 So how is Access Engaged? Access engages on three different levels:  Clients  Colleagues  and Community

11 Clients, Colleagues & Community We observed that Access’ engagement with clients is extremely effective – positive outcomes are consistently achieved. These include improved life skills, housing situations, family support and relationships and improved social skills. Engagement amongst colleagues was reported to be high, with high satisfaction levels regarding inter-staff rapport and communication. However we observed and anonymous feedback revealed that some members of the workplace were not participating to their full potential. Increased self-awareness of some team members would contribute to encouraging the general positive ethos of Access. We observed that the Community is becoming more aware of Access, through programs such as Spring into Corrimal, website and local Business Chamber. However there is a sense that they could be better educated on what exactly it is Access does, and how they can become more involved.

12 Recommendation One... Observation : We observed that not enough recognition is given to Access for positive outcomes. This is due to measurements being largely based on job status rather than holistic reporting. Recommendation : That positive feedback of all outcomes achieved (not merely employment) is made available to the general public through website, speak outs (Spring into Corrimal), local radio interviews and publications (newspapers articles/business profile/case study report). Explanation : Access regularly and routinely achieves positive outcomes for its clients, however the public may not always be aware or informed of these outcomes. Increased recognition of Access’ positive contributions to the community will increase engagement & happiness, as well as advertise and aims to attract support from potential benefactors.

13 Recommendation Two... Observation: We observed that although marketing strategies are in place within Access, it is currently at a stand still due to other commitments and priorities. No long-term marketing strategy is apparent. Recommendation: Rebrand and repackage Access in new and creative ways: -Update the website to be more engaging, interactive and reinforcing the brand and ethos surrounding Access -Partnerships with other non-profits (Rotary) for events -Marketing internship partnership with UOW and/or a volunteer team to help rebrand Explanation: Rebranding and repackaging Access in new and creative ways makes it more sellable to local business community, promotes volunteerism and improves engagement through increased interest.

14 Recommendation Three... Observation: We observed that Access’ workspace could be greatly improved to encourage an engaging and happy workplace. E.g. Poor heating facilities, segmented workspace non-conducive to flow. Recommendation: To conduct and organise semi- regular “clean up hours” to ensure removal of clutter and a more productive and versatile workspace. o Remove/rearrange cubicles that obstruct space/create barriers o Upgrade air conditioner to a more efficient system o Look into purchasing currently rented building Explanation: Creating a more versatile and comfortable space will improve employees mentality and productivity and engagement with both space and colleagues.

15 Engagement skills... Engagement can be implemented in a variety of ways, some of these include: o Effective communication o Being aware of different styles of communication, including non- verbal o Being willing to consciously improve written and verbal skills o Communicate with clarity and confidence o Incorporate and practise active listening o Focussing upon and valuing strengths o Living your values considerately Practical implementation for engagement Monthly anonymous feedback on workplace relations and conditions

16 References Ben-Shahar, T (2007) Happiness in Education, Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily joy & Lasting Fulfilment, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp Gallup Management Journal Survey (2006) Gallup Study: Feeling Good Matters in the Workplace. Accessed Feeling-good-matters-in-the.aspxhttp://gmj.gallup.com/content/20770/Gallup-Study- Feeling-good-matters-in-the.aspx Golding, N (2007) Measuring Staff Happiness, accessed Judge, E (2007) Employee Engagement and Happiness, accessed Lyubomirsky, S (2007) The how of Happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want, Penguin Books, New York. Patten, M. (2007) Do you want to increase Engagement and Happiness? Accessed Rakash Pati, S & Kumar, P (2010) Employee Engagement: Role of Self-efficacy, organizational Support & Supervisor Support, The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp Saks, A. (2006) Antecedents and Consequences of Employee Engagement, Journal of managerial Psychology, Vol. 21, pp Sutton, R (2009) Happiness for the Pragmatic Optimist and Everyone Else, OD Practitioner, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp Vella-Brodrick, D, Park, N, Peterson, C. (2008) Three ways to be Happy: Pleasure, Engagement and Meaning – Findings from Australian and US Samples, Social Indicators Research, Vol. 90, pp:


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