Happy Employees Create Thriving Organizations: A Participant’s Journey

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This online professional development course was made in collaboration between Mohit Mukherjee, the inspirational founding director of the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, based at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace, and our pioneering facilitator Lars Kure Juul, an international best-seller and globally recognized expert on organizational happiness. They designed this course because they both recognized the need for healthier, happier employees within organizations.

This article was written by a dedicated course participant, Dr. Shannon Poe, to help support other working professionals with an innovative perspective on cultivating a culture of increased happiness and well-being at work. At the end of this article, you’ll find links to her other reflections that take a deep dive into her course takeaways every week. Enjoy her insights into our highly sought-after course in Organizational Happiness: Walking the Talk.

Organizational Happiness

A five-week journey that’s not to be missed!

Each week centered on a particular theme that built on the previous week and encouraged hands-on participation and collaboration between cohort members from all over the world.

Week 1

The first week focused on connecting and getting to know one another. Lars likened himself to the scratchy side of a matchbox where people can light their fire. It could be argued that by the end of the course, everyone was the scratchy side of the box. This first session also reviewed historical trends of Organizational Happiness, including the PERMA model, and how often organizations focus on ideas such as yoga, ping pong, etc as wellness. Instead, Organizational Happiness needs to be seen as organizational strategy. This idea would be the focus of the remainder of the course.

Week 2

Week two focused on the Happiness Sweet Spot. The Happiness Sweet Spot and being able to do what you do best is a good platform to be a changemaker. It is about unlocking potential and reducing disengagement. The greatest indicator of increased happiness at work is a reduction in turnover. There are three pillars to the Happiness Sweet Spot: Purpose, Strengths, and Compassion. Accessing the Happiness Sweet Spot is about unlocking and engaging all three in the correct way, and then it becomes an unstoppable force for any organization.

Week 3

The mid-point of the course focused on how to Measure, Monitor, and Act to reinforce the idea of unlocking potential. The main focus was on using the Motivational Landscape tool, a ten-question survey that the cohort experienced first-hand to measure employee engagement. It was simple, stream-lined, and captured what participants currently were thinking within their roles. It took less than 5 minutes to complete and gave a great picture of overall happiness. This tool can give you a baseline of what conversations you need to have as a leader or member of a team through a strengths-based lens of “How can I help?”


Week 4

How to build a business case was the focus of the fourth week. This was an opportunity to tie together all the learned principles and discuss how to put them into an action plan to present to leadership to help them understand the importance of Organizational Happiness. This week was a good reminder that it is easy to talk about the Happiness Sweet Spot, but it raises the question of how do you do something about it? It needs to be more than just an employee wellness program or line items in an annual report that is being checked off. The Happiness Sweet Spot and Organizational Happiness is about cultivating a culture and making it a strategic priority. As Lars reminded everyone, “Changemaking is heart work.”


Week 5

The course wrapped up with cohort members each presenting their final projects showing how they were going to implement what they learned about Organizational Happiness within their own spheres of influence. A final graduation ceremony capped the day and everyone celebrated new friendships, knowledge, and connections.

In closing…

This is a course that comes highly recommended! The content is extremely relevant and immediately applicable no matter what industry one works in. On top of that the connections that are made are well worth the time spent!

For a deeper look into Shannon’s perspective on each week, check out these articles on week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, and week 5. If you are interested in the next iteration of this course, it’s starting soon on August 15th, 2023! Learn more and sign up here.

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