If you are a fan of happiness (and who isn’t?), perhaps you, like me, have been curious about how the heck Denmark keeps landing at the top of the “happiest countries” list. For starters, the weather there is dark and cold a lot. It makes sense to me that Hawaii is our happiest state because the weather there is nearly perfect, but what’s up with Denmark?
Since happiness is a huge competitive advantage in business (a happy you leads to happy employees leads to happy customers), are there things that Denmark is doing that we could implement in our businesses? No, I’m not advocating we adopt Denmark’s form of government. Who knows if that would work for our culture here in the United States, anyhow?
I’m talking about the principles that are making the Danish people happy. In addition, their economy is doing very well. Here are three principles that are important:
- Be picky about who you let in. Denmark is awfully selective about who they let live there. You have to have a skill set that they need–no loitering allowed! “A” Players anyone?
- Take care of your people. Everyone in Denmark has access to healthcare and doesn’t have to worry about medical bankruptcy if they get sick. That way they can focus on making a contribution without worrying about survival needs. We do the same for our employees here. Similarly we want to be sure our employees aren’t worried about being poorly led or mistreated. They would get more work done, wouldn’t they?
- Be sure your people are well trained. Any form of elected government is dependent upon an educated population to be successful. For goodness sake, we want all those people who are electing our leaders to be reasonably well educated, don’t we? In Denmark people get free education up through college. Once again, we don’t have to make this happen exactly the way they do it in Denmark, but the same principle applies for a well run business, doesn’t it? We want our employees to be well trained so they’re excellent at what they do.
- Be picky about who you let into your team–no loitering allowed!
- Treat your employees well so they can focus on making a contribution to your business.
- Be sure your employees are well trained so they’re excellent at what they do.