The Happiest Colleague Award

Happy WorkerNo, I didn’t win this award.

But I created it, won an award for suggesting it and will see it used in the Nova Scotia provincial public service! If it gets adopted widely enough, we’re going to be the happiest public service on the planet! 🙂

And better yet, you can try it at your workplace, too!

Everybody antes up a little something to give seasonally to a colleague they deem as having been happiest around them in the past 3 months.

I chose seasonally as the presentation period to celebrate the changing of the seasons that gets little more than a passing notice these days. Also, 3 months is a fair period so as not to do this too often and diminish the value of the award, and not too long between periods to have a general memory of someone’s “recent” behaviour.

For an award, I recommend something that can be attributed to happiness, like a smilie magnet, pin, stress ball, etc. that someone can display if you wish to have it on show. This might get old after a year and they start piling up, though, so if you do this, return the award after a month or two to reuse. A little candy or some happy food would work just as well, or a drink for a toast if you do it as a company event.

The “happy” criteria is about which colleague is generally the happiest when you interact with them.

Knowing this award is constantly at stake will help keep happiness on many people’s minds more often. It won’t always work, of course, and there won’t be times appropriate for it, like if someone is in bereavement. That wouldn’t be right to remind them of this for the sake of it when empathy needs to be shown. However, having a constant reminder to be happy should help people generally feel better and behave better.

Each person gets to give an award because it’s personal to that person. It also makes sure everyone gets a chance to experience the same happiness because everyone has the same award to give. As well, it keeps popular people or people who interact with lots of others from winning as a result of group vote. Those people have to earn it with everyone for each award like everyone else. In fact, it can be argued that they might not win many awards because they might not be around anyone enough to show that much happiness as one other person each colleague might interact with. It’s kind of like having lots of casual friends without any best friends so if best friend awards were given, the “popular” ones might not get one.

I know this idea might be a bit too happy and fluffy for some people, but if you think it might work at your workplace, please give it a try! Whether or not you do, though, here are some other resources for “happiness” that may be of interest to you.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.4