Self-love is the starting point for happy employees

Valentine's Day: a day when lovers give each other extra love and attention with presents, flowers and compliments. A wonderful day for some, a day that cannot pass quickly enough for others. You’re probably thinking: Valentine lovers are romantic souls. But it’s not only about being romantic. Anyone can express love to others, but under one condition: if you learn to love yourself first. Self-love is the starting point for happiness, success, strong relationships, personal development and much more. Find out why and especially how you can become truly happy in this article!

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Self-love sets the course for your personal development

Self-love can be achieved by accepting what you cannot change and focusing on what you can about yourself. For example, you cannot change your past, but you can set beautiful goals for the future. (And remember that the past is what makes us who we are today!) Accept where you are now and positively look at what you have achieved so far and look at it from the bright side.

Optimism is a quality that can be learned and everyone has qualities to be proud of. Your colleague Laura, for example, is very compassionate, while you can bring sunshine into the workplace with your humour. Others appreciate you for those distinctive and unique qualities. So be grateful for your positive qualities and regularly compliment a colleague or friend, you will see that you get so much more in return. The happiness hormone, dopamine, when released gives you a positive feeling. A feeling that can quickly become addictive. Fortunately, in this case it is responsible! A positive attitude therefore contributes to self-love and happiness. But how do you become truly happy?

How do you work on your happiness?

If you embrace yourself, you can grow. Self-confidence helps you to develop new talents that make you the best version of yourself. Confident people are happy and happy employees are more productive, as several studies have proven. But how do you work on your own happiness? According to research by the American professor of psychology Sonja Lyubomirsky, 10% of your happiness is determined by circumstances, 50% by your genes and 40% is mindset. Working conditions are a factor of the 10% in which your organisation plays a role.

A positive company culture creates happy employees

We spend a large part of our lives working. This makes work an important factor in determining your happiness. As an employer, the happiness of your employees is key. Happy employees don't just happen. A strong and positive corporate culture creates happy employees and in turn attracts (potential) employees with the right mindset. The following four elements form the basis of a positive corporate culture.

1. Get your employees to identify with company values

When employees fully embrace an organisation's mission and vision, it creates commitment. They need to understand exactly what the organisation stands for and be able to recognise themselves in the values. HR can play a role in this through employer branding. After all, values only have meaning when they are linked to actions. Suppose your company feels strongly about respect and justice, then this should also be made clear in the way your company's treats its employees, for example in their end-of-year interviews,

Employees who recognise their company’s values in their daily work will show more commitment. People who are passionate about their work are naturally happier which leads you to radiate this positivity to colleagues, the end customer and also in your personal life.

2. Create a sense of social belonging

In today's work environment, we sometimes forget that people are social beings who need to feel connected. The conversation at the coffee machine is now a thing of the past, but it can certainly be replaced by virtual alternatives. A "how are you?" from an HR-employee, manager or colleague shows that we really care about each other.

The feeling of social connection activates the happiness hormone oxytocin and contributes to good health. Energetic and happy employees are in turn motivated to work and lead to more productivity! A win-win, in other words.

3. Recognise employees and celebrate successes

Rewarding employees seems obvious and simple, but nothing could be further from the truth. In a study by Deloitte (2019) probing the alignment of rewards and organisational goals, only 48% of respondents found that the two were previously aligned. Deloitte argues that a broader view of rewards is becoming more important than ever as organisations look for effective ways to motivate their teams. It makes increasing sense to view all expenditure on human capital as an investment - not an expense - and rewards are no exception.

The investment in your teams pays off in the long run. According to recent research by Survey Monkey and Bonusly, 63% of employees who feel valued and indispensable in an organisation are unlikely to look for a new job within 3 to 6 months.

But how do your employees want to be recognised?

According to Deloitte's employee recognition research, people differ in "how" they want to be recognised, "for what" and "by whom". To this end, Deloitte also mapped the different types of work styles, the so-called business chemistry types, which show in what way each work style wants to be recognised. The findings are as follows:

1. Three quarters of the people appear to be satisfied with a simple 'thank you' for their daily efforts

2. Most people prefer recognition that is either shared with a few people or given privately, rather than being shared widely

3. Even if the achievement is important, money is not king. At all organisational levels, across all generations, genders and different working styles, the most valued form of recognition is a new growth opportunity - especially for millennials, pioneers and drivers (see business chemistry types)

4. Create a culture of feedback

Honesty is the best policy! Open communication is the key to a positive corporate culture. Therefore, the 'lead by example' principle is the start of a feedback culture. If employees feel that their opinion is valued and heard, they are more likely to voice their opinion. The same applies to managers because they can speak up in a constructive way. And both groups of employees can ask each other for feedback. In this way, a feedback culture is created that makes it possible to learn from each other, and this generates new ideas that can only benefit an organisation!

As an employer, you do your bit by developing a positive company culture and thus making your employees happy at work. Still, at least 40% of one's happiness lies in one's own hands.

A positive mindset lies in your own hands

Circumstances are responsible for 10% of your happiness. 50% of being happy is determined by your DNA, but the other 40% is in your own hands. And even then, we got you covered. The following checklist will help you on your way to a positive mindset, which will make you love yourself 100%!

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