Happiness and Wellbeing Policy Design

What is Happiness and Wellbeing Policy Design?
Wellbeing is “next generation" public and business sector policy design. A unifying, cross-cutting theme, wellbeing will be the way governments and the private sector forge ahead and develop policies that help communities and nations at large prosper. GCA has developed a wellbeing policy framework that is tailored to meet the needs of the private sector. This guiding framework embraces what we call “Commercial Life” – the input the private sector has in transforming their respective communities into highly progressive and wellbeing attuned collectives, cities, and countries. Based on international standards such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, our approach is designed to make a company more productive, creative, responsive, and constructive across its business
operations.

Understanding of international wellbeing objectives and policy design
GCA has a team of experts with backgrounds in Positive Psychology, Finance, Public Relations, Banking, Education, Government and Public Policy. They have a deep understanding of the scientific literature informing wellbeing policy design as well as its application to private sector needs. Our team conducts peer reviewed research about happiness and wellbeing, including academic work articulating the needs for the inclusion of private sector entities as a component of overall happiness and wellbeing agendas in countries around the world. Our expertise in wellbeing policy design includes several happiness related articles in peer reviewed journals including published articles related to cultures of service excellence within private sector organizations.


Innovation in the discipline of Happiness and Wellbeing
GCA will partner with businesses around the world to develop a tailored approach to assessing organizational happiness and wellbeing policies and procedures while also suggesting innovative ways to foster further wellbeing through novel policy and procedures implementation, as well as capacity building. One area in which we are particularly proud is in the examination of the use of new developments in data science to foster wellbeing assessments using algorithmic and nascent AI technology to track and enhance wellbeing progress within a company.

 

Offerings

We offer a number of tailor made programs to suit your organization or group’s needs, all of which are based in the positive psychology literature, as well as other academic streams of empirical research. Should it be of interest, all of our programs are amenable to testing over time to ensure proper returns on your investment.

Here are examples of our current work.

Organizations

The ‘Happiness Matters at Work’ is a workplace positivity program rooted in positive organizational psychology, which offers employees the tools to generate positive emotions and mindsets for themselves that can have an impact not only at work, but in their personal lives too. These strategies create changes in thought, attitude, and behavior and encourage employees to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. They also consider their personal contributions to the creation of a more positive, productive, and excellence focused workplace that is also mindful of its community contributions. Participants are encouraged to take on a number of initiatives in the workplace. The course is spread over six modules and can be done on a weekly basis or over the course of a two-day workshop.

The ‘Character Matters’ course begins by a half-day workshop to orient employees to the concept of workplace strengths, identify their strengths, and develop plans for crafting their jobs to be more amenable to their strengths profile. While there are 24 strengths in total, those with the most relevance to your workplace are then offered as one hour modules where employees undertake activities to develop it further. Examples of workplace strengths include persistence, integrity, social intelligence, vitality, and self-regulation. Strengths can be useful in determining employee capabilities and the soft skills required during the recruitment and selection of personnel. Strengths can also be useful in determining team composition; for instance, idea creators are usually high in creativity, vitality, curiosity, while implementers score high on persistence, integrity and self-regulation. Strengths development can be used as part of annual reviews and to support job crafting.

As it is the UAE’s Year of Tolerance and as most workplaces are diverse by default, they nonetheless struggle with how to deal with so much of it! Thus, we offer a three-day “Developing Inclusive and Tolerant Workplaces” workshop to help organizations be more inclusive; that is, purposefully welcoming of others ideas and opinions into the organizational decision-making process. This course is not superficial, learning about food and dress; it is for trailblazing organizations that recognize the opportunities inherent in a diverse workforce. It offers employees and managers a thoughtful series of questions, conversations, emotional experiences and eventual commitments that pertain to the range of values, behaviors, and attitudes present in all workplaces. The aim is to engage employees first in becoming aware of how their beliefs and biases are formed and permeate the workplace, and second, in generating and solving issues by committing to new norms of social behavior in the workplace and methods of conflict resolution. Finally, lessons in the science of wellbeing complement a well-rounded experience where all employees can actively build better organizations for their colleagues and themselves.

 

Leadership

Leadership is associated to happiness and wellbeing in that in order to be an effective leader, a person should be able to thrive and flourish. Importantly, the person should also excel at passing on the necessary skills to others.

The “Authentic Leadership” program focuses on facilitating a one or two day workshop on the Authentic Leadership Development Model. In this session, leaders will identify hot spots (adversity moments) and learn how those hot spots are actually opportunities for accelerating a leader’s self-awareness, behavioural integrity, organizational relationships and compassion. The result is a more authentic leader who is more aligned with those they lead.

The “Strategic Alignment” program is a one or two facilitation where we take a strength-based approach with the whole of the organization to co-create the alignment of mission, strategy and tasks across the organization. This method has a significant impact on attaching purpose to the employee’s career, creating immediate buy-in on strategic initiatives, and gleaning insights for senior leaders of the organization.

 

Educational Institutions

We work closely with schools and universities to implement positive psychology and positive educational intervention programs right in the classroom. We have year-long weekly intervention programs for elementary, junior high/high school and university students. These include student manuals, teacher guides, as well as suggested measures useful in assessing changes to student wellbeing over time. We are also available to do the teacher training on such programs as well as offer education in positive psychology and positive education to teachers themselves. We also independently assess the changes made in classrooms based on our programs as we too, have an interest in knowing what works best and with whom.

We also have a character course for high school and university students which not only focuses on the development of skills for a good life, but those needed and currently not taught by most institutions to prepare students for the workplace. Strengths most targeted include emotional self-regulation, integrity and honesty, and persistence/dealing with failure. We add modules to help students develop a CV, think about where they can take on additional skills, learn more about how the workplace works, what it takes to succeed, and how to present one’s self during interviews as examples. Our experience shows that while we expect students to be knowledgeable about such issues, a privileged life of nannies and drivers and no part-time work leaves them woefully underprepared and at risk of a delayed entry into the workplace as more competitive candidates are preferred.

Finally, we are especially proud to offer a Master Class in “Building Wellbeing into National Policy” for post-secondary students studying in political science, sociology, diplomacy, or international affairs. The training module also lends itself to policy practitioners such as ministers and government leaders across the region. This course focuses on introducing concepts of happiness and wellbeing as they apply to public policy-making and how best to design, implement, and measure happiness and wellbeing policies as solutions to community and socio-economic development.