The Happy Manifesto: 10 Steps to a Great Workplace

In: BlogDate: May 18, 2012By: Henry Stewart

The Happy Manifesto, my call for change in the way we work, has now been published. I’ve tried to get the message across as succinctly as possible (just 128 pages) but for those who want a quick summary, here are the 10 key points – each covered with examples and stories in the book:

1. Trust Your People

Step out of approval. Instead pre-approve and focus on supporting your people.

2. Make Your People Feel Good

Make this the focus of management

3. Give Freedom within Clear Guidelines

People want to know what is expected of them. But they want freedom to find the best way to achieve their goals.

4. Be Open and Transparent

More information means people can take responsibility and ownership.

5. Recruit for Attitude, Train for Skill

Instead of qualifications and experience, recruit on attitude and potential ability.

6. Celebrate Mistakes

Create a truly no-blame culture, to enable people to innovate without fear

7. Community: Create Mutual Benefit

Have a positive impact on the world and build your organisation too

8. Love Work, Get a Life

The world, and your job, needs you well rested, well nourished and well supported.

9. Select Managers Who are Good at Managing

Make sure your people are supported by somebody who is good at doing that, and find other routes for those whose strengths are elsewhere. Even better, allow people to choose their managers.

10. Play to Your Strengths

Make sure your people spend most of their time doing what they are best at.

When I first published this list I had just 9 points. But my good friend Clive Hutchinson, of Cougar Automation, complained that I had missed out the most important thing we taught them – to make sure you’ve got your people doing what they are best at. So now there are ten points. (Which also explains, in case you wonder when you read the book, why all the other points have a chapter on them but this one doesn’t!)


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5 out of 5 stars

It was really insightful content with practical tips to use at work and everyday life.

Sarah Maynard22 days ago

Henry Stewart, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer

Henry is founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happy Ltd, originally set up as Happy Computers in 1987. Inspired by Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick, he built a company with a reputation for some of the best customer service in the country and one of the UK’s best places to work, winning multiple awards for its culture and philosophy.

His first book, Relax, was published in 2009. His second book, the Happy Manifesto, was published in 2013 and was short-listed for Business Book of the Year.

Outside of work he is a father of three, was Chair of Governors at his local primary and comprehensive in Hackney and a very keen cyclist.

You can find Henry on LinkedIn and follow @happyhenry on Twitter.

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